Starting a personal vegetable garden doesn’t just ensure you have enough fresh food to eat. It can also combat anxiety, depression, and improve your mental health.
If you are looking for a way to stay active, healthy, and learn a life-saving hobby then get outside to start growing some of your own autumn vegetables.
Read on to discover what to plant and how to prepare and care for your garden.
Setting Up a Garden
The temperature in Melbourne during autumn is considered mild, however, nighttime can get chilly. That is why you want to choose a location for your garden so your plants soak up enough sunlight during the day. This is especially important in the fall where the average hours of sunlight are only 6 hours in March, 5 hours in April, and 4 hours in May on average.
Next, you want to create your beds to lay your soil. Raised beds allow you to add your own mixtures of organic soil and compost, which makes your soil rich in vital nutrients.
Putting your garden above the ground keeps pests from venturing into your garden. Surround your beds with a wire fence to further protect it from hungry critters.
Prepare your compost year-round using a bin to collect household organic waste. Mix your broken-down compost with your soil to create an airy nutritious soil.
One of the most important tips for growing vegetables is to ensure you have a proper water source. The right amount of water is essential to growing healthy plants.
Use a drip irrigation system, a soaker hose, or a sprinkler to automatically water your plants daily. They can be set on a timer and adjust to release enough water to soak your plants without overwatering them.
Choosing Your Plants
The best vegetables to plant in autumn should be able to handle the cooler temperatures and less rainfall. Therefore, most of your plants will be either herbs, underground rooted vegetables, leafy greens, or other veggies that have a thick protective exterior.
Use this vegetable planting guide to know what to grow and how to choose which method of cultivation is best.
Many types of herbs can be easily grown as they spread and thrive in abundant sun, and some can handle a range of watering schedules. They also grow super fast so you don’t have to worry about small plants getting broken while they grow.
Their speed and strength mean that they can be planted directly into the soil. Herbs are also great for a potted garden. Just consider how large the plant will grow to choose the appropriate size planter container.
Some herbs that grow well in the cooler months of autumn include:
- Coriander (March and April)
- Parsley (March, April, and May)
- Dill (May)
- Fennel (March, April, and May)
- Chives (March, April, and May)
- Rosemary (March, April, and May)
- Thyme (March, April, and May)
- Mint (March, April, and May)
- Sage (March, April, and May)
If you are concerned about direct sowing then you can start your herbs in a smaller pot. Most herbs don’t mind being transplanted to the ground once they are large enough.
Keeping your plants warm during autumn in Melbourne is the trickiest part about gardening in the cooler season. Planting vegetables that grow under the soil ensures that they are toasty even during a possible frost.
Most root vegetables can be planted directly into the soil as well. Potatoes use a tuber method to cover the stems with mounds of dirt. Garlic uses already grown cloves as seed. You can place garlic in water to initiate the growth of new roots or plant them directly into the soil. Both potatoes and garlic can be planted March through May.
Other root vegetables for autumn planting include:
- Onion (May)
- Beetroot (March and April)
- Carrot (March, April, and May)
- Raddish (March, April, and May)
- Shallots (March, April, and May)
- Turnip (March, April, and May)
Since they are emerged within the soil they soak up its nutrients. Eating these vegetables fills your body with vitamins and minerals as well as immune-boosting antioxidants.
They grow thick and tough under the ground which makes them a good source of carbohydrates and fiber.
Leafy greens might be the most nutritious vegetables in your garden as they are full of vitamins A, C, and K. Plus they contain folate (a B vitamin that creates red and white blood cells to provide oxygen to your body and fight off infection.
Adding these power veggies to your diet can fight obesity, lower blood pressure, and make your heart strong.
Some leafy greens to plant in your garden include:
- Lettuce (March, April, and May)
- Kale (March, April, and May)
- Brussel Sprouts (March and April)
- Mizuna (March, April, and May)
- Mustard Seeds (March, April, and May)
- Pok Choy (March, April, and May)
- Spinach (March, April, and May)
- Cabbage (March, April, and May)
They grow partially underground, which also protects them from cool weather.
Some vegetables that have thick stalks and a protective shell to shield them from the cold. They include:
- Broccoli (March, April, and May)
- Cauliflower (March, April, and May)
- Peas (March and April)
- Broad Beans (March, April, and May)
Include these vegetables in your garden for more protein and flavor added to your meals.
Getting the right Autumn Vegetables Supplies
Before you start planting autumn vegetables you should first get your list of supplies. You will need more than just seeds and soil.
Get your hardware, mulch, and fertilizers to have a successful growing season. Visit our shop to get your garden tools delivered right to your home.