autumn leaves

Photo by Arseny Togulev

March

March is the perfect time to plant Spring flowering bulbs such as Anemones, Belladonna Lilies, Daffodils, Crocus, Freesias, Hyacinths, Jonquils, Dutch Irises, Ranunculi and Tulips. In warmer areas it’s best to leave planting Hyacinths, Jonquils and Tulips until April.

Now is also a great time to plant an array of flower seeds for a Winter and early Spring colour display. Some of the most popular varieties include Calendula, Cornflower, Forget-me-not, Foxglove, Lavender, Lobelia, Pansy, Poppy, Stock and Sweet Pea.

Edibles to plant in the Autumn include members of the Onion family, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Parsnip, Spinach, Swede and Turnip. Give priority to slow maturing varieties such as Cabbage, Broccoli and Parsnip.

Prepare the soil well before planting root crops such as Swede, Parsnip and Carrot. They like porous, compost rich soil dug to a good depth. Avoid adding animal manure before planting these crops as it encourages split or forked roots. Ideally sow them where Corn and Tomatoes have just grown.

Continue making successive sowings of quick maturing vegetables such as Asian greens (Bok Choi, Pak Choi, Mizuna), Carrots, Lettuce, Radish, Silverbeet and Spring Onion. Many herbs also enjoy the cooler conditions so it’s a great time to plant Parsley, Chives, Mint, Oregano and Thyme. And why not try growing Strawberries from seed now for an early harvest next Summer.

April

Vegetables to plant now include peas, parsnips, carrots, onions, broccoli, cabbage, kale and spinach. Continue making successive sowings of quick maturing vegetables such as Asian greens (Bok Choi, Pak Choi, Mizuna), Lettuce, Radish, Silverbeet and Spring Onion. Many herbs also enjoy the cooler conditions so it’s a great time to plant Parsley, Chives, Mint, Oregano and Thyme.

Make sure you plant some Sweet Peas before Anzac Day. They like rich soil and full sun and need some type of support such as trellis or a fence. Also plant Winter and Spring flowering seeds now such as Alyssum, Calendula, Cosmos, Foxglove, Nemesia, Snapdragon, Poppies and Pansies.

You can still plant Spring flowering bulbs such as Daffodils, Crocus, Freesias, Hyacinths, Jonquils, Dutch Irises, Ranunculi and Tulips. Even in warmer areas temperatures are getting cool enough to plant heat sensitive bulbs such as Hyacinths and Tulips. Some produce bulbs are also in season now, including most potatoes, garlic and shallots, so plant them now for a late Winter harvest. Bulbs need little care and attention, but always ensure they have adequate drainage for best performance.

May

May is a delightful time of the year, with cool mornings perfect for planting, mulching and composting, and warm afternoons for potting.

Plant Nasturtiums now for a burst of colour in late Winter and early Spring. In sub-tropical climates you can also plant flowering annuals such as Alyssum, Calendula, Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Cornflower, Delphinium, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lobelia, Pansy, Snapdragon, Stock, Sweet Pea and Viola.

In Northern Australia start planting Tomatoes and Eggplant now, and in Southern Australia make sowings of cool loving vegetables such as Cabbage, Kale, Savoy Cabbage, Turnip, Swede, Celeriac and Parsnip. In most areas May is a great time to sow Broad beans, Spinach, Lettuce and Onions.

Flower bulbs to plant now include Bearded Iris and Alstroemerias, and you can still plant Daffodils, Crocus, Freesias, Hyacinths, Jonquils, Dutch Irises, Ranunculi and Tulips in most areas. Several produce bulbs are also in season including most potatoes, garlic and shallots, so plant them now for a late Winter harvest. 

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