Top 5 (well actually its a Top 7 this week): Seeds to sow over winter

It’s the time of the year when my mind turns to ordering seeds – seeds to sow over Winter for the coming Spring and Summer season.  These are my top 5 food crops to sow over the next 3 months, provided you live in a temperate climate in the Southern Hemisphere anyway.

1. Onions – There’s still time to sow onions this year.  I find that I can sow bulb onions anytime up until the end of June and still have a successful crop.  Spring Onions can be sown all year so now is as good a time as any to get them in the ground.

2. Tomatoes – I sow my tomatoes in July, inside initially taking them outside once they have germinated.  I give them protection for the rest of winter as they grow on to seedling stage.

3. Potatoes – Most of the seed potato suppliers should start to have seed potatoes available from now on so its a perfect time to buy seed potatoes.  You get by far the best variety at this time of the year and you can plant them anytime provided your garden is frost free.

4. Herbs – I sow quite a lot of herb seeds towards the end of winter, usually in late July with my tomatoes.  Parsley to replace the plants that will go to seed once Spring begins.  Basil, undercover, for the coming summer season.  Dill to make sure I’ve got some ready for when the cucumbers arrive.  And Coriander because its the only time I can get the damn stuff to grow.


5. Beets – In late July I also start to sow beets – both beetroot and silverbeet.  The silverbeet will replace those plants that bolt in Spring and the beetroot provides an enjoyable Spring harvest.

This week I couldn’t limit myself to just 5 plants – I know, i know, indecisive but for this week, and this week alone here are number 6 & 7:

6.  Peppers – I sow Chillies and Capsicums in late winter – usually in August.  They seem to do best for me sowing in early August.  If I sow earlier they seem to take forever to germinate – or that’s how it seems.

7. Eggplant – This year I plan to try sowing my eggplant a little earlier as the plants are reaching maturity later than I would like.  Usually I sow in August but this year I’m thinking of trying them in July with the tomatoes and see what happens.

What are you planting this winter?  Or what did you sow last winter that you wished you’d sown earlier or later?

In other Top5 news; this week The New Goodlife gives us her Top 5 herbs to grow at home.

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18 Responses to Top 5 (well actually its a Top 7 this week): Seeds to sow over winter

  1. We plant winter brassicas, early onions and garlic but not too much else. Then things are planted in autumn to stay in the ground over winter.

    • Liz says:

      We plant out winter crops in Autumn too plus a few things like garlic which go all the way through. We grow pretty much all our brassicas over winter – partially due to space and partially due to the amount of pests attacking them in the warmer months.

  2. Lara says:

    I also plant snow peas, bok choy, spinach and lettuces now directly into the soil. I was out there last night with a small torch in my teeth harvesting snow peas for dinner.

    • Liz says:

      Oh nice choices. I plant lettuce all year round too. I forgot about spinach – mainly because I have so much silver beet in at the moment I’m not planning on bothering with spinach this year.

  3. Now this is very handy. I am newish to sowing seeds and have gotten it all wrong last year. I was way too late with all my seed sowing. It’s good to get advice from someone in Melbourne. Now I have something to do over winter. Thanks Liz.

  4. I’m with VG, this is exactly what I need. I thought as I have some space in the garden at the moment that I might also sow some quick cropping Asian Vegies and perhaps some radishes now and see how they go. I also just got a free packet of Kale seeds that I’m going to try.

    I planted all my summer cropping vegetables way too late last year, so I’m going to follow your guide and get them in some dirt in mid to late winter.

  5. Liz says:

    I reckon the Asian veg, radishes and Kale should all germinate now (although I find radishes can be slow at this time of the year). I’m thinking of trying 2 sowings of most of my summer crops one at the start of July and one near to the end or the beginning of August this year. Obviously they will need protection so I will probably get one of those plastic greenhouse things and hope Mr 2 doesn’t destroy the lot…

  6. Kirsty says:

    Ace tips, I often fall back on purchasing punnets for the things that don’t self seed. I would be really proud to grow a substantial crop of tomatoes from seed. This time of year planting itself in my garden is – masses of coriander and parsley, lettuce, beetroot, silverbeet, forgotten garlic, missed potatoes, broad beans, radishes, a few onions and spring onions (have thinned and transplanted) and even a few broccoli. Amazing how far a bit of laziness will take you. I wish coriander was as prolific in summer, it is so good in a salad.

    • Liz says:

      Ah nature is doing well for you then! I keep finding potatoes at the moment. I’m always torn about whether or not to leave them – usually I do but I have heaps coming up in the bed I want to grow tomatoes in this year so I’m not really sure what to do.

  7. Jo says:

    I grew brassicas over winter last year, and the leeks and parsnips were still in the ground from earlier in the year. My freezer was stocked up with things like beans, peas and mangetout from the summer harvests. It’s good to still be eating from the allotment through winter.

    • Liz says:

      That is great – I need to invest in a decent sized freezer – mine is too small to freeze much at all unfortunately. We do have crops coming into season here for most of the year though so I guess not being able to preseve much isn’t too much of a disadvantage.

  8. Diana says:

    For me will be Asian green, daikon, peas. It is really frustrating not able to grow coriander in summer here, they just go right to seed. I won’t be growing any onions or garlic this year, so I will be enjoying it from your harvest.

  9. Nina says:

    I must have a go at growing beetroot, I’ve not grown them before. They are not something I cook, really, as neither of my kids, growing up, liked them but maybe they would now that their tastes have changed. If not, I’ll use some and I’m sure I’ll find a home for the rest.

    I’m really looking forward to growing potatoes again. How amazing do home-grown ones taste? Nothing like it!

    • Liz says:

      Aren’t they great – home grown spuds I mean. I bought potatoes for the first time this year last week and although they were OK its just not the same.

  10. Jodie says:

    I am curious to know Liz- do you plant your beetroot now in the soil? or in punnets? I tried some beetroot seeds earlier (in Feb?) the packet said -soak in water first so I sort of left in some water for 10mins and only had a couple come up- all except 1 (still stuggling on) had unfortunate chook induced endings- just happened thats where they trampled when they had vegie garden break ins.

    • Liz says:

      I’ve done both. I do find I seem to get better germination rates in punnets. Not sure why – I never soak the seed but perhaps the punnets have more constant moisture. When I sow in the ground I find the seedlings are easily trampled by the blackbirds that, annoyingly, seem to call my garden home. Sowing in punnets and then potting up before planting out allows them to get big enough to fend for themselves.

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