WHAT to plant and WHEN? Planting guide for the sub-tropics
There are some jobs in the garden that are just plain fun – like seed saving – and where little fingers work best!
NOTE: I have found that I have the most success by using local seed – something passed around from gardener to gardener – they tend to be better fruiting varieties and more resistant to pests and diseases.
I have had very little luck with seed produced by the large companies – they are just not meant for our part of the world – the subtropical east coast of Australia. Growing your own vegetables from seed you have collected, or been shared by another gardener, is a great way to really get you in touch with your garden; it’s a fun activity for the whole family, doesn’t involve any heavy work, saves you money, helps to save valuable heritage varieties – and best of all – if you plant a few seed at a time, but on a regular basis (like lettuce) you will have salad greens when you want them – and nothing goes to waste.
If you don’t have time to grow your own from seed, then buy seedlings from a local supplier. I get mine from a grower at our local farmers market or our rural co-op. Those sold in large hardware stores are often grown out of your climate zone and won’t be as successful those grown locally.
What’s for dinner?
TOP TIP: Understanding PLANT FAMILIES – who is related to whom – will benefit you and your garden. It helps you decide what to plant next to each other, solves crop rotation dilemmas, does companion planting for you and looks wonderful because a productive garden can’t help but be beautiful.
P – Perennial
Broad beans A
Brussels sprout A
Carrot (Chantenay) A
Celery (Chinese) A
Ceylon spinach P
Chinese greens – boo choy, pak choy, tatsoi A
Coriander A slow bolting
Cucumber A use local seed + plant late winter
Kohlrabi – eat fresh or cooked
Garlic A – harvest late spring
Horseradish P – divide in autumn
Kale (Cavolo Nero) A/P
Kangkung P – water spinach
Lemon Grass P – divide in autumn
Mustard Greens A
Parsley A/P (flat leaf -Italian)
Peas (Longpod, Honeysnap, Snow) A
Potatoes (Kipfler, Desiree, Dutch Cream) A
Rhubarb P – ready to pick early spring
Spring onion A
Tomatoes A – use local seed + plant late winter
Warrigal Greens P
Wild rocket P
Zucchini A – use local seed + plant late winter
Asian greens A – not after December
Bush basil P
Bush beans A
Climbing beans A
Cucumber A – not after December
Eggplant (long, Asian) A
Italian basil A
Leeks A – not after December
Lettuce A – not after December
Snake beans A
Spinach A – not after December
Spring onion A
Sweet potato P
Tomato A -not after September
Winged bean A
Yam bean/Jicama P
Zucchini A – not after October
You don’t need a lot of land to grow your own food – you just have to start!
My Mullumbimby garden where I have over 50 perennial food plants scattered among the flowers and shrubs. Another 25 annuals I grow in raised beds and pots.