Subtropical Zone - warm humid summers

What to do in the garden


Winter, with its pleasant mild days and cooler nights, is a wonderful time to focus on the vegetable garden. The vegetable garden should be in full production now after autumn sowings and transplanting. As you start to harvest crops, improve soil with a light application of fertiliser and compost before filling the gaps with small fast growing plants like chicory/radicchio, choy sum, coriander, corn salad/mache, endive, ice plant, landcress, lettuce, mibuna, mizuna, miner’s lettuce, pak choy/bok choy, radish, rocket and tatsoi.

I’m a great fan of sowing vegetable seed directly into drills in the garden. At several stages you will have to thin out the seedlings to let them grow without competition. Some ‘thinnings’ end up in a salad, but most of them can be carefully planted into the gaps that appear. After renovating garden beds and sowing seed, net or cover areas to minimise disturbance from curious bush turkeys, bandicoots and cats.

It's important to keep an eye on soil moisture. Evaporation is low this time of year and we can get heavy dews in the morning. The soil can look quite moist, yet can be bone dry below the surface. Poking a finger down into the bed is great way to make a quick assessment, but often a dig with a trowel will provide a much better gauge. Rainfall will now start to trail off until the rains arrive again in November, so a good hand watering or an automatic irrigation system will be needed in most areas to keep the garden in full production. Water the garden in the morning to ensure foliage is dry by nightfall. Cucurbits are subject to powdery mildew this time of year and many gardeners remove this by applying a milk spray (1 part organic full cream milk to 10 parts water).

Continue to lightly mulch the vegetable garden with coffee grounds, lucerne or well-composted stable manure.

Grow tender leafy greens over winter and enjoy dishes featuring chicory, mustard greens, purslane, endive, mizuna, purslane, rocket and spinach. Spinach thrives in the cooler winter months, grows quickly and the leaves are ready to harvest successively from plants in only 3 weeks. Cut leaf varieties, particularly ‘Galilee’ are easier to grow. Warrigal greens (New Zealand Spinach) are also a good mainstay, so keep a large patch going to provide juicy shoots for most of the year.

Arno King, 

Brisbane, QLD

Seeds to Sow Now

Seeds to sow now if you live in areas like Byron BayBrisbane and Rockhampton, or places where there are 42-46 weeks a year or more with temperatures over 15°C and high summer rainfall.


Sow now

Asparagus, broad beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, celtuce, chervil, chives, choko, coriander, corn, dill, Florence fennel, kailaan (Hong Kong broccoli), kale, kohl rabi, leek, lettuce, mint, mustard greens, NZ spinach (warrigal greens), onion, orach, pak choy,  parsley, parsnip, peas, potato, radish, sage, salad rocket, silver beet, spinach, spring onion, swede, tatsoi, thyme, tomato, turnip.

If you would like to add this seasons seeds to your shopping cart automatically, CLICK HERE

Also plant: 

Burdock, chicory (raddichio), choy sum, collards, corn salad (mache), cress, daikon (mooli), fenugreek greens,  landcress, mibuna, purslane.

More >>

Vegetable Growing Tips

Starting a vegetable garden

- Choose an area that gets full sun and is not too far away from your house. The mid-winter dash to the vegie patch will be easier! 

- A good, healthy soil is the foundation to success so focus on improving the soil before you do any plantings. 

- Know what to sow, when to sow and how. Every vegetable seed has its own growing requirements. We offer a beautiful heirloom Seed Sowing Guide here and a 2018 Gardeners Diary with space for seed packets, garden plans and notes here.

How to sow seeds

How to improve your vegie garden soil

Back To Top
Member Exclusives
Old World Rose Collection
Old World Rose Collection
Cultivate romance in your garden with an easy collection of heirloom bare root roses both fragrant and dreamy. Collection includes three old world rose varieties 'Crepuscule', 'Souvenir De La Malmaison' and climber 'Veilchenblau' for wonder and beauty.
Member $49.95
Checking stock, please wait..
The Two Muscatels Grape Collection
The Two Muscatels Grape Collection
A duo of our most popular muscat grape varieties. Suited to eating as both a table grape, or used to make highly aromatic wine, this white and black combo is the perfect partnership for your garden and table.
Member $30.00
Non-Member $74.85
Checking stock, please wait..
2yr membership +FREE vegie seeds
2yr membership +FREE vegie seeds
Membership: MNE2VS
Grow the best tasting vegies with free Tomato 'Tigerella, Beetroot 'Bulls Blood, Silverbeet 'Fordhook' and Spring Onion 'Red' seeds (one packet of each, valued at $21).
Member $79.00
Non-Member $79.00
Checking stock, please wait..