Top 5 – Fruit and Veg in Season in Melbourne in June

Until I started blogging and regularly read about North American winters I thought Melbourne got cold.  Not as cold as the UK but cold nonetheless.  Now I realise that actually our winters are really extremely mild and actually quite pleasant (I type that raising my eyebrows slightly, as I shiver and wonder whether I should turn on the heating).  Our mild climate means we are able to grow great produce all year round.  These are the highlights of Melbourne in June.

1. Broccoli – June usually sees the first of my broccoli crops.  Plants grown from seed sown in late January/early February usually mature in June when their main heads are ready for harvest.  A delicious way to start winter.


2. Limes – My Tahitian lime is my best performing citrus.  It has set more fruit than any of the others (perhaps it is more shade tolerant) and many of those fruit are ripening now.  Luckily there are also good avocados around at the moment, and coriander grows well in Melbourne’s winter so guacamole is a seasonal staple.  It’s interesting, Lime is a flavour that if pushed I would say I would associate with summer yet the bulk of the crop actually matures in winter.  Time to google wintry lime recipes I think.

3. Leeks – I’m absolutely loving our local Farmers market.  It visits a local school twice a month and my favourite thing about the market is a fab stall which sells beautiful leeks for $1.00 each.  That’s cheaper than the supermarket for fresh good quality produce.  A definite winner in my book.

Celeriac4. Celeriac – I’m a bit excited about my celeriac growing attempts.  This is my best plant and I think I will harvest it over the next few weeks.  Should be lovely with some lentils.  My favourite celeriac recipe is the one for Celeriac and Lentils in Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion and I reckon this one will be used in just such a dish.

5. Carrots – Another thing I bought at last weekends Farmers Market were some beautiful locally grown baby carrots.  The kids love them and they are great both roasted and eaten fresh.  I find carrots much tastier at this time of the year.  The carrots that I have grown over summer in the past have tended to go a little bitter and green.  Carrots definitely seem to appreciate the cool of June, especially those grown in areas that get frost.

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29 Responses to Top 5 – Fruit and Veg in Season in Melbourne in June

  1. Bek says:

    A great top 5! I wholeheartedly support broccoli, leeks and carrots. I planted a lime just last weekend and cannot wait until I have limes in winter. I would have thought they were a summer fruit too, but now I’m glad I know better. I would have to include kale in my top 5 though!

  2. Louise says:

    You are making me miss my lime trees… Have to agree with you on broccoli, but I would have to squeeze snow peas into the list.

  3. Mark Willis says:

    Re the Celeriac: you should remove the lower leaves once they flop over, and their bases split. This lets more light and air reach the bulb, which will allegedly help it to grow bigger. Good luck! All my efforts with Celeriac (over a 3 year period) only ever produced bulbs the size of a tennis ball.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks for the advice Mark – I will remove the leaves tomorrow. Should I brag about mine being bigger than tennis balls already or would that be unkind?

  4. I’ve loved picking our latest winter crops, broccoli, spinach and our limes are just beginning too!

  5. Maria says:

    The opening lines of this post made me smile 🙂 I’m one of those northern North American gardeners who can only dream of growing things year round. Lucky for me, there are your summer photos to enjoy while we’re stuck in the double digits below zero for a week straight!

  6. Michelle says:

    Yeah, I’m in North America, but I never fully realized how cold most of it gets in the winter until I started blogging. 🙂 Lucky me, I live in a mild weather area, not quite as mild as Melbourne, but I can grow veggies year round.

    Celeriac and lentils is a fabulous combo, and it reminds me that I still have some celeriac in the fridge (it keeps forever there, I found one hanging around from winter 2011 recently, still sound and barely trying to sprout!) and I should use some up.

    • Liz says:

      Your climate does generally sound fairly similar to mine – or at least a lot more similar than many North American ones. glad to hear about celeriac’s storing qualities.

  7. We grow three of your five to harvest over winter – broccoli, carrots and leeks. Add parsnip and cabbage for our top 5.

    • Liz says:

      I’m trying parsnip for the first time in a while this year. Cabbage I have mixed experiences with but rarely harvest it before later in winter even when it grows well.

  8. Sarah says:

    If it’s mid-winter and you are only wondering whether to put the heating on, you do indeed live in a very mild area! Saying that, leeks are a reliable winter crop even in these frozen parts… along with kale and parsnips.

    • Liz says:

      I put it on today – a cold day. I’m trying parsnips over winter this year – they seem to be doing ok but its early days.

  9. Daphne says:

    Oh you had me chuckling. Melbourne cold? If I didn’t have my heat on at this time of the year (well you know December for me) my pipes would freeze. But I really don’t think of where I live as very cold either. I grew up where it was much colder. I do envy you your limes and avocados. Sometimes I think I should move south so I could grow all sorts of wonderful fruit.

  10. Lili says:

    I’m only just beginning to realise how lucky we are in Melbourne – it seems like we can grow just about anything! I’ve always loved Melbourne for the culture and the trams and the food – now I love it for the climate too.

  11. mac says:

    Lucky you, year round gardener. I might try a winter garden someday if I find an easy way to protect my crops from ice and snow.

  12. Miranda says:

    Try living in Canberra – we’ve had the central heating on since April and -4 degree frosts mean most crops just hibernate til Spring! Love the blog, particularly your recipes. I read enviously of your chilli and capsicum harvests!

  13. Bee Girl says:

    Lol…what a wonderful problem to have 😉 I’d happily take fresh, local guacamole year round!

  14. Penny Mitchell says:

    Hi there

    I love your blog. Melbourne has a city wide rat plague on at the moment and I wonder how you stop rats from destroying your broccoli? I haven’t been able to produce a mature head, or even a small sprout for over a year due to rats eating it all before it even gets going.

    Also, I have a lovely strong healthy lime tree that has produced bountiful limes in previous winters. But this winter it has only 2 small hazelnut sized limes. It is also flowering! Is this unusual? Are there any pollinators around that can facilitate fruit set?

    Kind regards

    • Liz says:

      Hi Penny,

      I had issues with rats eating my broccoli heads a couple of years ago but so far this year (and last) they haven’t been touched. The only reason I can think of (we still definitely have rats) is the position I have them in the garden. The rats here seem to eat the stuff around the edges of my garden first (that’s where I grew broccoli a couple of years ago) and then venture into the centre if they are still hungry. As a result they are currently dining on silverbeet and anything the chooks leave but aren’t venturing into the middle of the garden where the broccoli is. Of course if they bore of either food sources that might change… Otherwise I don’t really know what to suggest as despite trying a range of traps and baits etc I have thus far failed to catch a single rat. Mice yes, rats no.

      Regarding the lime I don’t think the flowering is unusual my parents tree which is more advanced than mine flowers and sets fruit for a good portion of the year. Regarding your tree only setting a couple of fruit this does seem a bit worrying but I’m not really sure what would impact on it. I’m wondering if it got too hot or dry over summer/early Autumn as that would affect the number of fruit you are harvesting now. Regarding pollination I am seeing a fair few bees around here – primarily in my grevilleas, not sure where you are and if you have flowering plants around but if you don’t I imagine they would definite help.

  15. We are so lucky to have a year round garden. Broccoli does rock, I’m also a big fan of lettuce this time if year, so sweet and lush. By Melbourne standards we can complain a bit more about the cold but seeing patches covered with a blanket if snow is a pretty rare event here, it must be challenging.

  16. Nola Brooks says:

    Hi Liz (and all),
    I wonder if anyone has any ideas about apricot trees and their ailments? Mine developed what looks like a deep split in the bark last year which it sealed up with sap.
    All seemed OK but I did think the harvest was down a bit. This winter the trunk has developed a bigger split about eight inches long..(20cm?) and a great gush of sap has come out pooling around the base of the tree. If it had been a person I think I would have called an ambulance. It is planted in a wet area of the garden…which hasn,t been a problem up until now…as you will understand. Could this split be a consequence of too wet feet do you reckon? Or has anyone any ideas…please? I,d hate to loose this wonderful tree. I,m enjoying reading your tips. Thanks for the blog and the info…oh I live in Ringwood .

    • Liz says:

      Hi Nola,

      I don’t have any experience of apricots personally but I will post your query and perhaps someone else will.


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