At the beginning of lockdown, we all picked up a few extra habits to keep us occupied. Some baked sourdough, some got really into Animal Crossing, and others decided now was the time to start prepping for the apocalypse by starting war time victory gardens to keep ourselves sustained if all of society should collapse into Mad Max-style anarchy.
Well, things haven’t quite fallen apart to that degree (yet) but those amateur farmers out there are probably realising that a garden, much like a puppy, is for life, not just Christmas. If you’ve managed to get your first harvest (or at least a few greens to bump up your salads) and you’re keen to start munching some summer veg, now is the perfect time to get planting. Here are the easiest and best plants you can grow.
Australia is divided up into 6 climate zones – tropical, subtropical, arid/semi-arid, warm temperate, and cold temperate.
Certain areas of the country are only going to be able to support certain veggies but generally this list works for most of the country. Still, it’s best to double check the specifics of your area before planting.
Generally, if you’re getting direct sun for at least 6 hours a day and you can water your plants regularly, you should be okay.
Green beans: hardy, easy, and quick to grow. Come in either bush or pole variety which will need something to grow up.
Bok choy: loves some full sun but can be scorched by harsh heat so be prepared to shade these guys and water frequently.
Beetroot: grown best from seed but go easy on the watering when young. You can actually eat both the bulb and the leaves so double points here.
Capsicum: germinate seeds in smaller separate containers and transplant to a larger site when they’re around 10cm high. Don’t plant too close as they get big quickly!
Chillies: same as the capsicum (which is actually the same type of plant) but make sure to give chillies as much heat and sun as possible for maximum spice.
Spring onions: plant seeds every few weeks to get a continuous crop. Fast growing and a great addition to any salad or stir fry.
Tomatoes: a backyard staple. Start them off in small containers and plant the biggest, strongest plants in a warm space with plenty of room. Will need a cage to support full growth.
Cucumber: super easy to grow and loves full sun. Make sure to water thoroughly and prepare for them to travel as they vine out everywhere.
Radish: crunchy salad additions that thrive in full sun and lots of water. Can grow in around 4 weeks in perfect conditions. Sow every few weeks to extend the harvest.
Rocket: spread seeds out well and make sure to harvest the leaves regularly to stop it going to seed and becoming inedible.
Lettuce: really easy as long as you give them ample space. Plant ASAP as they do better in cooler conditions plus be prepared to shade them a little as the temperatures rise.
Eggplant: start seeds off in seed trays and plant after a month or so. They take a long time to grow but unlimited baba ganoush is totally worth it.
Mediterranean herbs: This includes parsley, rosemary, oregano, sage, and thyme. Generally easier to grown in the cooler areas of the country.
Coriander: sow directly in the soil making sure the space is deep enough as these guys have long roots. Will keep growing almost all year round in a bit of shade
Basil: huge variety of seeds to grow. Plant straight into soil and make sure it gets plenty of sun. Needs to be picked frequently and has a very long growth season.
Chives: start off seeds in seed trays and plant in soil after a month. Chop a few off to garnish any dish and more will quickly regrow.