What to plant in December

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Welcome to summer. 

In my cool (but becoming warm) temperate climate, I’m planting another round of capsicums, including the wonderful Spanish variety ‘Padron’, a key ingredient in tapas. You can read more about it in the Nov/Dec issue of Organic Gardener magazine. I’m also planting out all my cucurbits, including pumpkins, cucumbers and melons. It’s later than usual to be planting these crops, but there’s loads of time for fruit to ripen in late summer and autumn.  

I’ll be making a succession sowing of sweet corn, and popping in some borlotti beans for harvest in autumn, and use in the kitchen, during winter. We organic gardeners have to think ahead! Tomatillos are also going in this month, along with a few eggplants. We don’t eat many, but it’s always nice to have some on hand to grill on the barbie during summer. 

Eggplants can also be planted in the subtropics during December, along with capsicums and chillies. Heat-loving watermelons and basil can go in, and it’s always a good month to plant another batch of corn, which copes well with humidity and summer storms. Try popping in coffee, citrus and dragonfruit to take advantage of summer rain events. 

In arid and semi-arid regions, limit planting to genuine heat lovers such as melons, basil, rosellas and okra. If you have water available, water deeply in the morning to keep them hydrated during hot days. 

In the tropics the wet season is firing up and the major planting window is closing. If you’re itching to still get stuff in the ground, try chillies, New Guinea beans, okra, and fruit trees such as rambutan, limes, coffee, jackfruit and pawpaw.

Check out our Planting Guides for year round options to suit your garden and climate.


By: Justin Russell

First published: November 2016

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