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Bean Seed

September: time to start planting seeds

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Justin Russell's ideas for what to plant in September, wherever you garden in Australia.

For those of us living in temperate, and arid/semi-arid climates, September is one of the busiest months of the year for planting. Almost anything can go in now, but be aware of two things: your last frost date (mine is late October), and soil temperature. It might be safe to sow pumpkin seeds, but getting them to germinate in cold, wet soil is another matter. As a general guide, try planting:

  • Spring greens such as mizuna, rocket, mustards, bok choy, kale, lettuce, silverbeet and spinach.
  • Leeks, spring onions and bulb onions.
  • Shelling, snow and sugarsnap peas.
  • Carrots, beetroot and turnips.
  • Brassicas such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.
  • Warm season veg such as potato, corn, beans and tomato. Herbs such as basil, parsley, and coriander. If the soil is warm enough (20 degrees plus) and frost has passed, true summer vegies/fruit such as pumpkin, melons, zucchini, sweet potato, snake bean, capsicum and eggplant.

In the subtropics, September usually heralds the onset of summer-ish weather, though in many areas it is one of the driest months of the year. It’s generally safe to plant all of the warm season crops listed above, plus quick growing spring crops that can be harvested before the onset of genuinely hot weather.

In the tropics, the build-up is just starting and dry, sunny weather will persist for a while yet. Try getting a crop of fast growing spring vegies, along with the heat lovers listed above. Before the onset of the wet, plant tropical food plants such as taro, Ceylon spinach, arrowroot, yam, kangkong and water chestnut.