Winter Veggies - How and When to Grow Winter Vegetables in Perth

Gardening


Late summer to early autumn is the perfect time to start prepping your winter veggie garden in Perth. There are plenty of vegetables and herbs that love the cooler Perth autumn and winter weather, which you can harvest all the way through winter to spring.

There are many important factors to consider when planting your winter veggies, including the entire growth time of your plant from seed to harvest, best soils and fertilisers and managing winter pests and diseases found in Perth.

Now is the time to get started planting your winter veggies, so check out some of our top tips for Perth winter veggie enthusiasts.
 

Why Plant a Veggie Garden?

Gardening is a great past time to get you out in the fresh air and reduce screen time. There is something particularly rewarding about growing your own vegetables, as you have something to show for your efforts at harvest time!

With the push towards organic and clean living, home vegetable gardens are increasing in popularity, as consumers know their food is fresh and pesticide-free. Homegrown veggies also taste so much better than anything from the supermarket, particularly favourites such as fresh peas and corn.

Growing your own veggies can also save you money in the long run. You can reduce your weekly supermarket bill by growing your staple veggies, such as spinach and carrots.

Tending to your veggie garden is also a great outdoor activity to do with the family. It will teach your children responsibility as they will need to water and nurture the plants, along with helping them learn about nutrition and healthy food sources. There is also a sense of achievement in growing a plant from seed to maturity, which is great for building their self-confidence.
 


Planting in Autumn for Winter Harvest

Most of your winter veggies are going to need at least 10 weeks to grow, so start planting these in autumn, around April and May in Perth.

Planting your seeds in autumn, before the cold weather really sets in, will help to strengthen your veggies so they can withstand the more extreme temperatures in winter as well.
 

What Are Veggie Growth Times?

You need to understand the grow times for your veggies, so you plant them at the right time for their full growth period. Some leafy vegetables are ready to harvest in six weeks, while root vegetables take much longer, up to around 18 weeks.

The easiest way to know this is to check the back of the seed packets, which will have all the information you will need about how and when to sow the seeds, growth rates and harvest info.
 

Mr Fothergill’s Seed Packet with sowing and harvesting info on the back.
 

For example, cauliflower seedlings emerge 14-28 days after planting and are ready to be harvested after around 100 days (approx. 14 weeks). Carrots are usually ready to harvest 50 days (approx. 7 weeks) after planting.

For optimal growth times and the best results, we recommend a good plant food to help mature the plants as quickly as possible. Once the seedlings sprout, the plants need to grow quickly, to optimise the quality of the vegetable.
 

What Is the Best Soil and Mulch for Growing Vegetables?

A lot of metro Perth sits on old sand dunes, which means our soil is made up of mainly sand - this is not ideal for veggie gardens. You will need a lot of organic matter in the soil to help feed your plants – it cannot be too compacted or sandy.

A few inches of mulch is ideal to help insulate the soil and retain moisture. Mulch will also help you keep the weeds under control. Some of the best mulches for veggie gardens are mushroom composts and other specialised veggie mixes, which are purpose-built composts containing the ideal organic matter for your veggie garden to thrive. Have a chat to a landscape supplier about the best mulch to start your veggie garden off on the right foot.
 

Watering

Give your veggie garden a good thorough watering a few times a week. You will need to water less in winter obviously, as the weather will do some of the watering for you. Check your soil or mulch to ensure it is always moist and gauge your watering from there. Never water your garden at night, as any moisture left on your garden overnight will increase the chances of disease.
 

Sunlight

Your veggies will need full sunlight to grow, so make sure you pick a sunny spot to set up your vegetable patch, at least 5+ hours of full sun per day. You will need to be smart with your planting too – place your tallest crops (such as corn and vine plants such as peas) at the back of the veggie garden, so your shorter plants will still get sunlight).

Fruiting and flowing vegetables require the most sunlight. If your garden gets a lot of shade in winter, you might want to focus on those plants which require less direct sunlight, such as lettuce, spinach and onions.=
 

What Veggies To Plant In Autumn & Winter

According to the Mr Fothergill’s Seasonal Planting Guide, now is a great time to be planting broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and spinach, to be harvested in winter. See the below guide for more information on the best times to plant winter veggies in Perth:
 

Guide for Sowing & Growing Winter Veggies from Seed in Perth

Veggies & Herbs         When to Plant in Perth
Asian Greens February to May
Beetroot  January to April
Broad Beans April to August
Broccoli January to August
Carrot January to April
Cauliflower January to August
Chives January to May
Coriander February to May
Leek February to May
Lettuce January to December
Onions March to May
Pak Choi February to May
Peas March to August
Radish January to December
Rocket January to December
Silver Beet January to April
Snow Pea February to August
Spinach February to July
Swedes January to April
Spring Onion January to December
Turnips January to April


Companion Planting

Yes, that’s right, your veggies like to have a companion! Companion planting involves grouping different varieties together, that complement and enhance. For example, you want to grow all the plants together, that require the same amount of water and sunlight.

There are some plants which naturally repel pests away from your vegetable crops. Chamomile deters flies and mosquitoes and gives strength to any plant growing nearby. Rosemary has a pungent scent that drives away other bugs, including cabbage moths. The smell of onion is said to repel many insects from beetroot, broccoli and other veggies. Planting mint is said to deter pests away from your cabbage and tomatoes, including cabbage white butterfly, ants and fleas.

There are also plants which are bad companions. Onions and garlic release a substance which reduces the growth of asparagus. Do your homework and make sure you couple up the right plants together, for optimal conditions in your veggie garden.

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