Planting Guide: What to Plant in Melbourne Now

January 22, 2024
what to plant in melbourne now

Key takeaways:

  • Melbourne’s diverse and dynamic climate necessitates adaptable gardening strategies.
  • Season-specific planting guides for Melbourne highlight a variety of plants ideal for each season, from flowering beauties like marigolds in spring to hardy winter vegetables like spinach, offering a comprehensive approach for a year-round flourishing garden.
  • Embracing sustainable gardening practices is crucial in Melbourne, as the city moves towards zero-carbon operations and invests in eco-friendly projects, reflecting a growing community interest in eco-conscious living.

Ah, Melbourne! The city of four seasons in one day, and a haven for passionate gardeners. So what to plant in Melbourne now?

We want this guide to be with you every step of the way and every season of the year. So, we’re crafting an annual article, with insights on the best plants to thrive in Melbourne’s distinct seasons, with tips and trick to help you cultivate a garden that blossoms all year round.

In this article, we’ll share insights on the best plants to thrive in Melbourne’s distinct seasons, helping you cultivate a garden that blossoms all year round.

Understanding Melbourne’s Climate

Melbourne’s climate is as dynamic as its culture, offering a blend of sunny days and unpredictable weather patterns. In 2023, the city has committed significantly to becoming greener and more sustainable.

A whopping $51 million investment has been allocated to enhance the city’s green spaces and support sustainability initiatives, reflecting the community’s growing interest in eco-friendly living and gardening​​.

Investment in SustainabilityImpact on Gardening
$51 million for green spaces enhancementEncourages sustainable gardening and tree growth
$26.5 million for parks and gardensImproves garden environments
$2.4 million for urban forest expansionAdds 3,000 trees, enhancing green coverage
$1.5 million for Power Melbourne projectAims for net zero emissions and eco-friendly gardening trends

The city’s urban forest expansion, including the addition of 3,000 trees, and the investment in renewable energy projects, highlight the importance of understanding and adapting to Melbourne’s unique climate for successful gardening​​​​.

Melbourne’s Climate and Gardening

Melbourne’s climate can be challenging for gardeners. While the city is charging ahead with plans to combat climate change, gardeners need to adapt to the varying conditions.

For those interested in aligning their planting with lunar cycles, our comprehensive moon planting guide for Australia 2023 offers insights into this unique approach.

In 2023, the construction of new green spaces like the Bedford Street Pocket Park and climate adaptation strategies for parks signal a growing awareness of these challenges​​.

  • Climate Change Impact: The city’s efforts in sustainability, like the $500,000 spent on the Climate Adaptation Streetscapes Renewal Program, are crucial for gardeners to understand. These efforts aim to create spaces conducive to tree growth and adapt to changing climatic conditions​​.
  • Sustainable Gardening: As Melbourne moves towards zero-carbon operations, understanding and implementing sustainable gardening practices is becoming more important. The city’s push towards greener buildings and reduced energy costs also applies to how we approach gardening, making eco-friendly practices essential​​​​.

Spring Planting Guide

What to Plant in Melbourne Now

Spring in Melbourne is a time of renewal and vibrant growth. As the soil warms and days lengthen, a variety of plants find this season ideal for growth. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to plant during Melbourne’s spring months, from flowering beauties to nourishing vegetables and fruits.

Flowering Beauties for Melbourne’s Spring

Spring’s palette in Melbourne is brightened by a variety of flowering plants. Here are our top picks for adding colour to your garden:

  1. Marigold: Hardy and adaptable, perfect for Melbourne’s unpredictable spring weather.
  2. Pansy: Thrives in cooler temperatures, offering a spectrum of colours.
  3. Snapdragon: Adds height and colour variety, resilient in cooler weather.
  4. Sweet Alyssum: Low-growing, with fragrant tiny flowers, great for borders.
  5. Cornflower: Drought-tolerant, with striking blue blooms​​.

Spring’s Harvest: Vegetables and Herbs

The city’s gentle spring climate, with its blend of sunny days and mild evenings, creates a nurturing environment for a variety of edibles.

From the vibrant growth of tomatoes basking in the sun to the aromatic delight of fresh basil, our spring garden is a canvas of flavors and colors. Each year, we look forward to the simple pleasure of harvesting these homegrown treasures, turning our garden into a living, thriving part of our daily meals.

Spring is also an excellent time to start your vegetable garden. Here are our recommendations:

  • Tomatoes: A garden staple that thrives in Melbourne’s mild spring.
  • Zucchinis: Quick to sprout, ready for a summer harvest.
  • Basil: Perfect companion for tomatoes, flourishing in warmer days.
  • Beans: Hardy and suitable for Melbourne’s spring climate.
  • Potatoes: Ideal for planting after the frost, yielding a summer to early autumn harvest. For more specific information, check out our guide on when to plant potatoes in Melbourne.

Fruity Delights of Spring

Embrace the spring warmth by planting these fruits:

  • Strawberries: Sweet and juicy, perfect for the spring warmth.
  • Blueberries: A delightful addition, thriving in mild spring weather.
  • Raspberries: Tangy and delicious, ready for summer harvest.
  • Currants: Red and black varieties flourish in spring sun.
  • Figs: A longer-term commitment, but rewarding with succulent fruits​​.

Summer Gardening Essentials

What to Plant in Melbourne Now

Ah, Melbourne summers! They bring not just the heat but also a burst of life in the garden. While the sun scorches down, there’s a myriad of plants that revel in this warmth.

It’s the perfect time to get your hands dirty and start sowing the seeds for a bountiful harvest later in the year. Here’s how to keep your garden vibrant and productive during the sunniest months of the year.

Ornamental Plants for a Lively Summer in Melbourne

Melbourne summers, though hot, can be a paradise for certain ornamental plants. My top picks for a colorful, lively summer garden include:

  • Lavender: Its fragrance is as calming as its purple blooms are enchanting.
  • Agapanthus: Resilient against the heat, their blue and white flowers are a visual treat.
  • Bougainvillea: A sun-lover that drapes my garden in a cascade of colors.
  • Canna Lilies: With a tropical flair, these add both color and structure.
  • Ornamental Grasses: They sway gracefully in the breeze, bringing movement and texture to my garden​​.

Summer’s Bounty: Vegetables and Herbs

In the peak of summer, the garden becomes a haven for veggies and herbs. Here’s what thrives:

  • Capsicums: Their bright colors under the summer sun are a sight to behold.
  • Eggplants: Their glossy skins shimmer in the heat, perfect for hearty summer meals.
  • Chillies: Adding a fiery kick to my summer dishes.
  • Basil Varieties: From Thai to purple basil, each adds a unique flavor to my summer cuisine.
  • Cucumbers: Their cool crunch is the essence of a Melbourne summer salad​​.

Perennial Fruits for the Warmer Days

Summer is also the time for planting perennial fruits. They need a bit of care but the rewards are sweet:

  • Apple Trees: A long-term investment that turns into an annual bounty.
  • Pear Trees: They take time to mature but are worth the wait for their juicy fruits.
  • Grapes: Bringing a Mediterranean charm to my garden.
  • Kiwi Fruit: They require care, but the harvest is uniquely delightful.
  • Rhubarb: Often used in desserts, it’s a surprising addition to my summer garden​​.

Autumn Plant Choices

What to Plant in Melbourne Now

When the Melbourne air starts to crisp up and the leaves begin to turn, my garden enters a whole new phase. Autumn is a magical time for planting, with its milder temperatures and softer sunlight. Let us share with you some of the best plants to enrich your garden during these amber months.

Bulbs and Perennials for Autumn Magic

Autumn is a prime time for bulbs and perennials. These are our favorites for ensuring spring blossoms:

  • Tulips: Planting them now means a burst of color come spring.
  • Daffodils: Their sunny blooms are a cheerful herald of warmer days.
  • Hyacinths: Their dense flower spikes and intoxicating fragrance are simply mesmerizing.
  • Bluebells: They create a dreamy carpet of blue in spring.
  • Japanese Anemones: Elegant blooms in pinks or whites that shine in late summer to autumn​​.

Cool-Season Vegetables

Cooler days in autumn are perfect for certain vegetables. Here’s what we would plant:

  • Broccoli: Thrives in the cooler temps, giving me a bounty of green florets.
  • Cauliflower: Its creamy heads are a delight in the cool-season garden.
  • Brussels Sprouts: These mini cabbages mature just in time for winter feasts.
  • Kale: A superfood that loves the chill, providing a continuous supply of leaves.
  • Carrots: Their sweetness intensifies in the mellow autumn temperatures​​.

Deciduous Fruits for Autumn Planting

You can also use this time to plant deciduous fruits, setting the stage for future harvests:

  • Plum Trees: Their stone fruits are a garden gem, blossoming in spring.
  • Cherry Trees: Known for delightful blossoms and succulent fruits.
  • Peach and Nectarine Trees: They promise delicious summer fruits.
  • Apricot Trees: Golden fruits and fragrant blossoms that are a visual and sensory treat.
  • Persimmon Trees: Offer vibrant orange fruits in late autumn​​.

Winter Gardening Tips

What to Plant in Melbourne Now

Winter in Melbourne brings its own set of gardening joys and challenges. The cold and often rainy weather might seem daunting, but it’s actually an opportune time for certain plants. Here’s how we navigate gardening during the cooler months.

Winter-Flowering Plants

Even in the chill, some plants can bring life and color to your garden. Our winter favorites include:

  • Camellias: Their vibrant blooms defy the grey winter skies.
  • Hellebores: Also known as winter roses, they offer delicate beauty in the cold.
  • Witch Hazel: Its fragrant, spider-like flowers are a unique addition​​.

Hardy Winter Vegetables

We love growing these frost-resistant vegetables during Melbourne’s winters:

  • Spinach: It’s unfazed by the cold and provides tender leaves for various dishes.
  • Silverbeet (Swiss Chard): Ornamental and edible, it grows steadily through winter.
  • Mustard Greens: Add a peppery kick to winter meals.
  • Pak Choi (Bok Choy): Quick to mature and perfect for a range of dishes​​.

Table: Hardy Winter Vegetables in Melbourne

VegetableCharacteristicsPlanting Tips
SpinachVersatile and frost-resistantPlant in early winter for a continuous harvest
KaleRelishes the winter chillSow in early winter for raw and cooked dishes
SilverbeetVibrant and broad-leavedPlant in mid-winter for colorful winter meals
Mustard GreensPeppery flavorSow early to mid-winter for spicy salads
Pak ChoiQuick to maturePlant in mid to late winter for crisp stems

Bare-Rooted Fruits for Winter

Planting bare-rooted trees in winter is a strategic move for a thriving spring and summer garden:

  • Apple Trees: Get a head start by planting in early winter.
  • Stone Fruits (Peaches, Nectarines, and Plums): Benefit from a winter planting.
  • Berries (Raspberries, Blackberries, and Currants): Establish quickly when planted in late winter.

Reflecting on the year in our Melbourne garden, each season brings its own charm and challenges. From the vibrant blooms of spring to the hearty vegetables of winter, the cycle of planting and harvesting is a rewarding journey.

Whether you’re a novice gardener or have years of experience, Melbourne’s diverse climate offers a unique opportunity to grow a variety of plants. Embrace the changes each season brings, and you’ll find joy in watching your garden adapt and thrive. Happy gardening!

Learn More: Interested in enhancing your gardening skills? Read our additional guide on what vegetables to plant now for more valuable insights.

FAQs on What to Plant in Melbourne Now

What veggies can I plant in Melbourne now?

In Melbourne, during the winter, you can plant garlic, spring onions, carrots, beetroot, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and potatoes.

What plants grow in winter Melbourne?

During the winter in Melbourne, you can grow cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, broccolini, Brussels sprouts, Tuscan kale, winter lettuce (such as ‘pick and come again’ varieties), and silverbeet.

Is it too late to plant tomatoes in Melbourne?

The ideal time to plant tomatoes in Melbourne is around late September or early October. Planting them during this period allows for the longest growing time and maximum yield. Planting after this time, such as on Melbourne Cup Day, is still possible but not optimal.

What to do in the garden in winter Melbourne?

Winter gardening tips for Melbourne include pruning dead leaves or branches, mulching, growing winter veggies, revitalizing the veggie patch, planting herbs, fertilizing citrus trees, watering wisely, and growing indoor microgreens.

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