Melbourne vegetable planting chart
Spring (September to November):
As the weather warms up during spring, it’s an excellent time to start planting a variety of vegetables. Soil temperatures rise, providing optimal conditions for germination and growth.
Tomatoes: Begin planting tomatoes in early spring after the last frost. Choose a sunny spot and provide support for the plants as they grow.
Peppers (Capsicum): Similar to tomatoes, peppers thrive in warm weather. Start seeds indoors or in a greenhouse early in spring and transplant them outdoors once the risk of frost has passed.
Zucchini and Squash: These warm-season crops love the increasing temperatures of spring. Plant them in well-drained soil and ensure they receive plenty of sunlight.
Cucumbers: Sow cucumber seeds directly into the soil or start them indoors for an early harvest. Install trellises to support their climbing habit.
Herbs (Basil, Parsley, Chives): Many herbs flourish in spring. Plant basil, parsley, chives, and others in well-drained soil and harvest them regularly for optimal growth.
Lettuce and Greens: Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale prefer the milder temperatures of spring. Plant them in partial shade to prevent them from bolting in the warmer months.
Carrots and Radishes: These root vegetables can be sown directly into the soil in early spring. Ensure loose soil to encourage straight root growth.
Beans: Both bush and pole beans thrive in the warmer spring temperatures. Provide support for pole beans and space bush beans according to their variety.
Summer (December to February):
Summer in Melbourne can get hot, so it’s essential to choose heat-tolerant vegetables and provide adequate water for your garden.
Eggplant: Plant eggplants in late spring or early summer. These heat-loving plants thrive in well-drained soil and benefit from mulching to retain moisture.
Corn: Corn requires warm temperatures for successful growth. Plant seeds directly into the soil in late spring and provide ample space for the stalks to grow.
Sweet Potatoes: Start sweet potato slips indoors in late spring and transplant them into the garden after the last frost. These heat-loving plants produce well in the summer months.
Okra: Okra thrives in hot weather, making summer the perfect time to plant. Ensure well-drained soil and provide support for the tall plants.
Cabbage and Broccoli: These cool-season crops can be planted in late summer for a fall harvest. Provide consistent moisture and protect them from extreme heat.
Pumpkins: Plant pumpkin seeds in late spring or early summer for a fall harvest. Give them plenty of space to spread, and ensure the soil is rich in organic matter.
Cantaloupe and Watermelon: These melons love the summer heat. Plant seeds in well-drained soil and provide ample space for the vines to sprawl.
Herbs (Rosemary, Thyme): Heat-tolerant herbs like rosemary and thyme thrive in the summer months. Plant them in well-drained soil and allow them to bask in the sunlight.
Autumn (March to May):
As temperatures begin to cool down in autumn, it’s time to plant vegetables that thrive in milder conditions.
Garlic: Plant garlic cloves in well-drained soil in late autumn for a summer harvest. Mulch the soil to insulate the bulbs during winter.
Onions and Leeks: These alliums can be planted in late summer or early autumn. Ensure well-drained soil and provide consistent moisture for optimal growth.
Spinach and Lettuce: Cool-season greens can be planted in early autumn for a fall harvest. Ensure they receive enough sunlight, even as the days get shorter.
Peas: Peas thrive in cooler temperatures, making autumn an ideal time to plant them. Provide support for climbing varieties and sow seeds directly into the soil.
Beets and Turnips: These root vegetables can be planted in early autumn for a late fall or winter harvest. Ensure loose soil for optimal root development.
Brussels Sprouts: Plant Brussels sprouts in late summer or early autumn for a winter harvest. Provide ample space between plants, as they can grow tall.
Kale: Kale is a cold-hardy green that can be planted in early autumn for a continuous harvest throughout the winter. Mulch the soil to protect the roots from frost.
Carrots: Plant carrots in early autumn for a late fall or winter harvest. Ensure loose soil and provide consistent moisture for straight and sweet roots.
Winter (June to August):
Winter in Melbourne can be relatively mild, allowing for the cultivation of cold-hardy vegetables.
Broccoli and Cauliflower: These cool-season crops can be planted in late autumn for a winter harvest. Protect them from severe frost by mulching around the base.
Cabbage: Plant cabbage in late autumn for a winter harvest. Ensure well-drained soil and protect young plants from frost.
Winter Lettuce: Choose cold-tolerant lettuce varieties and plant them in early winter for a continuous harvest. Use row covers for added protection.
Snow Peas and Snap Peas: These peas can be planted in early winter for a late winter or early spring harvest. Provide support for climbing varieties.
Swiss Chard: Swiss chard is a cold-tolerant green that can be planted in early winter for a continuous harvest. Mulch around the base for added insulation.
Turnips and Radishes: These root vegetables can be planted in early winter for a late winter or early spring harvest. Ensure well-drained soil for optimal root development.
Garlic: While garlic is typically planted in late autumn, it overwinters and is ready for harvest in late spring or early summer.
Broad Beans: Plant broad beans in early winter for a late winter or early spring harvest. Provide support for the tall plants and ensure well-drained soil.
In conclusion, Melbourne’s diverse climate allows for year-round vegetable gardening. By following this comprehensive planting chart, you can maximize your harvest and enjoy a variety of fresh, homegrown produce throughout the seasons. Consider the unique requirements of each vegetable and adapt your gardening practices to suit the changing conditions of Melbourne’s climate. Happy gardening!