A guide to planting vegetables in North Queensland
Nothing is more satisfying than harvesting fruit and vegetables you have grown yourself. However knowing what vegetables to plant when can be a difficult topic to navigate – especially when many guides and blogs are written for climates different to the tropical weather of North Queensland! In an attempt to make sense of it all we’ve put together a little guide to help you plan your vegetable garden. Alternatively you can always chat to our friendly staff at the garden centre who are more than happy to offer advice on starting and improving a vegetable garden.
January: Prepare your soil
Consider the wetter and hot months of the year a perfect time to prep and improve soil conditions in the lead up to planting your garden. Cultivate every two weeks and keep covered or heavily mulched to ensure that your soil is at its optimum for a stellar growing season! We recommend Rocky Point – Active8, Cow Manure and if you need a top up of soil Rocky Point Garden Soil. You can also pick up a soil test kit from the Garden Centre and check out exactly what’s happening in the dirt (eg. Nutrient deficiencies) so appropriate adjustments can be made.
February: mulch mulch mulch
A continuation of January, February is a time to keep enriching your soil further. Keep cultivating, test if needed and make sure the soil is moist and kept mulched.
March: start planning
Now this is the time to start making a plan. Consider what you are going to plant and get creative with where you are going to plant what. If you have children you could make this a family event, get out the pen and paper, choose what vegetablesyou would like to have and designate responsibility of different areas, or jobs to different people.
With the planning process comes the need to consider irrigation. Having an automatic irrigation system may seem like an unnecessary luxury but let’s face it, we all start off with the best intentions but the business of life often takes over and things easily go by the wayside. To ensure that all your hard work does not wilt away (literally) you can install easy and inexpensive irrigation systems to keep your plants (and family) happy.
April: Start planting
April is a month for action. You can start planting some vegetables and herbs, however it is still a bit warm for all. Begin the season with
Basil, beans, onions, beetroot, broccoli carrots, fennel, mint, parsley, garlic and radishes.
As it starts to get cooler you can add shallots, silverbeet, zucchini, capsicum, cauliflower, chillis, eggplant, cucumber, leeks, oregano, rosemary, onion, parsley, tomato and potato
June: winter is here
Broccoli, cauliflower, celery, chives, coriander, fennel, lettuce, spinach, potato, pumpkin, radish, capsicums, chillis, cucumbers, tarragon, parsley,corn, sweet potato, zucchini, tomatoes(Don’t forget to check your watering system is working properly. Look under the mulch to see if it’s too wet or dry and adjust accordingly.
July: prime time for planting vegetables
This is the prime time for all vegetables and herbs and you can plant just about ANYTHING in this month. Cabbage, kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, lettuce, pumpkin, radish, corn, sweet potato, zucchini, chillis, capsicum, tomatoes, peas, pumpkin, parsnips, carrot. etc
August – November
As it starts to get a little warmer it’s a great time for planting these vegetables: Basil, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, oregano, spring onions, sunflower, corn, sweet potato, ginger and rosella
December: trim and tidy
Time to focus on garden tidying for Christmas. Trimming hedges, pruning and tidying you garden (not just the vege patch) will result in healthy and happy plants. You can eve show them some extra love by using a slow release fertilizer.
We’d love to hear your experience with growing vegetables in the tropics. Leave a comment below or use the #plantswhitsunday on social media so we can follow your garden progress! And as always please call on 07 4946 1258 if you have any questions or queries regarding plants and gardening. We’re more than happy to help. Alternatively you can purchase Pauline Trappes ‘A Beginners Guide to Growing Fruit & Vegetables in the Tropics.’