Anything you plant now is going to have to be able to handle whatever the Melbourne summer can throw at it.
If you love your homegrown veggies and want some great new ideas on what to plant in Melbourne and Victoria during summer, this guide should help.
Our Melbourne summer planting guide is broken into sections by month. Click the links below to jump to a specific month:
What to plant in December in Melbourne
December can be a tricky month for planting in Melbourne and the rest of Victoria.
The focus for most gardeners will be keeping plants and vegetables alive as the days heat up.
However, there are still a few plants that can be sowed this month:
Direct sowing in December
Family: Apiaceae Genus: Daucus Plant type: Perennial grown as annual Height: Up to 50cm Climate: Suitable for most climates
How to plant carrots Soil: Well-drained soil with compost Soil pH range: 6 to 7 Soil temperature: 21°C – 27°C Spacing needs: Thin to 3cm once seedlings have sprouted Seed depth: 2cm Germination days: 10 days When to sow: Any time of year depending on location
Caring for carrots Sun: Full sun Water: Water regularly to keep soil moist (but be careful not to over-water) Feeding: Not necessary but may benefit from a low nitrogen fertiliser
Harvesting carrots Time to harvest: 8 to 12 weeks for small, sweet carrots (max 16 to 18 weeks). When to harvest: The top of the carrot should start to poke out of the ground when it’s ready for harvest. The top of the carrot should be 1.9 – 2.5cm in diameter.
Family: Amaranthaceae Genus: Beta Plant type: Annual Height: Up to 90cm Climate: Suitable for most climates
How to plant beetroot Soil: Well drained soil with compost and decomposed manure Soil pH range: 6 to 7 Soil temperature: 10 to 25°C Spacing needs: Plant a seed every 2cm then thin to 7cm spacing when they sprout. Seed depth: 2cm Germination days: 5 to 8 days When to sow: Year round in warm areas, from July to March in temperate areas
Caring for beetroot Sun: Full sun to partial shade Water: Water regularly to keep soil moist Feeding: Apply a seaweed-based fertiliser like Seasol (avoid high-nitrogen fertilisers)
Harvesting beetroot Time to harvest: 2 to 3 months When to harvest: The top of the beetroot will rise out of the soil when it is mature. Harvest before they grow too large (7cm max).
Family: Cucurbits Genus: Squash Plant type: Annual Height: Up to 90cm Climate: Can be grown in most climates
How to plant pumpkin Soil: Rich, well-draining soil with lots of compost and aged manure Soil pH range: 6 to 6.5 Soil temperature: At least 20°C Spacing needs: 60-80 cm between plants Seed depth: 2cm deep in a 10cm high, 40cm wide mound Germination days: Up to 10 days When to sow: After last frost in temperate and cool climates, year round in warm climates
Caring for pumpkin Sun: Full sun Water: Regular watering to keep the soil moist. Avoid getting the leaves wet. Feeding: Feeding is not necessary but they may benefit from a balanced fertiliser
Harvesting pumpkin Time to harvest: 15 to 20 weeks When to harvest: Harvest pumpkin when the skin is dull and hard. If you can pierce the skin of the fruit with your fingernail, it’s not ready yet.
Family: Cucurbits Genus: Cucumis Plant type: Annual Height: Up to 1.5m Climate: Suitable for most climates
How to plant cucumbers Soil: Well-draining soil amended with compost Soil pH range: 6 to 7 Soil temperature: 20°C – 30°C Spacing needs: 40 – 50cm (two seeds per mound) Seed depth: 3cm Germination days: 3 to 10 days When to sow: September – January in temperate climates, July – March in subtropics
Caring for cucumbers Sun: Full sun in cooler climates, partial shade in warmer climates Water: Water regularly (roots only) to keep the soil moist, but be careful not to over-water Feeding: Feed with seaweed based fertiliser when planting and when fruit starts to appear.
Harvesting cucumbers Time to harvest: 8 to 10 weeks When to harvest: When the fruit reaches the target size Seedlings to plant in December
December is also a suitable time to plant out the following seedlings:
Basil Beans Capsicum Chilli Lettuce Salad greens Parsley Rocket Silverbeet Sweet corn Zucchini What to plant in January in Melbourne
January is not a good time to plant directly into the soil in Melbourne because of the potential for extreme temperatures.
Instead, focus on watering, mulching, feeding and weeding the plants you already have in the ground.
If you really want to get something in the ground this month, try planting seedlings of basil, parsley, mizuna, chives, lettuce, salad greens, mustard greens, or rocket.
However, keep in mind that you may need to provide them with some shade in high temperatures.
What to plant in Melbourne in September What to plant in February in Melbourne
February can be another challenging month in Melbourne due to high temperatures and low rainfall.
The focus in February should be on keeping the soil moist for whatever plants you have in the ground.
Brassicas like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts can be planted into containers in February.
Other plants suitable for punnet planting include celery, spring onion, silverbeet, and spinach.
Options for direct sowing include the following:
Direct sowing in February Beetroot Coriander Carrot Chives Parsnip Parsley Dill Radish Spinach Silverbeet Fennel Rocket Mustard greens Asian greens
Family: Brassicaceae Genus: Raphanus Plant type: Annual Height: 5 to 30cm Climate: Can be grown in most climates
How to plant radish Soil: Loose, well-drained soil Soil pH range: 6 to 7 Soil temperature: 13°C to 24°C Spacing needs: Thin to 10 to 15cm Seed depth: 1 to 2 cm Germination days: 5 to 7 days When to sow: Year round depending on variety and local climate
Caring for radish Sun: Full sun Water: Regular watering to keep the soil moist Feeding: Not required
Harvesting radish Time to harvest: 4 to 6 weeks for summer varieties, 8 to 10 weeks for winter varieties When to harvest: When they reach around 2.5cm in diameter. Summer radishes should be harvested young while winter varieties can be left in the ground longer. Grow Guide: Silverbeet (Chard)
Family: Amaranthaceae Genus: Beta Plant type: Biennial Height: Up to 75cm Climate: Can be grown in most climates
How to plant silverbeet Soil: Rich, well-draining soil with lots of compost and aged manure Soil pH range: 6 to 7 Soil temperature: 10°C to 30°C Spacing needs: 20 – 30cm Seed depth: 2cm (soak before sowing) Germination days: 10 to 14 days When to sow: Spring, summer, or autumn in temperate climates, or year-round in warmer climates
Caring for silverbeet Sun: Full sun to partial shade Water: Regular watering Feeding: Use a high-nitrogen liquid fertiliser during the growing season
Harvesting silverbeet Time to harvest: 8 weeks When to harvest: When leaves are mature. Harvest as much as you need.
Family: Apiaceae Genus: Petroselinum Plant type: Biennial grown as annual Height: 15 to 45 cm Climate: Can be grown in most climates
How to plant parsley Soil: Rich, well-draining soil with lots of compost and aged manure Soil pH range: 6 to 7 Soil temperature: 18 to 21°C Spacing needs: 20cm Seed depth: 1 – 3cm Germination days: 14 to 30 days When to sow: Spring, summer, or autumn
Caring for parsley Sun: Full sun Water: Regular watering Feeding: Feed with seaweed based fertiliser when planting and then weekly after that
Harvesting parsley Time to harvest: 10 to 16 weeks When to harvest: Once there are a few healthy stems and a decent amount of foliage Seedlings to plant in February Broccoli Brussel sprouts Spring onion Lettuce Salad greens Leek Kale Cauliflower Celery FAQ What herbs grow in Melbourne summer?
Basil, chives, coriander, mint, oregano, and parsley will all grow in Melbourne summer.
What vegetables grow all year round?
Vegetables that grow year round in Melbourne include beetroot, lettuce, potato, and radish.