North East Melbourne veggie planting guide

 

The table below shows the best months to plant each of a wide variety of vegetables and some herbs. It is not the only months that plantings are possible – just the best months. The current month is highlighted within a green rectangle.

Click anywhere in the table to view a higher resolution version without the current month highlighted. Alternatively, for printing purposes, here is a pdf version without the current month highlighted.

For each vegetable, the table shows: which months the seeds* are best planted; how they should be planted (direct, seed trays under cover, etc); how far apart to plant them; the plant’s lifecycle (annual, perennial, etc); how long its seeds are likely to remain viable; its crop rotation group (for those doing crop rotation); and its moon phase planting quarter (for those doing moon phase planting). Note that perennial herbs (such as mint, oregano, thyme, etc) are not included (with Autumn being a good time to plant most of these).

[*‘Seeds’ as opposed to ‘seedlings’, where the latter would typically be a month or two later. ‘Seeds’ here means the things that you normally plant to propagate the plant and includes asparagus crowns, garlic cloves, potatoes, etc.]

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, alternating light and heavy feeders, 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 take place in Spring or in Autumn.

For a comprehensive discussion of crop rotation, read Angelo Eliades’ article.

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 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!

  143 Responses to “North East Melbourne veggie planting guide”

  1. Have just finished growing brussels sprouts and the plants grew well with lots of foliage and a large amount of sprouts but they remained small. What is the possible cause of this problem?

  2. Awesome information … Thanks.

  3. Thank you for sharing this valuable information.

    I’m new to gardening and want to grow herbs and vegetables (spinach, coriander, spring onion, mint, beetroot, radish, etc). I recently purchased a raised garden bed but I don’t have access to any garden soil to fill into the raised garden bed, so I need some guidance on what to use. After a bit of research, I think I need garden soil and then mix it with Organic Compost (3:1 ratio). I don’t want to use chemicals so I want to go the organic way to the best extent possible. I looked up in Bunnings and there are so many options and it’s confusing on what to use. Can you please share on what I should use to fill by raised garden bed to grow organically?.

    • Yes, you should be using a mixture of soil and compost. The greater the proportion of compost, the better your veggies will grow but the more expensive will be your ongoing costs (because compost disappears over time and has to be replaced). I use 65% compost and 35% soil. Your suggested 35% compost would be the minimum I would suggest.

  4. Hi there, I live in Sunbury. I love this guide, it is so helpful.

  5. I love all of the information. We have just moved from the Adelaide Hills to Melbourne so it is particularly useful.
    Best wishes Vanessa

  6. I’m a beginner in gardening and in Australia and this table is helping me a lot. Thank you for your effort in pulling this information together and sharing it.

    Also, any tips on where to buy seed and seedlings around Melbourne? I know Bunnings but I would like to have more choices, especially heirloom and organic..

  7. Hi Guy,

    This is fantastic information.

  8. Hi Guy,

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and resources.

    Sincere wishes,
    Wendy

  9. Hi,

    Thanks for this great information. I am new to gardening and wanted to start growing Veggies. I have setup couple of garden beds and filled with good soil and not clear what to start with. Each garden bed size 1.2m Wide X 4m length. Can you please recommend where to start. I have Eggplant , Tomato and Capsicum seed with me right now. Looking for your input.

    Regards,
    Rad

    • Hi Rad,

      Eggplant, tomato and capsicum are all good to grow over the summer. They are all related (solanums) and it would be good for you to grow them all in the same bed. You will need to stake your tomatoes.

      For your other bed, I would suggest cucurbits (pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, melons, etc).

      You could grow some leafy greens but many of them tend to bolt quickly over summer.

  10. Hello Guy
    This is a great resource! Thank you so much!

    Regards
    Manvinder

  11. I am a novice at growing vegetables/ fruits.
    Just wondering whether the guide for tomatoes applies to cherry tomato/ grape tomato too?

    Does the guide for capsicums apply to the yellow capsicum?
    Also any tips guidance to growing Figs, kaffir lime and baby capsicum?

    Does “sow direct” mean sow the seeds or seedings?

    Many Thanks
    Ash

    • Just wondering whether the guide for tomatoes applies to cherry tomato/ grape tomato too?
      YES

      Does the guide for capsicums apply to the yellow capsicum?
      YES

      Also any tips guidance to growing Figs, kaffir lime and baby capsicum?
      NO

      Does ‘sow direct’ mean sow the seeds or seedings?
      It means sow the seeds in the ground rather than in seed trays.

  12. Question: If seeds to follow your fabulous planting guide, when do I plant out seedlings?

    • Hi Connie,

      That’s a good question! It depends on both how quickly the seeds germinate and how quickly they then grow. This is turn depends on both which veggie is being grown and the temperature. Certainly not before the second set of leaves (which are the first set of true leaves) appear, and at least a couple of weeks after this. A rough rule of thumb might be around 2 months after planting the seed.

  13. Hello,
    I’m in Taradale Victoria when is the best time to plant strawberry seedlings?

    • Hi Jo,

      If they are runners from other plants, plant them now. If they are already planted in pots, wait until Spring to plant them out.

  14. I’m new Community Gardening. Thank you for an excellent resource – it immediately made my year planning so much easier.
    Like so many others, I would welcome a copy of the Vege Planting Guide spreadsheet.
    Thank you once again for an outstanding resource.

  15. This is a great resource. Clear and easy to understand. How would you recommend we start with a 10 year old child who wants to grow veggies and do most of it on their own, but like most kids would get overwhelmed and lose interest if there is too much to do? What are good veggies to start with that are easy to look after and will produce well so the child can be encouraged? And any tips to help the child We would plant in pots, as sunshine is limited in what could be the veggie patch. Thanks for your advice.

    • Start with radishes. They are so easy and quick to grow and can be planted all year round. Once it warms up a bit beans are great as they come up quickly and grow fast. Tomato seedlings are great in pots but don’t get them until late October/early November. Places like Bunnings have them as early as August but they have been raised in a greenhouse/tunnel and won’t thrive outdoors until it warms up. Silverbeet is great as your child can pick a few stalks and the plant keeps growing. If you have a big pot you can grow several herbs together. Rosemary, thyme and sage are good together as they don’t like too much water. Parsley, coriander and mint are good together as they like a bit more water. Hope that helps.

  16. Hi this is an awesome resource! I had one question; I’m planning to upcycle some old wooden drawers that are around 50cm x 40cm. Was wondering what plants you would recommend for this time of year?

    My garden has limited space and want to maximise the amount of edible fresh produce. Thanks!

    • Hi Kavi,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      I think that you should probably wait until September and then plant your summer crops. Zucchini is good when space is limited. Ditto basil. Silverbeet is always productive if you like the taste. Rocket survives the summer heat better than lettuce.

  17. Hi Guy,
    Best site I have seen. Thank you for fantastic information.
    Ivan.

  18. Hi!

    What a wonderful resource, thank you!

  19. Hi, this is great! Does this more or less applies to Sydney as well? Or any good site for Sydney garden lovers?

    • Hi Kulfi,

      Sydney has, I think, a noticeably different climate to that of Melbourne but the general shape of the timetables will remain similar.

  20. Hi thanks so much for a fantastic resource.

  21. Hi, love your chart. Could you please send me an spreadsheet version?

    I am just starting to get a long overdue interest in planting some veggies … your planner will be a great help.

  22. What an awesome resource. Thanks so much for sharing!

  23. Hello, thanks for a wonderful spreadsheet. My question is do you plant seedlings by the Moon Phases?

  24. It’s great to find a locally oriented site where I can have confidence in the information. Love the spreadsheet!

  25. Hi Guy,

    Marvellous spread sheet, thanks.

    This is my first year gardening, with fallow soil would you recommend a green crop that I dig in later or horse manure, the latter I am not sure as we have a new puppy with penchant for eating anything .

    Thanks for your informative previous answers.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      I wouldn’t recommend using horse manure because it contains weed seeds which will grow into weeds. Use cow manure or store-bought chicken manure instead.

  26. Hi there,

    Would it be possible to get an excel version if this?

    And also, when you say seed trays, would you put the seed trays in a garden bed or just on their to begin with?

    • Hi Talia,

      Spreadsheet sent by email.

      With seed trays, you typically keep them in a greenhouse or other warmish spot.

      Guy

  27. Hi Guy,
    Your guide is invaluable. Thank you. Could you also provide a guide to harvesting times (e.g. number of weeks from planting and key signs to readiness). Also, I have a problem with slaters eating my capsicum and millipedes curling up in the top of my sweetcorn. Any solution?

    • Hi Valerie,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      I don’t put possible harvest times on the graphic as they are so variable. Also, I am an optimist and my predicted harvest times are usually shorter, and sometimes much shorter, than actually happens. But, since you ask, here is my best go at responding to your request for harvest times. All numbers are in months and are on the optimistic side.

      Re slaters eating your capsicum and millipedes curling up in the top of your sweetcorn: my philosophy is that this is all part of how nature works and you just live with it.

      Asparagus 24 Celery 3-4 Jerusalem artichoke 4-5 Peanut 4-5 Spring onions 1-3
      Basil 2 Chickpea 3-4 Kale 2-3 Peas 2-3 Sweet potato 3-5
      Beans 2-3 Chilli 2-3 Leeks 3-5 Potato 3-5 Sweetcorn 2-4
      Beetroot 2-3 Chives 2-3 Lettuce 2-3 Pumpkin 3-4 Tomato 3-5
      Broad beans 3 Coriander 2-3 Mizuna 2 Radish 1-2 Watermelon 2-3
      Broccoli 3-5 Cucumber 2 Mustard greens 1-2 Rhubarb 24 Zucchini 2
      Brussels sprouts 3-4 Eggplant 3-5 Okra 2-3 Rocket 1-2
      Cabbage 3-6 Fennel 2-3 Onion 3-8 Rockmelon 3-4
      Capsicum 2-3 Garlic 4-8 Pak choy 2-3 Shallot 3
      Carrot 2-3 Globe artichoke 24 Parsley 2-3 Silverbeet 2
      Cauliflower 3-5 Gourd 3-4 Parsnip 3-5 Spinach 2
  28. Hello there,
    I have been struggling to find the dosage rates for a plltet fertilizer i was gifted.
    Im looking for a rate to apply to my vege plants potentially upon planting OR mid season OR upon turning the soil between crops.
    The main components are
    N = 4.7%
    P = 5.9%
    K = 5.9%
    S = 12.7%
    And…are there any veges i shouldn’t use this near?
    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated

    • Hi Shannon,

      That’s a reasonably balanced fertiliser and is therefore suitable for veggies. It is around twice as strong as normal fertilisers. Between crops just sprinkle a few handfuls and digger gently in. If in doubt, use less rather than more. I don’t think you should apply pellet fertilisers mid season.

  29. Hi Guy,
    I have just planted cabbage and cauliflower seedlings, amongst a few other things (I’m very new to veggie growing!). I’ve done lots of research to ensure I have done everything right, however, can you suggest what I can use to repel cabbage moths? They are now everywhere in my garden and holes are appearing on the foliage, so I assume these cabbage moths are causing this?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Jodie,

      Yes, I have two suggestions. Note that cabbage moths are only a problem for brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc).

      First, the damage is caused by the caterpillars. So, you want to stop the moths laying their eggs on your brassicas. This can be achieved with fine bird netting. You don’t want the netting to rest on the plants, because the moths can then lay their eggs through it, so use some sort of wooden or plastic structure upon which to rest the netting. And make sure that the netting is tied down at the bottom so that the moths can’t get underneath it.

      Second, cabbage moths are territorial and if they see another cabbage moth in the vicinity, they tend to leave. So, either make, or buy, some decoys – just white butterfly shapes on sticks. My local nursery sells them in packets of 10.

      Guy

    • Jodie I found planting white violas and petunias next to my brassicas and regularly picking of the eggs worked so well!

  30. Hello there!
    This guide is so good thank you!
    I have a question about these darned cabbage moths.
    Seeing as there is so much time at the moment and I am outside in the garden a lot and we are whacking them with a fly swat and I’m picking the eggs off the seedlings every morning.
    But do you have any other tips on detering them?

    • Hi Kimberley,

      Yes, I have two suggestions. Note that cabbage moths are only a problem for brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc).

      First, the damage is caused by the caterpillars. So, you want to stop the moths laying their eggs on your brassicas. This can be achieved with fine bird netting. You don’t want the netting to rest on the plants, because the moths can then lay their eggs through it, so use some sort of wooden or plastic structure upon which to rest the netting. And make sure that the netting is tied down at the bottom so that the moths can’t get underneath it.

      Second, cabbage moths are territorial and if they see another cabbage moth in the vicinity, they tend to leave. So, either make, or buy, some decoys – just white butterfly shapes on sticks. My local nursery sells them in packets of 10.

      Guy

      • Hi Guy

        Great information from your website – especially the Melbourne planning guide. Thank you!

        Many thanks.

        Anne

  31. Thank you for uploading this planting guide, its visually appealing to use.

    Is this chart only for North Melbourne or is it also suitable for Western suburbs?

    Also I can see onions can be planted in February, but then not until May. My guess is that February is for short day onions that do not last long and May for the longer day variety.
    Are there any specific varieties that grow well in Melbourne?

    Thanks Guy

    • Hi James,

      Yes, the chart is fine for the Western suburbs.

      Yes, what you say about onions is completely correct. I am, however, becoming increasingly unconvinced about the whole short/long day business and am moving towards planting whatever my local nursery has in stock at the time that I want to plant. The onions that I have had most success with are Long Tropea Red and Cream Gold. My favourite onions to grow, however, are tree/walking onions (Allium cepa x fistulosum), which are effectively self-seedling and perennial.

      Guy

      • What do tree walking onions taste like? Are they a substitute for brown or red onions? Cooking or salad? I saw them for sale for the first time last weekend and I knew nothing about them. This comment has reminded me again… so I thought I’d ask. Peta.

  32. I’d love to know any hints, tips and tricks for growing in pots. I have no open space but room for pots. Any help would be much appreciated thank you. Great site!

    • Thanks for your kind words, Karyn.

      Here is a list of things that grow well in pots: garlic, leeks, lettuce, pak choy, radish, rocket, silverbeet, spinach and strawberry.

      To ease your watering tasks, use pots with water wells.

      Use a high quality potting mix but also add some fertiliser (or buy a mix which includes fertiliser) as most veggies are heavy feeders. Then add a liquid fertiliser periodically.

  33. Hi, I am another beginner gardener and my hubby has just built me 3 ground level boxes for planting. I think your chart is fantastic so could you please send me a xl or pdf of it.
    Also would like to ask what fertiliser would be the best to use for the first years planting?
    Thanks
    Carol

  34. hi

    I am a newbie to gardening. Can I have an excel version of your vegetable planting guide.

    Thanks very much

  35. Hi Guy, i have just stumbled across your site and glad i did. Love all the questions and all your informative answers. I just prepared four raised garden beds and want to grow my own vegetables in them. I would really appreciate if you could help me with what to plant where and when. I like the following herbs and veggies.
    Baby spinach
    Broccoli
    Spring onions
    Kale
    Rockets
    Coriander
    Basil
    Leaf Parsley
    Tomato
    Eggplant
    Chilli
    Asparagus
    Thank you

    • Hi Ramani,

      The page tells you when you can plant what.

      Asparagus is a long-lived perennial and is best planted on its own. But you would need to read up about it before planting it.

      Basil, chilli, eggplant and tomato are summer crops so now is not the right time to plant them.

      Broccoli and kale are closely related, are heavy feeders, and need protection from both cabbage moth and aphids. I would put them together in a bed. If you still have space in that bed, you could include the rocket there.

      You can grow spinach, coriander and parsley anywhere. Note that coriander and parsley both self-seed.

      I don’t think winter is a very good time to grow spring onions. But if you want to, grow them with other alliums (onions, garlic, chives) and/or with other roots (carrots, beetroot, etc).

      Hope this helps.

      Guy

      • Thank you so much Guy. Very, very helpful information you have given me. I really appreciate it very much and intend to follow up on your advice. Thank you again. Keep up the good work and stay safe.
        Very grateful.

        Ramani

      • Love the information here. I don’t have much space but have a few pots and I am currently growing garlic, Brussel sprouts that are growing fine. I also have few chilli plants that are a year old and have no chillies yet can I leave them out or do I need to move them indoor?
        Could you send me the excel version please .

  36. Hello Guy, Can you please also email the spread sheet of theplanting guide. Thank you and stay safe. Ozecb

  37. This is a fantastic resource and great information. Would you be able to send an XL version of this file?

  38. Hi there,

    I’m a complete novice to gardening and about to dip my toes in – very excited (and scared). Would I be able to receive an excel version of the table?

    Many thanks,
    Meadhbh

  39. I’ll be starting a brand new vegetable garden soon, and this chart gives so much useful information – especially to a new arrival to Australia from the Northern Hemisphere! Wonderful website. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
    Please could I receive your Excel version of the chart?

  40. Hello again.
    Firstly, thanks for your wealth of knowledge and prompt responses.
    I have brocoletti seedlings about 20cm tall now and i have tiny heads already appearing in the centre…. Am i supposed to cut them out now, or let them continue?
    I’ve never really succeeded in cutting the centre head out at the correct time.
    Kind regards, Shannon

    • Hi Shannon,

      I think that they are edible up until the time that the flowers appear. But I also think that they taste better, the younger they are. I would cut them just when the head starts becoming looser (i.e. as soon as the florets within a head start moving further apart).

  41. Hi
    I have planted a lime tree in my backyard about 4-5 years ago. It does not show much of a growth. Could anyone shed some light as to what I should do to improve its growth?

    • Hi Sumi,
      Do you ever give it fertiliser? Lime trees are very heavy feeders and need lots of high nitrogen fertiliser. An established tree needs 2Kg of, say 22:5:8 NPK fertiliser pa plus additional manure (2Kg if chicken and 6Kg if cow/horse), and a 5-year-old tree needs around half this amount. Apply two-thirds in spring and one-third in summer. Apply the manure in autumn so that, after breakdown, it is available to the plant from spring onwards.

  42. Hello Guy, This is a fabulous chart, such a great tool for the garden.

    I’m in the process of planning out a rotation crop calendar for the year and I’m wondering if I could please have a copy in Excel formula, not PDF.
    My reason is that I would like to add my own notes to it, things like companion plants, time to harvest from seed/seedlings, soil preferences etc.

    I’d also like to be able to filter/sort it by planting group/family, month, and lunar guide.

    We’ve moved house so I’m starting the whole garden from scratch and planning rather than haphazardly throwing anything in anywhere at anytime (albeit with reasonable success :o)

    Kind regards, Kim

    • Hi Kim,

      Sent.

      Guy

      • Hi Guy, I totally agree with Kim that this is a fabulous chart and I’d love an excel copy too. I’m also about to start a new garden from totally scratch – a building site where there has never been a garden, just compacted parking so it is going to be a real challenge to get the soil happy and start to plan layout.Your chart and advice will be a big help – I’m certainly going to need it. Regards, Anne

        • Hi Anne,

          Spreadsheet sent by email.

          Guy

        • Hi I’m in the same boat here my old house I had a small but nice little plot now working on a new one in a very big space all help and advice would be amazing please.

        • Hi Guy,
          I am completely beginner to planting. I have a disability and now wanting to set up a veggie patch at a height to grow some seasonal veggie and herbs. I also want to grow micro-greens and trying to find info for this.
          I feel very lucky and happy to have found your site as it’s amazing info.
          Thank you for such useful information.
          Could you please send me a version where I could view a larger version.
          Thank you and appreciate .

        • Hi Raj,

          The pdf version (https://localfoodconnect.org.au/wp-content/uploads/galleries/guide/planting-guide.pdf) should scale up nicely.

          Re microgreens: if you can afford $229, this device is a great little device for growing microgreens indoors: urbipod.

          Guy

  43. I would like to plant my brocolli in a ‘brocolli only’ row about 70cm from my eggplant location and around 1.6m from my 2 year old asparagus plant.

    How far does brocolli radiate soil problems around the root/other rows?

    Thanks for your previous assistance too, greatly appreciated

  44. Just found your page. Love it. I live in Swan Hill, North Western Vic. I think this chart will be pretty close for here. Are there any other differences?
    Cheers Brian

    • Thanks for your kind words, Brian. I would guess that the timings would suit Swan Hill reasonably well.

  45. Hi, my capsicums/eggplant and tomatoes have been in the ground since October 2019 and have really only just flowered. Should i protect the plants from frost?
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Shannon,

      Your capsicums and eggplants may well not produce mature fruit this year but, yes, if you protect them from frost, they may survive until next year.

      I don’t think that whether your tomatoes will produce mature fruit. They will die over Winter anyway.

  46. Hello!
    Is there a planting guide for south east melbourne?
    Thanks

    • South East Melbourne has a similar climate to North East Melbourne so the same planting guide applies.

  47. This is brilliant! I will print it and stick on my fridge?

    I am new to planting. I have bought a veggie box (about 2m x 1m). What do you recommend I plant in it? My garden has little to no shade, north facing.
    And what type of soil / fertiliser / manure do I need?

    Sorry, I’m asking a lot of you!

    • Keen to see the answer to this too!

    • Hi Nat,

      I did answer earlier but somehow my answer got lost.

      I suggest that you avoid all brassicas. A good and easy Winter crop is broad beans. Plus one or more of the leafy greens: lettuce, mizuna, mustard greens, rocket, silverbeet or spinach.

      Veggies grow best in compost, in which case you don’t need any additional fertiliser or manure in the first year. The problem with compost is that it disappears over time so each year you have to add more. I would suggest that you start with compost and then add soil (plus fertiliser or manure) in the second year.

      • Hi Guy.
        Just found this chart and it’s perfect, exactly what I was looking for. Reading this comment you mention avoiding brassicas and planting mustard greens, but I noticed that on the chart, mustard greens are listed as brassicas. Might want to look at that?
        Thank you for your hard work with this though!

        • Thanks, Kerryn.

          The reason that I recommended to Nat that she avoid brassicas is because some are difficult to grow. This is partly because they are often attacked by pests (particularly cabbage moth and aphids) and partly because the eating parts sometimes don’t develop properly (e.g. brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower). Mustard greens (and the other leafy green brassicas) are less affected by these problems.

  48. What about herbs in general? I have found parsley and basil. What about oregano, rosemary, dill, thyme and so on? Can I plant them whenever?

    • Hi Miriam,

      Herbs generally are not in the table because they are perennial and usually planted as seedlings rather than seeds. Parsley, basil and coriander are exceptions because they are annual and often planted as seeds. Here are my suggested timings for the planting of seeds of perennial herbs:

      Lemon balm: Oct or Nov.
      Lemongrass: Sep.
      Mint: Aug or Sep.
      Oregano: any time from Sep to May.
      Rosemary: Oct or Nov.
      Sage: Sep, Oct, Nov of Dec.
      Tarragon: Oct, Nov or Dec.
      Thyme: Aug.
      Vietnamese mint: Sep.

      I’ve never researched dill.

  49. Just checking for information on planting period for my dad.

  50. Hi Guy,

    Great guide you have provided!

    I have 4 quadrants in my patch (one has a large lemon tree at the back. I want to grow beetroot, beans, broccoli, capsicum, carrot, celery, cucumber, leek, lettuce, onion, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, silverbeet, corn, tomato and watermelon. Can you suggest what I should plant with each other in the separate quadrants?

    Thank you.

    Jo

    • Hi Jo,

      Cucumber, pumpkin, watermelon and corn in one bed. The cucurbits bed.

      Tomato and capsicum in another bed. The solanums bed.

      Beetroot, carrot, celery leek, onion and parsnip in another bed. The roots bed.

      Beans (in summer) and broccoli (in winter) in the fourth bed. The legumes/brassicas bed.

      Lettuce and silverbeet wherever you have space in any of the beds.

      Potatoes elsewhere, preferably in containers (once you plant them, they are really difficult to get rid of).

  51. When you say to plant tomatoes in August/September does this mean putting seeds in a tray at this time to plant out later or is this the time to plant out seedlings? I am very new at growing veggies.

    • Hi Keith,

      It is the time to plant the seeds.

      Guy

      • Okay, did you mean plant the seeds in the tray? Or straight into the garden? Thanks.

        • Hi Scott,

          Where the table says ‘seed trays’, that means plant the seeds in trays and keep in a greenhouse or undercover, planting out the seedlings in the garden at a later time. So, tomato seeds should initially be grown in seed trays and planted out later.

  52. Hi, great planting guide, but a pain in the proverbial to use (please no offense). If you can not provide floating bar showing the months, at least please make thicker vertical lines after every 3 months, so one does not have to count the months from the beginning, once the top of the chart disappears.

    Cheers, Ladislav.

    • Hi Ladislav,

      Your wish is my command! See the revised version above which will now automatically highlight the current month.

    • Hi Nat,

      I suggest that you avoid all brassicas. A good and easy Winter crop is broad beans. Plus one or more of the leafy greens: lettuce, mizuna, mustard greens, rocket, silverbeet or spinach.

      Veggies grow best in compost, in which case you don’t need any additional fertiliser or manure in the first year. The problem with compost is that it disappears over time so each year you have to add more. I would suggest that you start with compost and then add soil (plus fertiliser or manure) in the second year.

  53. I have just dug up some potatoes. What would be a good crop to plant in that bed please? I live in SW Victoria. Thank you

    • Hi Jane,

      You could plant any of the veggies that have a red circle in the February column or, even better given the current weather, wait a month or so and then choose from those that have a red circle in the March column. None of the possibilities in February and March are from the same family (solanums) as potatoes, so that’s good. Remember that, no matter how hard you have tried, you are bound to get some potatoes re-growing so I would avoid flimsy plants, such as carrots, which might inadvertently get destroyed as you pull out the potato re-growths.

  54. I think that, for vegetarians, growing seasonal vegetables is the best operation.

  55. I failed my vegie patch last year. Capsicums didn’t mature from flower and tomato plants were scrawny. I watered the patch with bore water that is brown and full of iron. Could this be poisoning the plants?

    • Try planting your capsicums and tomato plants later. We planted capsicums early which never grew and just stayed the same size. We then planted a 2nd lot in early October and they thrived. They need warmth. We are leaving planting until early October this year.

  56. A waxing or waning moon has no effect its gravitational pull. Moon phases are caused by illumination of the moon’s surface. When the moon, sun and Earth align, that’s when we see the biggest tides, and that’s at the new and full moon. See here for the science: https://moon.nasa.gov/overlay-phases/

  57. I think my potatoes would highly disagree with the chart on here. I’ve got Dutch cream, kipler and kestrel. All of them have been in a minimum of 6 weeks+. So I’m guessing that it’s a specific variety of spuds. Which 1 is it? I live in the Yarra valley. Which is north east of Melbourne.

    • Hi Woody,

      Thanks for your comment. I’ve had a chat with Gembrook Potatoes. Potatoes grow best over summer, and therefore the best time to plant them is in Spring. However, they can be sensibly planted in any month apart from Winter (June and July). Given that it is actually quite difficult to store potatoes successfully in Melbourne for long periods of time without them sprouting, succession planting throughout the year is a good approach. After thinking about all this, I have amended the guide to extend the planting period for potatoes.

  58. Hi all,

    I’ve been looking into increasing my winter food production and it occured to me that growing mushrooms might be worth a go. I’m just unsure as to how to go about it. I get the occasional field mushroom (see http://www.trufflemagic.com/blog/what-are-shrooms) which are very nice but I’d like more. Do I need to buy the spores? Or can I just pinch them from the existing mushroom population? Will I need to heat the growing area? I’ve got an old book on the topic but it insists that I need to make or purchase mushroom compost. Any advice or experience would be much appreciated.

    • You can buy innoculated grain spawn, or syringes or ready made kits from various companies. Aussie mushroom supplies are quite reputable and have a wide range of types available. Different mushrooms like to grow in different ways, but all need substrate for them to live off such as straw or woodchips or even new kitty litter. They need a humid, well-ventilated environment to produce the mushrooms, but when the mycellium is first colonising the substrate, it can be in a cupboard or under the couch etc. Collecting spore is something I haven’t any direct experience in but I know that you need a controlled environment, completely sterile and closed off from all the millions of competing fungi spores floating around in the air. You can use pieces of the mushroom mixed with cardboard or such however and continue to feed it more food (such as breaking up the colonised substrate, adding soaked sterilised bran and putting it in a new container) until it is large and strong enough to fruit. I can recommend Urban Kultures workshops on mushroom cultivation, they travel around the country and have a facebook community where people share ideas and seek help.. I am a part of a few online mushroom groups and the community is very supportive and open to sharing! Enjoy!

  59. My cats keep going to the bathroom in my veggie garden. I keep cleaning it up but will this affect my vegetables?

    • Yes. Shoot the cats and bury them in the garden.

      • LOL!!

        Or if you are not keen on killing kitty, sprinkle some coffee grounds and bury some tea bags in your soil. Should keep the cats off your patch.

        • Sadly doesn’t seem to work. They are not my cats and I think I’d get in trouble for shooting them. 🙂

          I’ve tried coffee, tea and a number of other ‘foolproof’ remedies but the only thing that works is a mesh tunnel over my raised beds.

        • Orange peel – just chopped up and sprinkled around. I also went to the Dingo Discovery Centre and purchased some dingo ‘poo/wee mix’ and painted that around the perimeter of my property. This worked a treat until we had a heavy rain.

  60. I am a beginner gardener and don’t know where to start. Can anyone help please 🙂

    • It depend what you like to eat, but first you have to prepare the garden with fertiliser or manure and get a garden calendar.

  61. Can I grow tomatoes in the same place year on year?
    Also is their anything that I can grow with tomatoes to assist with bug minimisation

    • Hi Dale,

      Re location: you should change where you grow your tomatoes each year, preferably as part of an organised crop rotation.

      Re companion plants: many people plant basil alongside their tomatoes.

      • Hi Dale,

        As Guy said, tomatoes and basil grow well together, basil protects tomatoes and they go well on your plate together too. Nasturtiums protect a lot of veggie plants, in particular, red and orange nasturtiums will deter aphids and yellow nasturtiums are a favourite meal for aphids, they are attracted to yellow nasturtiums, so plant yellow away from your patch and interplant red and orange in with the veggies.

        Re crop rotation, which is required so as to add and/replace nutrients to the soil, if you plant the same thing they will draw the nutrients out of the soil and nothing is replaced…therefore you will not have a good crop in a year or two and possibly some soil disease. If you have a small space, you can interplant with other plants which will not only help protect each other but will also add some nutrients to the soil…google interplanting with, whatever you want to grow, in your case, tomatoes.

        Just an FYI, you can grow tomatoes with asparagus, basil, any one of the cabbage family, carrots, parsly, onions, rosemary and sage … happy gardening:)

      • I had good results planting tomatoes in the same bed 3 years running. However I’d suggest rotating if you possibly can for better results.

        As for companion planting, I normally grow red/orange marigolds with the tomatoes – seems to help keep pests at bay.

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