What should you be sowing in your climate zone?
Let’s start in the bush with the arid and semi arid zones. Heat is likely to be your main issue as spring fizzles into summer, so focus on those crops that like proper warmth. Think melons, pumpkins, capsicums, chillies, beans, cucumbers, eggplants, sweetcorn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and zucchinis. Make sure you keep the water up to the plants as they mature, mulch well to retain moisture in the soil, and use shadecloth to cool things down a bit on very hot days. I’m sure that when your watermelons are ready to harvest, the local cricket team could do with a refreshing slice during the lunch break.
Up north, the wet season is firing up, which means it’s a good time to get in things like snake beans, capsicums, chillies, eggplants, ginger, sweetcorn, sweet potato, basil, okra, and pumpkins. You can also lift and divide perennials such as taro, arrowroot, cocoyam, and bananas. Replant into soil mounds enriched with lashings of compost.
In the subtropics, go for all of the above plus radishes, zucchinis, loose-leaf lettuces, bush and climbing beans, cucumbers, melons, Malabar spinach, kangkong, amaranth, and spring onion.
Those of you in warm temperate Australia are in the summer veg pleasure zone. Plant anything from the arid zone above, plus beetroot, carrots, Mediterranean herbs, kale, potatoes, radishes, leeks, spring onions, lettuces, tomatillos, and silverbeet.
In cold temperate areas your latest frost date is likely to have passed so it’s time to make hay, so to speak. Get in your sols (tomatoes, chillies, capsicums, eggplants, tomatillos, potatoes), using the assistance of a polytunnel or greenhouse in the coldest areas. Outside, sow cucurbits (zucchini, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, squashes), leafy greens (such as lettuces, Asian cabbages, kale, silverbeet and mustard), roots (carrots, parsnips, beetroot) tubers (such as oca) and a plethora of herbs (such as basil, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, and chives).
November is a massive month across the country. Get outside and grow!
By: Justin Russell
First published: October 2016