June, July and August are the winter months in Australia. And while images of winter in other countries would bring to mind outdoor spaces blanketed in snow as far as the eye can see, with not a single green leaf to be found, it’s not quite the same in the Land Down Under — in fact, winter is the perfect time to get started on planting some veggie favourites here.
If you have a garden with sufficient space, then you’ll be happy to know that it can be bustling with vibrant produce by the time August rolls around. Ready to dig into the earth and lay down the seeds for a bountiful harvest? Here are some great tips for successfully growing vegetables in winter in Australia.
Find out which vegetables grow best from seeds and which ones fare better when transplanted.
Peas, broad-bean, spinach, lettuce, kohlrabi, and asparagus are ideally planted from seed. For the rest of the winter vegetables, you can ask your local nursery for healthy seedlings that are ready for planting.
Know what to plant and when.
You might be excited to plant all your seeds and seedlings the minute June rolls in, but a more efficient way to manage your vegetable garden would be to stagger planting among the three winter months. According to seasoned gardeners, here are the vegetables you can plant for each month:
June: Snow peas, cabbage, garlic, radish, broad-bean, jerusalem artichokes, thyme, dill.
July: Kohlrabi, shallots, chicory, parsnip, lettuce, endive, sage.
August: Beetroot, asparagus, spring onions, spinach, potatoes, tomatoes, artichokes.
Other culinary herbs that grow well during the winter are bay trees (for bay leaves), marjoram, rosemary, mustard, and oregano.
Ample sunlight is essential.
Different areas in Australia will experience varying levels of frost, so you have to be mindful of how much sun your vegetables will be getting in order to thrive and avoid damage or dying off. If you live in a colder area, your best solution would be to build a makeshift greenhouse over your plants that you can keep on during the evenings and take off during the day — all it takes is some stakes and clear plastic.
Be careful with watering.
Colder months call for different watering patterns. The water you put in the soil may not evaporate as easily, so there is a risk of water-logging your vegetables’ roots. As a rule of thumb, water only to keep the soil moist, and watering should be done in the morning during winter so that freezing will not be a possibility.
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