Warm season crops

There is a wonderful array of summer loving vegetables that thrive with the long days, sunshine and heat of summer.

As summer approaches, the days are getting longer, the weather is warming up and it’s time to get in your summer loving crops (also known as warm season crops). There is a wonderful array of vegetables that love long, hot days and produce an abundant harvest that is indicative of summer. 

Warm weather and frost-free nights bring the vegetable gardening season into full swing. Summer vegetables are grown primarily for their fruits (rather than leaves or roots) and many will continue producing throughout the season with a little care. If you’re new to gardening, summer vegetables can be a great way to get started with a small garden plot or a few pots on the verandah. 

Warm season vegetables like plenty of sunshine to produce a good crop. It requires a great deal of energy to produce their fruit. Increased hours of direct sun results in more flavourful vegetables. 

Soil temperatures need to have warmed adequately for seeds to germinate and for seedlings to grow well. Soil temperatures are ideal between 18 and 28°C for the seeds to germinate. A soil thermometer is a great way to monitor the temperature of your soil. 

 

Here are some of the warm season vegetables that grow from seed that you can start to think about sowing now:

Capsicum and Chilli

Capsicum - Needs soil temperatures between 18-28°C to germinate. Heirloom varieties produce their crop earlier and have higher yields than commercial hybrids.

Chilli - Soil temperatures need to be between 25-35°C for chilli seeds to germinate. Can produce loads of chillies in a long, hot summer.

More >>

Squash and Zucchini

Squash - Very productive and easy to grow. Great for beginner gardeners.

Zucchini - Another easy vegetable to grow, harvest in just 6 weeks from sowing. Great for beginners and a couple of plants will produce more than enough.

More >>

Cucumber

Easy and fast to grow. Let them sprawl or grow up a trellis. Ideal in a summer salad.

More >>

Corn

Likes a long warm summer and are at their sugary and juicy best when picked and eaten fresh.

More >>

Tomato

A summer favourite with so many different shapes, sizes, and colours to choose from. A must for a summer vegie patch.

More >>

Eggplant

Eggplants require more heat than tomatoes but grow in very similar conditions. Slow growing and require a long hot summer to reach maturity.

More >>

Pumpkin

Love a long, warm season, deep organic soils and plenty of water while growing. Will reward you with delicious, long-lasting fruit.

More >>

Beans

Climbing, runner and bush beans. These fast growing annuals need to be sown after the risk of frost has passed. Harvested regularly you will have beans all summer long.

More >>

Melons

Fragrant and delicious - need lots of heat to grow and ripen.

More >>

Summer herbs & edible flowers

Basil is an essential herb in a summer vegetable garden. Other annual herbs that love the heat are parsley, chives and chervil

Don’t forget to plant some edible flowers to attract pollinators, beneficial insects and increase biodiversity to your garden.

Summer Garden Care

By following a few simple practices, your summer garden will thrive:

Compost - a garden enriched with compost has more of an ability to retain water and nutrients and make these available to plants. Compost also increases the number and variety of microorganisms in the soil which enhances plant health and growth.

Water - deep watering is a must for summer crops to grow and produce a good harvest. Water in the morning or later in the evening to avoid watering in the heat of the day.

Mulch - mulching around the plants not only assists in moisture retention but insulates the roots of the plants and adds organic matter to the soil, helping to build its structure. Mulching will give your plants a great chance of success.

Harvest - regular harvesting promotes new fruit which will prolong the fruiting season. You can be harvesting fresh produce right throughout summer. 

 

Summer is a great time to be outdoors and tending to and harvesting from your vegetable garden. Even a few vegetables growing in pots can delight with a summer harvest.

More

A year’s supply of vegetables for two in just 20m2

Ryan Garratt and Sam Hidalgo anticipate the huge yields at Heronswood this summer

Beyond organics… exploring harmonic agriculture

Luca Foglietti shares his personal philosophies on combining science and ancient wisdom in our organic seed production.

Caring for your summer vegie garden

Follow all our top tips on caring for your vegetable patch this summer.

Choosing Beautiful, Edible Plants

Bernadette Brady talks about creating art with vegetables at Heronswood

Companion Planting

Designing your own garden

Andrew Laidlaw, landscape architect at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, shares a step-by-step design guide for home gardeners.

Garden Pyramid

Clive Blazey explains the Diggers guide — our Garden Pyramid

Garden Recovery After A Bushfire

Where to start? What do you need to know? Join Sophie Thomson for all you need to know after the bushfire has passed.

Gardening with Flowers

Choosing the best Diggers selections for the cutting garden

Grow Your Own Berries

Tim Sansom gives his tips on pruning and training for success with your cane fruit crop

Grow Your Own Food (Early Summer)

Bernadette Brady helps you start growing your own food in just 1-3 weeks

Grow Your Own Organically

Bernadette Brady explains how we make 'weed tea', control pests and serve organic food in our restaurants

How to drought proof your garden

How to drought proof your garden

Improving your soil

Improving your soil

Maximising yield by summer pruning fruit trees

Julian Blackhirst explains the essentials to improve yields from your orchard.

Moon Planting

St Erth's head gardener Julian Blackhirst explains the lunar planting cycle

Plant Ratios for the Backyard

Clive Blazey's thoughts on providing the right balance of plants in your backyard

Q&A - Green Manures

Trials manager Ian Magnus answers questions about using green manures to boost soil fertility and water retention

Q&A - Mulch

Bill Bampton, head gardener at Heronswood, explains our success with making and using mulch

Q&A - Seeds

Seed manager Evette Jungwirth answers your questions about growing from seed successfully

Q&A - Soils

Hugh Hunkin answers your questions about soils and why they are at the root of most gardening problems

Soft green succulents for a lush green garden

Bill Bampton transforms Heronswood’s gravel garden

Spring Gardening

Bernadette Brady recommends getting your hands dirty with some tasks in the spring garden

Subtropical Growing Zone

Tim Sansom explains the heat generated by “Hot Zone” discussions

The “Hauteculture” of Espalier

Bill Bampton talks about turning an untidy orchard into a bountiful border

The best flower selections for ‘This goes with that’ summer borders

Clive Blazey, author of ‘The Complete Guide to the Flower Garden’, discusses the power of intelligent combination

Tips for keeping your plants healthy throughout the seasons

With air-conditioning becoming the norm in many homes across Australia, we asked indoor plant expert Jason Chongue to share his top tips to growing indoor plants in all seasons.

Tomato Growing Problems

Caromy MacDougall explains some common tomato growing problems and how to minimise them

Veganics and plant-based living

Plant-based living launches Veganics The vegan movement is gathering momentum for many reasons from animal welfare to climate change, and this is creating a wave of change across all industries from wine, to clothing and even gardening.
Back To Top
Member Exclusives
2022 Gardening Diary and Calendar Combo
2022 Gardening Diary and Calendar Combo
BOOKS: ADIAC22
2022 Gardening Diary & Calendar Combo The complete garden combo for 2022! The beautifully illustrated Diggers Club Diary features a week to a page, seeds to sow each month, blank pages for seasonal observations, and handy pockets for your seed packets and plant labels, while The Diggers Calendar showcases stunning garden photography to inspire y...
Member $35.00
Checking stock, please wait..
A YEAR OF VEGIES - SEED BOX
A YEAR OF VEGIES - SEED BOX
SEEDS: S921
18 SEED PACKETS: The gift that keeps on giving for a year. This collection will guarantee 12 months of heirloom veges. The recipient will receive seeds for each season ensuring a supply of heirloom vegetables. The pack contains a total of 18 packets of vegetables seeds (Beetroot, Bean, Broccoli, Carrot, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Onion, Pea, Silverbe...
Member $59.95
Checking stock, please wait..
2 year membership + Garden Calendar and 2 Seed Packets
2 year membership + Garden Calendar and 2 Seed Packets
Membership: MNE2CA2
Join the club and receive an exclusive gift, valued at $30. A stunning calendar featuring key dates, a guide to which seeds to sow each month and plenty of space to add your own events. Plus two free packets of some popular seeds – Tomato 'Black Cherry' and Lettuce Heirloom Mix.
Member $79.00
Non-Member $79.00
Checking stock, please wait..