What to Plant in September for the Melbourne Region 8


We've got a dwarf peach growing in a container near a north facing brick wall. It's about to burst into gorgeous pink blossom.

We’ve got a dwarf peach growing in a container near a north facing brick wall. It’s about to burst into gorgeous pink blossom.

Ah spring. It feels like it’s finally here! This week we were blessed with warm sunny days that got up to 20 degrees. The garden is slowly starting to wake up again. Cherries, plums and almonds are in blossom. Peaches and nectarines are covered in swelling buds that are about to burst. If they haven’t already blossomed it’s a great idea to try and prevent curly leaf on your peaches and nectarines with a dose of homemade Bordeaux spray. But, if they have blossomed, it’s too late. All that blossoming and the leaf and fruit growth to come requires a lot of nutrients. So it’s a good time of the year to give all your fruit trees a good fertilizing, this include the heavy feeders, citrus. Use a fruit & citrus based fertilizer, and make sure you follow the instructions on the pack, or you may end up killing your plant.

 

Many of us will be eager to get out there digging and planting in this glorious weather. Here’s a guide on what to plant in September.

 

The great news is, with the warming weather we are starting to get a lot more planting options available to us in September. However, it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to September weather. Yes, the days are warm and sunny, but the nights are cold, and so is the soil. Most of the summer veggies don’t like cold soil. So if you try and plant many of them as seedlings into the garden now, you’ll shock them. They’ll will grow so slowly, they’re practically dormant, making them susceptible to pests and diseases like aphids. If you try planting many of the summer veggie seeds direct into the garden, they won’t germinate, and the seeds might rot in the cold wet soil. There’s still a strong risk of frost about, and that can scupper any gardener’s best laid plans for a head start on the summer veggies.

What to plant in Pots in a Greenhouse

Don't be fooled by large displays of tomato seedlings in your local hardware store or nursery. It's still way to early to be planting tomatoes out into the garden.

Don’t be fooled by large displays of tomato seedlings in your local hardware store or nursery. It’s still way to early to be planting tomatoes out into the garden.

Our tomatoes are coming along nicely in the greenhouse

Our tomatoes are coming along nicely in the greenhouse

Tomatoes are already in stock across most big name Melbourne hardware stores. These plants have been grown in ideal conditions in hot houses. If you take them straight home and plonk them in the garden they’ll go into shock and you run the risk of frost damage. You’re far better waiting until October, when plants are more likely to become successfully established. Of course, if you have access to a greenhouse you can still get a head start with your tomatoes now. We sowed our tomato seeds back in mid-July and they are coming along nicely with a regular fortnightly feed of weak liquid fertiliser. Other plants you can get a head start with in the greenhouse with are:

  • Capsicum
  • Chilli
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Basil

If you’ve got plenty of room in your greenhouse and some deep pots, you can also try other cucurbits such as zucchini (including tromboncinos), pumpkins (including Atlantic Giant), squash and melons. Getting the timing right for this is a bit tricky. You don’t want to start the plants too early, as they grow quickly and they’ll become root bound and stunt their growth (to avoid this you need to transplant them before the roots start to appear at the bottom of the pot). If they remain in the greenhouse for more than 2 to 3 weeks, they’ll start to vine and really take over. Cucurbits are very frost sensitive, so if you transplant them too early, without protecting them, you’ll either set them back significantly, or even kill them. We planted most of our cucurbit seeds into pots in the greenhouse this week (the last week in August) and aim to transplant them in early October.

The broad beans have been flowering and attracting lots of bees into the garden

The broad beans have been flowering and attracting lots of bees into the garden

What to Plant in the Garden

As always, leafy greens will grow well in the garden at the moment. Consider allocating space to these quick growing, very productive plants and start getting ready for lots home-grown salads at barbeques over spring:

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Rocket
  • Endive
  • Silverbeet
  • Mustard Greens
  • Celery

Root veggies should be ok to plant now too. A few young beetroot leaves make a tasty, colourful addition to your salads.

  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips
  • Beetroot

Peas are pretty hardy and like the cool weather and snow peas make a great addition to those leafy green salads.

Asparagus and Rhubarb crowns can still be planted out (or dug up and divided if you have existing plants). Strawberry runners can be planted out as late as early October if you can find them in shops still.

We started our potatoes early this year. Just make sure you protect them from the frost if you're planting them out now.

We started our potatoes early this year. Just make sure you protect them from the frost if you’re planting them out now.

Potatoes don’t mind cold soil, but are very sensitive to frost. We had some seed potatoes that were a bit past it and were looking a bit like big hairy spiders. So we planted them out early (mid-august) against a north facing brick wall in a sunny area. We’ve managed to keep them protected enough from the frosts and they’re doing really well. Now is a good time to plant yours out. Just make sure you cover them when you expect frosts to occur.

Herb Gardens

Now is a great time to start a herb garden. Avoid planting basil out in the garden just yet, but the rest of these should be starting to wake up from their winter dormancy now.

Thyme is great for growing in small pots. Just make sure it has really good drainage. They really don't like wet feet.

Thyme is great for growing in small pots. Just make sure it has really good drainage. They really don’t like wet feet.

  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Curry plant
  • Rosemary
  • Chives
  • Oregano
  • Spring onions

 

Like to know more?

If you’d like a bit more of a guide on choosing which veggies to grow this summer, we’ve developed the Leaf, Root and Fruit Philosophy of Edible Gardening. It’s this philosophy that’s provided the name of the business, as well as the inspiration for the logo.

Sign up to our newsletter for our monthly edible gardening wrap-up, including:

  • A guide on what to plant in your garden in the upcoming month
  • What’s happening in our garden and other gardens across Melbourne
  • Upcoming gardening events
  • Hints and tips on gardening

 

Happy Gardening everyone!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 thoughts on “What to Plant in September for the Melbourne Region

  • mike ingram

    Hi, I have just built a greenhouse in Mount Eliza and I am interested in when different vegies can be best planted. Regards Mike

    • Leaf, Root & Fruit Post author

      Hi Mike,

      Our autumn planting guide will give you all you need to know about what to plant outside at this time of the year. If you have a greenhouse then you can pretty much grow anything you like!

      Please keep us updated on your progress.

      Good Luck and Happy Gardening!

      Duncan

      • Mike Ingram

        Hi Duncan. Thanks for the reply. Planted a mix of seeds and seedlings 23/3. I have raised beds and some containers, solar powered fan venting as well as misting system, ram operated roof vents and solar powered fan circulation. Total cost about $3000 which I think is good value. I keep the temp to 25C as much as possible. Snow pea seedlings at 45cm. Beans from seed at 20cm. Cauliflower too big at 45cm. Tomatoes from seed 7.5cm to 30cm. Cucumber at 15cm. Onions ( I don’t know why) are going well. Lettice going great. Corn from seed in tubs at 35cm. Spinach seedlings are not good. Capsicum seeds didn’t go at all. Rocket going crazy. Will plant some more lettice this week. Capsicums and herbs going great in open beds. I have no idea what I am doing but having a lot of fun. Regards Mike.

        • Leaf, Root & Fruit Post author

          Hi Mike,
          As long as you are having fun then who cares whether you know what you are doing?!!!! Well done on giving it a go, sounds like you’re having some fantastic success. I’d love to see some photos from your set-up, could you please email some through to me (or post them to our FB page)? Sounds like a great investment, and I may look to set up something similar for myself.

          My main advice for growing in a green house is e very careful about introducing pest bugs such as whitefly. Once they get into a green house – they are nearly impossible to get rid of. Then you have to go down the path of integrated pest management. Prevention is better than cure. Try to quarantine any new plants – or better still, grow from seed as much as possible, which it sounds like you are. Fungal disease could also be an issue for you. Hopefully the fan helps to stop that. The snow peas will probably be the first ones to show signs of fungal disease if it is going to be a problem for you.

          Please continue to update us on progress!

          Best Wishes

          Duncan

  • Irena

    I am going away from mid September to mid October – regarding flower tubs – is it best to leave planting until returning in Oct or plant some things now that will survive with someone watering during absence?

    • Leaf, Root & Fruit Post author

      Hi Irena, thanks for your inquiry. That would depend on what sort of flowers they are and where you are located! If in doubt I’d leave them until you get back. The growing conditions will be much better in mid Oct than now.
      Good Luck and Happy Gardening!

      Duncan

    • Leaf, Root & Fruit Post author

      Hi Jose,

      You can give it a go – however it’s likely to bolt straight to seed. This is triggered by lengthening daylight hours. You’re best off waiting until January, when the days begin to shorten again. This should stop it bolting and enable you to be more successful.

      Good Luck and Happy Gardening!

      Duncan