Spring has nearly reached its mid-way point, and for those of us with a green thumb, or for anyone who wants to increase their time in the garden, now if the perfect time to plant crops ready for mid-summer harvesting.
This planting is reserved for mid-spring to ensure that any left-over chill, or frost in some areas, is well and truly finished for the year.
If summer crops are planted too early, and exposed to chill or frost, you risk your crops not reaching their full potential. Their growth can be stunted and flavour diminished.
Many gardeners use tomatoes as a test plant at this time, to check whether the soil is warm enough.
Once a tomato seedling (think delicious, heirloom or cherry tomatoes) reaches approximately 20cm in height, this is a pretty reliable indicator that your soil is ready for planting.
If your soil remains cooler for longer, you can give your seeds a head start in a greenhouse, or use a heat pad to provide warmth to the bottom of the plant.
Fruits and vegetables to plant
- Root vegetables. For warmer, more tropical climates, the beginning of October is the perfect time to plant starchy staples like sweet potato, taro, potatoes and yams.
- Salad vegetables. Fill your garden with delicious salad vegetables to ensure you have a plethora of fresh produce at your disposal come summer. Vegetables like lettuce, radish, turnips, beans, zucchinis, capsicum, chillies, eggplants, corn, melons and cucumbers are perfectly suited to this time of year and will thrive in the slightly warmer conditions.
- Fruits and berries. As long as your climate is of moderate temperature (not too cold and not too hot) then this is the perfect time to plant delicious mulberries, figs, persimmons, feijoas and pomegranates. For cooler spring climates try stonefruits, grapes, nut trees and all berries.
Pick up INSEASON Spring for growing tips and seasonal recipes
READ MORE: When it comes to planting your greens, Isabelle Palmer, founder of online shop The Balcony Gardener and author of new book The House Gardener, believes you should look beyond traditional pots and planter boxes.