Veggie seeds that can be planted in December

 

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

 PlantPlanting
method
Plant
spacing
Rotation
planting
group
Moon phase
planting
quarter
Plant
type
Asparaguscrowns30cmin its own bed3rdperennial
Beetrootsow direct20cmroots3rdbiennial grown as annual
Carrotsow direct10cmroots3rdbiennial grown as annual
Chivessow direct or in seed trays5cmanywhere3rdperennial
Cucumbersow direct2-3 in a moundcucurbits2ndannual
Beanssow direct7cm legumes2ndannual
Gourdsow direct2-3 in a moundcucurbits2ndannual
Lettucesow direct or in seed trays20cmanywhere1stannual or biennial
Mustard greenssow direct30cmbrassicas1stannual
Parsleysow direct20cmanywhere1stbiennial grown as annual
Potatotubers30cmsolanums3rdperennial grown as annual
Pumpkinsow direct2-3 in a moundcucurbits2ndannual
Radishsow direct5cm anywhere3rdannual
Silverbeetsow direct20cmanywhere1stbiennial
Sweetcornsow direct20cmcucurbits1stannual
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.

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!

  7 Responses to “Veggie seeds that can be planted in December”

  1. Is the 2nd quarter the full moon? Also why are some moon calendars saying that 2nd quarter is for root vegetables? Thanks.

    • Hi Slavica,

      The full moon is at the end of the 2nd quarter. All moon phase calendars that I have ever looked at have said that the 3rd (or, possibly, 4th) quarters are for root vegetables.

  2. Is 1st quarter the period from new moon to half moon?

    • Yes.

    • No, it’s New Moon till it’s a quarter moon. Cut an Orange or a pizza into quarters. Basic primary maths nothing sinister. When you understand it, and see it working, you will never go back. I don’t know how it works but it does. Old farmers and old fishermen taught me. I get quite anxious if I break the rules. Which from time to time I do. LOL.

  3. Wonderful advice. Thank you.

  4. Amazing, thanks.

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