Autumn planting guide

autumnplantingguidew

S = seed sowing T = transplanting

This table is a guide only, please observe the seasonal weather patterns before deciding when to plant, as there will often be distinct differences in weather from one year to the next.

Green manures

Autumn is the time to plant green manure crops so they can establish well before the frosts. Green manure crops suitable for planting in Canberra are:

Legumes: Broad beans, field peas, lupins, sub clover, tic peas and vetch.

Non-Legumes: Barley, oats and rye. Legumes are very useful as they fix nitrogen in the soil whilst the non legumes provide bulk organic matter. Cut or dig in the green manure in spring, at least 4-6 weeks prior to planting your summer crops. Flowering crops need to be dug in before flowering, cereal crops before producing a head of grain.

Onions

Early varieties can be sown in April to early May to be harvested from spring to early summer. Mid season varieties are often sown in late autumn or early winter and long keeping varieties in winter or early spring. It is worth experimenting with the timing of mid or late season varieties by making successive plantings to determine the best time for your specific garden.

Spring flowers

Remember that many spring flowering plants are best planted in autumn, so they can establish before the winter cold, and then start growing in the early warmth of spring. Stocks, pansies and poppies can be planted as seedlings in March and early April. Others such as Virginia stock, candytuft, larkspur and sweetpeas can be sown direct throughout autumn.

Brassicas

Late plantings of Brassicas in March may be successful, but summer plantings are usually more reliable. In autumn, it is already too late to grow from seed. Take care too with the varieties chosen – it is too late to plant savoy cabbages, but the smaller ball-headed varieties should be successful

Peas

Sugar snap peas may be sown in early March for a winter harvest, but the crop could be lost if there is an early severe frost affecting the blossom. Peas sown later in April-May will be ready for a spring harvest.

Leeks

Leek seedlings may be planted in early March for small leeks in winter, although summer plantings are more reliable.

Lettuces

Only plant winter varieties of lettuces (cos, salad bowl, oakleaf, butterhead and mignonette varieties).

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