Top 5 – Seeds to sow over Summer

It has felt lovely and summery here for the last few days and the forecast suggests that the nice weather will continue for a couple more days at least.  Its great weather to be out in the garden but not necessarily the right weather to being doing anything too strenuous.  That combination of; a desire to be outside, but not heavy lifting,  sees me drawn to seed sowing.

Melbourne’s climate means that we can grow productive crops all year round so seed sowing in summer is about a combination of; replenishing crops that bolted in Spring, sowing quick growing crops to eat in late summer and early Autumn as well as getting started on winter crops.

1. Brassicas – I generally sow pretty much all my brassica crops in January.  In theory I should succession sow but in truth that January sowing is pretty much it.  This means sowing Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kale, and this year – Brussel Sprouts.  A January sowing means you should get crops in winter, but you will need to protect the seedlings from rampant green caterpillars.

2. Lettuce – To ensure a year round supply of lettuce I tend to sow in all seasons and particularly in late Spring and early summer as the lettuces tend to bolt a bit quicker as the weather warms up.

3. Spring bolting crops – For me this means Silver beet and parsley in particular if I haven’t already sown enough in Spring.

4. Celery – I’m rapidly reaching the conclusion that mid to late summer is the best time to sow celery as the weather is cool when it is at its growing peak.

5. Summer crops to extend their season –   Beans, Cucumbers and possibly even tomatoes can be sown in early (and sometimes mid to late summer) to extend their season.  Seed sown now should be ready to crop in late summer and during Autumn/early winter.

That’s what I will be sowing over the next couple of months.  What about you?

Over at the New Goodlife this weeks Top 5 is….well I’m not sure yet – head over to check it out.

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23 Responses to Top 5 – Seeds to sow over Summer

  1. Mark Willis says:

    The best thing about having friends like you in Australia is that you give us inspiration by writing about “Summer” when we here in the UK know that it is actually Winter! 🙂

  2. Frogdancer says:

    Thanks so much. I needed this post!
    Now that things have slowed down a bit around here I’m looking at the bare patches in the garden and thinking that I should get busy.

  3. Louise says:

    Thanks for this very useful sum up. Very handy. Yes to all you have proposed and one BIG addition, peas – snow peas, sugar snaps especially in my garden. I normally start putting them in in Jan/Feb.

    • Liz says:

      Oh wow – I don’t think I’ve ever tried sowing them in summer. This I will definitely have to do!

      • Marisa says:

        Louise, I’m glad to hear that snowpeas can be grown in summer, because I’ve just noticed a few shoots have come up where my winter snowpeas had been growing (some of the pods were quite dried up by the time I pulled the plants out, so I just let the peas fall in the garden). I wonder how they will go in the summer heat.

        Thanks for the sowing inspiration, Liz – and there I was thinking that planting was over for the season!

  4. Pingback: Tuesday’s Top Five – Funny things about three year olds | The New Good Life

  5. Nina says:

    I’m feeling inadequate and stressed! I haven’t even THOUGHT about sowing seedlings for the cooler months. You are someone to aspire to be, Liz!

    I’ve still got seedlings that should have been planted out at least a month ago. I haven’t even thought about corn – it’s usually well and truly on the go, by now. My excuse is that my paid work is taking over my life. Work/life balance is out of whack (again!).

    By the way, I (accidentally) let one tiny purple carrot grow on and now it is about 1.7 metres tall! I figured I would harvest the seed but, by gee, it is HUGE with lots of flower heads. It’s muscling out the tomatoes. Is that normal, does anyone know?

    • Liz says:

      Yeah I have seedlings like that too, and I only sowed corn last week. I might talk the talk but I don’t always walk the walk so to speak. Carrots do get really big when the go to seed. My understanding is that only the seed of the biggest (main) head or two is worth saving…but I might be wrong….

      • Nina says:

        Thanks for that tip. I have no idea! Harvesting them all would be overkill, anyway. No one could eat THAT many carrots!

        Though it gives me no great pleasure, I’m sorta glad I’m not the only one letting seedlings languish. This hot weather is not doing them any good, at all. I’ll plant out what I can over the weekend and hope for the best.

  6. Definitely salad crops for us when it is summer although we didn’t have a summer this year! Where’s global warming when you need it?

    • Liz says:

      I suspect that’s why they now refer to it as ‘climate change’….the global warming part seems to be limited to the areas that least need it like deserts, polar ice caps and quite possibly my back yard – it was hot here again today, no doubt you’re having the rain we need…

  7. Nick says:

    Oh, here in Chicago we’re entering the depths of winter. Such a delight to think about the spring plans, and be envious of your year around planting!

  8. Nick says:

    Beets looks beautiful. I tried a “winter” crop of bull blood beets, primarily for the leaves, not the root. Beautiful, very tasty, but my season ended too quickly. Have any experience with them?

    • Liz says:

      I have grown them before and I really enjoy them. I find that beetroot’s growth slows to snail pace in winter but I do think they are still worth persisting with. For me they kind of stagnate but start to put on growth pretty quickly in Spring.

  9. Dave's SFG says:

    Asking me what I am planting right now here in the NE US would probably be considered cruel, but the seed catalogs are now arriving. So I can read about your summer garden while I dream about and plan my garden 5 months from now. Thanks, Liz. And by the way, that’s a good looking cauliflower.

  10. I really need to start thinking about planting seeds. I plant some seeds but not all. Hadn’t given much thought to winter stuff either. Have two weeks off over Christmas so I shall get into it. Thanks liz

  11. andrea says:

    Liz I’d love to be planting more seeds but I’m a bit concerned about the amount of water I can put on them and also the harsh summer temps we have.
    I’m thinking I really need a shade house…….maybe I can put that on my wish list !

    • Liz says:

      The dry is getting a bit concerning – fortunately they’ve relaxed the water restrictions here so I can be reasonably liberal with my watering at the moment.

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