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What to plant in Melbourne's autumn

Garden advice
What to plant in Melbourne's autumn
All Green
All Green
March 19, 2021
minute read

Your Melbourne planting guide for March, April and May

Autumn is the time when you prepare your garden for a bountiful spring. Think about which winter vegetables you'd like and the herbs that will complement the delicious dishes you'll be able to make with your home-grown garden produce.

In autumn, it's also time to plan which flower bulbs and shrubs you can plant to get that splash of colour in the spring.

At All Green Nursery & Garden, we have seeds, bulbs, and seedlings to plant in autumn in our nursery. You'll also find all of the potting mix and garden tools you need to prepare for a bountiful spring garden.

Vegetables to plant in autumn


Autumn is time to plant vegetable seedlings and any seed vegetables that you want to harvest from your garden in a few months.

Many green leafy vegetables grow best when planted in cooler weather.

  • In March, you can start by planting carrots, leek, rocket, and bok choy.
  • Early autumn is the best time for brassica vegetables like broccoli, kale and cauliflower.
  • In mid-autumn, you can plant beetroot, brussel sprouts, spinach and radish.
  • As autumn ends in May, it's time to plant peas, sweet peas, garlic and Jerusalem artichoke.

Brassica vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower prefer plenty of nitrogen. Using rich compost or manure helps these seedlings grow into strong and healthy plants.

Another top gardeners' tip is to use eggshell in the garden to deter pests like snails, caterpillars, and slugs from attacking the seedlings.

Which autumn plants grow from seeds?

Vegetables that grow best from seed tend to give results quickly — so plant these seeds for vegetables you can eat through the autumn and winter.

Leafy greens like rocket, spinach, pak choi, collards and lettuce grow best from seeds planted in autumn and sheltered from strong sunlight.

Radishes are one of the fastest-growing autumn vegetables. Planting radish seeds in any month of autumn will give you plants within just a few weeks — all you have to do is keep the soil moist and aerated. Spinach is another fast-growing vegetable that will grow edible leaves quickly, especially large-leafed varieties.

Onions are another autumn vegetable that is best grown from seed. Various onion styles will be ready to eat at different times, so planting a variety will give you options for your cooking throughout the season. While you wait for the crop to mature, you can snip at the leafy green tops at any time to use as an addition to salads and other dishes.

Starting a herb garden in autumn

herbs garden

Autumn is the bests time to plant herbs — you can grow herbs even if you live in a small space! Herbs grow fastest when propagated from stem cuttings, but you can also grow them from seeds.

Herbs that grow from cuttings include rosemary, lemongrass, oregano and thyme. Basil is also best grown from cuttings taken from a tasty plant with a strong flavour.

Here's how to start a herb garden in autumn:

  1. To get started, snip a stem from a mature plant and put the cutting into water.
  2. In time, the cutting will grow roots which will permeate throughout the growing media.
  3. Once it has a root system, you can transplant it to a garden or pot.

You can get herb cuttings from a friend or even cut a section of a herb plant purchased at the supermarket. Green cuttings will grow better than older brown stems. Cuttings from a healthy herb plant with good flavour will produce plants that have the same delicious taste.

Other herbs are best grown from seeds, such as parsley, coriander and dill.

Shrubs and flowers to plant in autumn


A vibrant garden in springtime requires a little autumn planning.

March, April and May are the optimal time to plant cuttings of shrubs and flowers. Plants can establish through the winter before the growth period of spring.

Geraniums, succulents and banksias can all be propagated from cuttings and then planted in potting mix in pots or your garden.

Bulbs to plant in autumn

The autumn months are the best time to plant bulbs such as daffodils, freesias and jonquils.

Late in the autumn, when the soil is cooled, is the time to plant tulips. Tulip and daffodil bulbs like to be placed deep — a general rule of thumb is to plant bulbs twice a deep as the bulb is high. The pointy side of the bulb should point upwards.

Tulips like to be in a sunny location. Daffodils thrive in full sun or dappled shade, such as under a deciduous tree. Tulips and daffodils can grow either in the garden or in a pot. Wide, shallow containers with good drainage and high-quality potting mix will give the best flowers.

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