The ABCs of Gardening: The Beginner’s Guide To Seasons

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

10 February 2015

For beginner green thumbs, it’s important to note what plants grow well in different seasons of the year. The fruits of your labour are far more likely to succeed if the growing conditions are perfect for what you’ve planted!

Here’s a guide as to what to grow, when, where you live - so your chances of gardening success are as high as can be. We’ve also included when you’ll be able to harvest your fresh produce, and meal ideas to use them in - so you can start planning now!

gardening-equipment-in-wheelbarrow

1. Summer (Dec-Feb)

Made a new years resolution to start planting fresh produce? Good thing summer is the perfect season to kick-start your growing endeavours! This season is one where you can plant some summer salad staples - lettuce, cucumber and carrots will grow well in the sunny conditions.

Veggies and Fruit

What

When to Harvest

What to Make

Beetroot

April

Beetroot brownies, beetroot hummus, beetroot juice

Carrots

May

Fresh juice, carrot cake, balsamic glazed carrots

Cucumber

April

Salads, stir fries, margaritas!

Lettuce

April

Salads, san choy bao, lettuce leave wraps

Oregano

March

Pretty much all italian dishes you can think of

Silverbeet

April

Soups, lasagnes, pizzas

Zucchini

March

Zoodles, fritters, quiches

It’s not all about the things we eat - sometimes we like to grow plants that we can admire, too! Here’s a guide to the best flowers to plant in Summer.

Flowers

Up North

Down South

Sunflowers

Marigolds

Salvia

Petunia

Pansy

Marigold

Wallflower

Petunia

Viola

2. Autumn (March-May) Tis the season to plant leafy greens!

Autumn is where you should get your hands dirty planting all your fresh greens for the year. Kale and spinach are where it’s at (plenty for green smoothies to keep your health in check!) Our children’s favourite broccoli and brussel sprouts should also be planted in autumn - won’t they be thrilled!

Veggies and Fruit

What

When to Harvest

What to Make

Broccoli

May

Broccoli gratin, soup, curry

Brussel Sprouts

July

Roasts, pizza

Cabbage

June

Slaw, soup, salad

Kale

June

Frittata, kale chips, green smoothies

Shallots

July

Tarts, roasts, stir fries

Spinach

May

Green smoothies, omelettes, cannelloni

Pak Choi

May

Steamed greens, stir fries, noodle salads

Make room in the flower patch for these beautiful plants in Autumn.

Flowers

Up North

Down South

Sweet pea

Viola

Cornflower

Everlasting daisy

Geranium

Sunflower

Aurora daisy

Carnation

Cornflower

French marigold

Pansy

Snapdragon

raking-autumn-leaves

3.Winter (June-August)

Not many veggies like the cold too much, but you can still start growing some fresh produce staples like garlic and onions. It’s also time to start planting delicious juicy strawberries!

Veggies and Fruit

What

When to Harvest

What to Make

Garlic

November

Aioli, garlic puree, hummus

Onion

December

Tarts, roasts, pretty much anything!

Snow Peas

October

Salads, stir fries, steamed greens, snack on as is!

Strawberries

12 months time

Pavlovas, smoothies, sundaes

Flowers

Up North

Down South

Carnation

Dahlia

Aster

Chrysanthemum

Geranium

French Marigold

Sunflower

Snapdragon

Pansies

Violas

Grevillea

Poppy

Petunia

Forget-me-not

4. Spring

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to plant your Mediterranean vegetables - delicious in every way. Eggplants and artichokes can be grown (the perfect pair for an antipasto platter). You can also start growing your hearty roast vegetables like potato and pumpkin.

Veggies and Fruit

What

When to Harvest

What to Make

Artichokes

August

Dips, marinated artichokes, minestrone soup

Capsicum

December

Stuffed capsicum, capsicum and chilli jam, chargrilled capsicum pesto

Eggplant

January

Moussaka, eggplant cannelloni, stuffed eggplant, eggplant chips

Leeks

January

Quiche, risotto, leek and potato soup, potato and leek gratin

Potato

February

Gnocchi, cheesy mash, chips!

Pumpkin

January

Soup, roast veggies, pumpkin and halloumi burgers, pumpkin scones

Squash

December

Spaghetti squash, roasted butternut squash with mustard vinaigrette

Flowers

Up North

Down South

Sunflower

Marigold

Torenia

Coleus

Celosia

Plant ageratum

Alyssum

Iceland poppy

Wallflower

Verbena

So if you’re a newbie to the green thumb game, it’s important to make sure what you’re planting can actually grow in the season you’re in - otherwise you might be in for some heartache right from the get go!

A well prepared gardener is a successful gardener - if you’ve mastered the basics, then soon gardening will be second nature to you. Check out the other articles in our The ABC’s of Gardening range which covers the basics of everything you need to know to grow fresh produce!

Also, if you ever have trouble with your garden, the problem could be in the soil. Healthy soil is essential if you want your garden to thrive this year. One easy way to nourish your soil is by getting yourself a couple of chickens. Your garden with thank you for it.

line-of-different-garden-vegetables

Sources and further reading

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