Veggies and herbs that can be planted in September

 

The table below lists which vegetable and herb seeds can be planted this month in North East Melbourne. In addition, for each vegetable/herb, it shows: how it should be planted (direct, seed trays, etc); how far apart to plant it; its lifecycle (annual, perennial, etc); its moon phase planting quarter (for those doing moon phase planting) and its crop rotation group (for those doing crop rotation). It is an extract from our North East Melbourne veggie & herb planting guide.

 PlantMoon phase
planting
quarter
Planting
method
Plant
spacing
Rotation
planting
group*
Plant
type
Asparagus3rdcrowns30cmin its own bedperennial
Basil1stin seed trays20cmanywhereannual
Beetroot3rdsow direct20cmrootsbiennial grown
as annual
Capsicum2ndin seed trays50cmsolanumsperennial
Carrot3rdsow direct10cmrootsbiennial grown
as annual
Celery1stin seed trays15cmrootsbiennial grown
as annual
Chilli2ndin seed trays30cmsolanumsperennial
Chives3rdsow direct or in seed trays5cmanywhereperennial
Coriander1stsow direct30cmanywhereannual
Cucumber2ndsow direct2-3 in a moundcucurbitsannual
Eggplant2ndin seed trays30cmsolanumsperennial
Beans2ndsow direct7cm legumesannual
Globe artichoke3rdsow direct90cmin its own bedperennial
Gourd2ndsow direct2-3 in a moundcucurbitsannual
Jerusalem artichoke3rdtubers45cmin its own bedperennial grown
as annual
Leeks3rdin seed trays10cmrootsbiennial grown
as annual
Lemon balm1stsow direct45cmpot (invasive)perennial
Lemongrass1stcuttings or
divisions
45cmanywhereperennial
Lettuce1stsow direct or
in seed trays
20cmanywhereannual or biennial
Mint1stsow directgrow in a potpot (invasive)perennial
Mustard greens1stsow direct30cmbrassicasannual
Oregano1stsow direct or
in seed trays
15cmanywhereperennial
Parsley1stsow direct20cmanywherebiennial grown
as annual
Parsnip3rdsow direct10cmrootsbiennial grown
as annual
Potato3rdtubers30cmsolanumsperennial grown
as annual
Pumpkin2ndsow direct2-3 in a moundcucurbitsannual
Radish3rdsow direct5cm anywhereannual
Rhubarb3rdcrowns60cmin its own bedperennial
Rockmelon2ndin seed trays2-3 in a moundcucurbitsannual
Rocket1stsow direct25cmbrassicasannual
Sage1stsow direct50cmanywhereperennial
Shallot3rdbulbs15cmrootsperennial grown
as annual
Silverbeet1stsow direct20cmanywherebiennial
Spring onions3rdsow direct2cm rootsbiennial grown
as annual
Sweetcorn1stsow direct20cmcucurbitsannual
Tomato2ndin seed trays15cmsolanumsannual
Vietnamese mint1stcuttings or
divisions
grow in a potpot (invasive)perennial
Watermelon2ndin seed trays2 in a moundcucurbitsannual
Zucchini2ndsow direct or
in seed trays
2 in a moundcucurbitsannual

Moon phase planting

Lots of people (including, by anecdote, many farmers) practice moon-phase planting whereby different types of veggie are planted at different times in the moon’s 28-day cycle.

The basic idea/assumption/rationale/sophistry is that one wants to root crops to grow downwards, and thus when the upward pull of the moon is lessening, and thus when the moon is waning. By contrast, one wants leafy and fruity crops to grow upwards, and thus when the upward pull of the moon is increasing, and thus when the moon is waxing. This gives the following phasing:

  • 1st quarter: leafy – plant crops where one eats the leaves/foliage.
  • 2nd quarter: fruits – plant crops where one eats the fruit.
  • 3rd quarter: roots – plant root crops.
  • 4th quarter: have a rest!

Crop rotation

As fruity things, cucurbits (cucumbers, etc) and solanums (tomatoes, etc) are heavy feeders. Brassicas (cabbages, etc) are medium feeders. As rooty things, alliums (onions, etc) and umbellifers (carrots, etc) are light feeders. Legumes (beans, etc) are non-feeders (they can fix their own nitrogen). Many leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, silverbeet, etc) don’t have much impact on the soil and can thus be planted anywhere. So, one sensible crop rotation would be:

  1. Legumes (beans, peas etc).
  2. Brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, etc).
  3. Alliums (onions, leeks, etc).
  4. Cucurbits (cucumber, pumpkin, etc).
  5. Umbellifers (carrots etc).
  6. Solanums (tomatoes, potatoes, etc).

This is a 6-year crop rotation. To make it shorter, you have to do one or more of three things:

  1. Combine some things: so, for example, combine alliums and umbellifers as ‘roots’.
  2. Omit some things: so, for example, never plant brassicas.
  3. Plant a cool season crop (e.g. brassicas) followed by a warm season crop (e.g. solanums or cucurbits) into a single bed over the course of a year.

You also have to decide whether the annual rotation should be in Spring or in Autumn.
For a comprehensive discussion of crop rotation, read Angelo Eliades’ article.

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