Wondering if you can plant in Autumn? It’s the time of year when the washing starts flapping in the breeze and we start to relax, knowing the worst of the heat is over. Many Australians might think their sun-worn veggie patch can also rest easy for the cool season. For most areas of Australia, however, Autumn is another great planting season. If you know which veggies grow well in the cooler weather, your veggie patch can produce crops right through autumn and winter. So with the extra energy the cool breezes deliver, why not take a trip to your nearest nursery to select some cool-weather veggies to grow in your Birdies Raised Garden Bed this Autumn?
Because our country stretches from the chilly southern reaches of the globe to the almost-equatorial, there are five basic planting zones that help us identify what to plant in Autumn in our area:
Whichever zone you’re in, give your soil a feed before you dive into your new planting season. Dig up a sandier, well-drained area for your carrots and beetroots and make sure there are no lumps. You could also throw some green manure into one of your Birdies Raised Garden Beds, for digging in closer to spring-time.
For Autumn planting, deep-rooted vegetables like brassicas (such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, including the Chinese cabbages) and leafy greens (spinach, kale and silverbeet, and cold-weather lettuces) will do well in most areas. Root and bulb vegetables love the cool season also – potatoes, beetroot, radishes, carrots, onions and leeks are a good choice – and plant your garlic now for harvest in six months. Herbs like coriander, parsley and thyme can be planted too, without the worry that they’ll burn or bolt to seed.
If you live in zones 1–3, you can add almost anything to the above list – that means tomatoes, corn, zucchini, cucumbers and basil are all in for the cooler or dry season.
If you’re in zones 4–5, consider whether you get frost in winter. Brassicas such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts love frost, and root vegetables such as carrots and turnips actually get sweeter with a dose of frost here and there. Lettuce, however, won’t like it much, so you may want to cover it for the frosty period.
For zone 4 gardeners, your Mediterranean weather is perfect for growing olives and figs, and Autumn is the perfect time to transplant them. This is the same for citrus trees (which grow well in sub-tropical and temperate areas) and any evergreens in need of transplanting. In those frosty areas, wait for winter to plant deciduous trees such as plums and apples.
We hope you join us in the garden for Autumn planting – it’s a perfect time of year to be out in it. With a little effort now, we’ll be harvesting edibles and providing our families with nutritious home-grown meals throughout winter. Bonus!