With the summer season finished up, it’s time for the cool change that autumn (usually) brings. Our Melbourne-based exposed aggregate experts thought they’d continue their theme of sustainability with a blog that looks at five vegetables you can plant this season that’ll be ready for winter harvesting and beyond – let’s dive right in!
Peas are especially great to plant if you have limited space available in your garden. Growing vertically up a trellis, peas are fantastic for both autumn and winter and are also easy to pick – requiring only 70-80 days to grow. Plant the seeds 3-5cm deep and 80-90cm apart (if they’ll be climbing high – lower growing peas only require 40-50cm of separation). Water them sufficiently when you plant them but then hold off until they’ve germinated.
Remember, there are several types of peas so you’ll want to find the right fit for your garden as telephone peas, for example, can grow up to 160cm tall – so if that’s going to be too tall for you then we’d recommend another variety such as honeypod peas. As an added bonus, because peas are legumes, they’ll deposit nitrogen into the soil which is a fantastic nutrient.
Now, garlic will take a lot longer to grow than peas will (approximately seven-eight months), but Autumn is definitely the best time to plant them. Take a garlic bulb and separate it into cloves – each clove will be planted individually 5cm deep and around 15-20cm apart. Large cloves should be used for planting. If you use smaller, fragile cloves then you’re less likely to achieve a good result.
During its long growth period, ensure that the soil is moist and if rainfall is scarce during winter then you may have to intervene. You’ll know when it’s time to harvest as the leaves will begin to turn brown. Gently remove the garlic from the ground by lifting it and leave it in the sun for the soil to dry – making it easier to remove later.
3. Broad beans
Often heralded as one of the easiest plants you could grow in your veggie patch – broad beans are ideally planted around March and May and will be ready for a spring harvest in Melbourne. Sow the seeds 3cm below the soil and approximately 10-15cm apart. Broad beans should be supported by loose string and also protected from the wind.
When harvesting, check the bottom of the pods as those are the beans that will ripen first. The pods themselves will have grown to approximately 6-8cm long. A handy trick is to leave some of the pods on the plant – that way they can dry out and you can use them to plant again the following year.
Broccoli loves the cold – which means it’s great for growing during winter. With broccoli seeds, you’re going to want to sow them 1cm deep and it’s best to get them done in March rather than any later in the season. The trick with broccoli seeds is to plant them in a tray or pot for the first month and ensure they receive enough light. Migrate them into your veggie patch when they start to become noticeably larger.
Always ensure the soil is moist. During winter, they should generally be fine but be sure to keep an eye on them in case the soil does dry out. Because broccoli is a hungry vegetable – you’ll need to feed it regularly with things like compost and organic fertiliser. Once the head forms – which is generally between 12–16 weeks (but can be up to 20 in colder climates) – it is ready to be harvested.
With only a three-month cycle – beetroots are definitely hot vegetables to grow during autumn, and with high doses of iron and vitamin A & C, it’s no wonder they’re so popular. They’ll need at least four hours of sun a day – so you’re going to want to organise your veggie patch accordingly. A benefit of planting these in Autumn is that the cool soil will make them tender and sweet.
Sow them 1cm deep and 5cm apart and ensure they’re watered frequently. Start harvesting them when they’re around 3-5cm wide as this is generally when they’re at their sweetest. The beetroot’s leaves can be picked and used for salads from around six weeks in.
Interested in exposed aggregate solutions in Melbourne?
Now that you know what vegetables work well in autumn, it’s time to match your patch with a fantastic exposed aggregate driveway. Our Melbourne-based exposed aggregate experts are guaranteed to provide you with top-notch concreting solutions for whatever your application may be.
If you’d like to get in touch with our Melbourne experts to discuss exposed aggregate solutions for your property, then please give us a call on (03) 9308 6112. You may also contact us via the enquiry form on our website.