Growing vegetables doesn't have to be a seasonal job and planting can be done outside of Spring. In many parts of Australia, you can grow vegetables and have a beautiful cottage garden in Winter as well. The only factor you need to address is which types of vegetables are going to thrive in your local climate.
Winter Veggies for Cool Climates
In Australia, you will find cool Winter climates like those in Tasmania, parts of Victoria, and higher altitude areas. These climates are great for planting a wide range of vegetables and herbs.
Herbs such as garlic, chives, lemongrass, coriander, mint, marjoram, parsley, oregano, shallots, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon will all thrive in these climates.
If you want to grow a particular type of herb which is not fit for cooler climates consider making a small herb garden indoors. But make sure to place your herb garden near a window so that the plants get enough sunlight. Growing herbs indoors provides protection from cold weather and gives you access to add some flavour to food.
If you want to have a Winter veggie and herb garden and you live in a cooler climate, consider planting:
- Broad beans
- Chinese broccoli
- Chinese cabbage
- English spinach
There are a lot of options when it comes to growing vegetables in Winter. If you live in an area affected by frost, you should focus on planting veggies that grow above the ground.
If you want to grow cabbages or cauliflower, make sure you place them in containers to protect them from frost. You can also make a sort of "blanket" for your vegetables using plastic to protect them overnight. Don’t forget to remove the protective plastic every morning so that the veggies get enough sun.
Winter Veggies for Temperate Climates
Coastal New South Wales, parts of Victoria, and Sydney are all regions with a temperate climate. If you want to have a Winter veggie garden in these regions, consider growing peas, English spinach, broad beans, and green beans. You can also grow a wide range of herbs including tarragon, thyme, oregano, parsley, coriander, marjoram, and garlic.
Winter Veggies for Dry Climates
In the dry, inland regions of Australia, temperatures can be quite low. However, there are plenty of vegetables and herbs that will thrive even in this type of climate. If you live in these dry parts of Australia you can grow almost all types of herbs but when it comes to veggies you should grow the following:
- Brussels sprouts
- Broad beans
Winter Veggies for Subtropical Climates
In the Subtropical parts of Australia, namely south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales, you can plant a wide range of vegetables and herbs. Most plants will thrive year round in this type of climate. However, the plants that will do best in these areas are peas, shallots, radishes, broad beans, lettuce, broccoli, spring onions, spinach, and turnips.
Winter Veggies for Tropical Climates
If you live in the Northern Territory, Northern Queensland, or parts of Western Australia, you are most certainly enjoying warm Winters. Whether you live in a dry or a wet tropical climate, you can grow a lot of different veggies and herbs including:
- Sweet potato
- Sweet corn
Keep in mind that this is just a partial list of veggies that you could plant in Winter and not a complete one. There are so many different vegetables and herbs that thrive in tropical Australian climate that it we couldn’t possibly list them all.
Tips and Tricks for Growing Veggies in Winter
First and foremost, every homeowner and gardening enthusiast should know that regardless of the season, veggies will thrive if they are planted in sunny locations. During the Winter months, the sun might be lower, so you should plant your veggies in a spot that will get as much sun as possible. It generally depends on the positioning of your house, so the sunniest spot might be near the fence or right in the middle of the garden.
There are many different ways to plant a veggie garden. You can plant one variety per row, or you can try companion planting, Before using modern pesticides, people had to find other ways to repel the garden pests, so they discovered companion planting. By planting certain herbs that have a strong smell like sage, oregano, lavender, or basil, you can prevent the unwanted pests from affecting your other veggies.
Additionally, planting different flowers, herbs, and vegetables together, can help them thrive. For instance, in tropical areas, tomatoes can be planted near carrots and beans. In cool and temperate areas, peas and broad beans can be planted together.
One of the main advantages of growing your own veggie garden is the fact that you can avoid using chemical pesticides and herbicides. In order for your garden to thrive without these harmful chemicals, you can follow these easy steps:
- Use natural feriliser
- Use water-retaining mulch or install dripping irrigation systems to minimise the water usage
- Create a good environment for those insects and birds that are friendly and prevent the garden pests.
- Use companion planting
- Use recycled materials as much as possible
When to Plant Winter Herbs and Veggies
The majority of gardening experts will recommend against planting Winter vegetables all at once. As a general rule, they recommend planting:
- Cabbages, artichokes, peas, beans, cabbages, garlic, dill, thyme, and radishes in June.
- Lettuce, chicory, parsnips, endive, radishes, kohlrabi, lettuce, shallots, radishes, and sage in July.
- Spring onions, garlic, artichokes, potatoes, asparagus, tomatoes, and beetroot in August.
Growing your own veggie garden is a great idea because it saves you money, is a source of healthy and organic food, and it also looks great. If you have a small garden, and you feel like there’s nothing that you can do with that space, you can always use it as an herb or a veggie garden. Although it might be a little bit difficult until you get the garden started, you will see that when the veggies start to grow, things will seem easier and it will be worth it.
Would you like to have a vegetable and herb garden that thrives in Winter but you simply don't have enough time on your hands? You can always hire a professional gardener who can offer you different gardening options and you can choose the one you like best.