There are innumerable benefits to planting and eating seasonal vegetables. Veggies grow better when planted at certain times of the year, have peak nutritional content at their optimum ripeness, and are far tastier, too!
If you’re planning on planting a veggie garden in Melbourne, it pays to know a thing or two about the climate, and to plant seasonally. In this article, we’ll walk through the dos and don’ts of planting vegetables in Melbourne, from the best way to a wonderful warm season crop to growing delicious vegetables in the bleak midwinter.
As well as showing you when to plant vegetables in Melbourne, we’ll also give you tips on companion planting, how to get rich soil, and get great success all year round.
At All Green, we have an enormous number of vegetable plants for sale. From sweet potatoes to tomato seedlings, you’ll be astonished at our incredible range. Check out our stock online, or pop into one of our stores to see the plants for yourself. You can also get great advice from our friendly team of experts.
General vegetable planting guide: Melbourne’s climate
People from overseas tend to have a picture in mind when they envision the Australian climate. They think of neverending sunshine and beautiful warmth day after day. Well, while that might be true in some parts of the country, the climate in Melbourne can be rather different!
While Melbourne has its share of lovely sunny days, it’s also known for strong cold fronts and changeable weather conditions. Only somebody who hasn’t been to Melbourne before would dare to leave the house without at least a light jacket, no matter how picturesque the conditions might seem. That weather isn’t just impactful to the way we dress; it also impacts how we garden.
Melbourne has a temperate oceanic climate, similar to cities like Montevideo and San Jose, and these cities match closely with when to plant vegetables in Melbourne. There is occasional extreme heat in summer, but less so than in other parts of the country. There’s also comparably little humidity.
There are different kinds of soil across Melbourne. In the northeast, you’ll find loamy grey soils that are full of clay and require lots of nutrients. In the northwest, heavy clay soils are more common. And the Dandenong Ranges and Mornington Peninsula are blessed with nutrient-rich soil - damp, loamy, and just right for grapes.
To get the best out of our vegetable planting guide for Melbourne, check what kind of soil you have in your garden and see if it needs to be replaced or replenished.
Melbourne spring vegetable garden planting guide: leafy greens, root vegetables
Springtime in Melbourne is a delight, with flowers blooming and many sunshowers. Spring begins in September and stretches through to November — although some years, by mid-November things might start to get a bit summery.
To prepare your garden for spring, begin by harvesting (and enjoying) any vegetables from winter that are left over. Then remove invasive weeds that may have crept in while you weren’t looking. To get your soil up to scratch, you may want to spread compost or fertiliser (or both) over the planting area, and mix it in. There’s nothing vegetables love more than compost-rich soil!
Many different vegetables will grow well in Melbourne over the spring, like carrots, capsicums, cucumbers, chillies, cabbages, cauliflowers, and celery, and that’s just the ones that start with the letter ‘c’. Some of our other favourite things to grow in Melbourne in springtime include:
- Sweet corn
Melbourne summer vegetable garden planting guide
Melbourne’s summer months are between December and February, and like other parts of Australia, they can get frightfully hot. Many vegetables can be effectively planted during these warmer months, but it’s important to keep the heat in mind; ensure that you install plenty of shade and make use of effective watering.
Cucumbers are versatile and relatively easy to care for. They love the sun, but the Australian summer can be a bit much even for them, so give them a little shade if planting during our hot months.
If you’d like to practise companion planting and enhance the growth of two plants at once, both corn and sunflowers will work as excellent natural trellises for your cucumber vines.
A note of caution: Watch out when growing cucumbers; after a certain point, bigger does not mean better. Too-large cucumbers can taste bitter. It’s better to get them when they’re delicious and a bit smaller.
Yes, technically, tomatoes aren’t vegetables — they’re fruits. And yet a tomato plant is still the thing that most people think of when considering vegetables to grow in summer. There are so many benefits when you plant tomatoes: you can eat them straight from your garden, or conserve them and make your own tomato sauce (or even a chutney).
Although tomatoes grow during summer, our hot tip is to plant them a bit earlier in the year. That way, they’ll be able to grow for longer, and you’ll get bigger tastier tomatoes. Try to get them in the ground before the Melbourne Cup, if you can.
You wouldn’t necessarily think of planting Brussels sprouts in summer — they seem like more of a cold-weather food. But don’t let that fool you! For a great crop, Brussels sprouts should be sown in late summer, because they need a long time to grow (over 100 days).
Melbourne autumn vegetable garden planting guide
When it comes to planting vegetables in season, Melbourne gardeners are spoiled for choice in autumn. And with the right autumn planting guide, you can achieve incredible things.
Looking for a quick payoff from your autumnal planting? Try radishes. They’re one of the autumn vegetables that grow most quickly. No matter which month of autumn you decide to plant radishes in, you’ll have beautiful plants ready for eating in just a few weeks. Do ensure though that the soil is aerated and also nice and moist.
Different kinds of onions develop at different rates, so here’s a top tip for planting them in autumn; plant a variety of different types of onions, and they’ll mature at different times. That way, you’ll have a dynamic and changing roster of onions ready to go over several weeks.
In Melbourne, Autumn is the best time of year to plant herbs. You can grow herbs of all kinds in Melbourne, like:
Melbourne winter vegetable garden planting guide: seed potatoes, leafy greens and more
Don’t let Melbourne’s drab and grey winter get you down. By following our Melbourne vegetable planting guide for the cold months and growing your vegetables, your spirits will be lifted by the springing forth of new life from your garden bed.
Winter vegetables can be some of the most delicious, and nothing improves the look of a garden as much as the sight of winter veggies springing through the soil. Here are some ideas for things to plant in Melbourne between June and August.
When it comes to leafy greens, summer can be a bit too intense in Australia. But leafy green vegetables are the perfect choice for planting during the winter months. Growing edible plants like silverbeet and spinach tend to be winners in any veggie patch.
Peas grow beautifully in Melbourne when they don’t have to contend with the summer heat. Many different kinds of peas will work, from snow peas to English peas. We’re peas-ed to say that the pea is one of our favourite options for growing veggies in Melbourne.