You might think vegetables can only be grown in spring or summer. However, autumn, although a bit trickier, is a great time to grow plants that favour cooler climates and steady rain. Here’s our quick guide for what to grow and how in autumn.
Meet the brassica family. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, spinach and silver beet. They’re staples for autumn produce, and can be grown in most areas across Australia. Plant the seedlings at the start of March, mix in some dolomite and compost and these plants will have the nutrients they need.
Aside from basil, autumn is still the perfect time to plant herbs. Parsley, oregano, chives and coriander tend to love this time of year. For coriander and dill, it is an especially good season, as they don’t do well in hot climates.
Leafy greens such as kale and mustard seeds are simple to grow, and do not require much sunlight (2 – 3 hours of direct or indirect light at best). Kale, in particular, is dubbed the ‘super food’ vegetable, being high in vitamins and minerals. If you pick it leaf by leaf, it continues to harvest throughout the season.
Root vegetables such as potatoes, garlic, leeks, onions and turnips are also great in autumn. Consistent watering and good soil nutrition are key to their success. Hot tip: if you place a clove of fresh garlic in the soil, about 50mm deep, and forget about it, you may (or may not) have a new bulb come spring. Even if you come up empty handed, garlic roots are still great to use in cooking, so it’s win-win.
Podding peas, snow peas, bush beans and sugar-snap peas are available as bush types. Just make sure you grow the peas in frost free areas. Rig up a trellis or net for them to climb and plant seeds in direct sunlight.
Pests to Watch For
The arch nemesis of the brassica family is the cabbage white butterfly. Some swear by planting a Land Cress. The butterflies are attracted to it, but once they eat it, they die of toxicity. Others suggest sprinkling eggshells, but we don't think this is the most effective option. The best way to prevent the white butterfly and it's green caterpillars is to use a vegetable mesh or canopy. What plants do you plan to grow in autumn this year? Any you plan to grow in your Vegepod? We’d love to see some pics. Get in touch and send them our way.