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

I like Melbourne in May.  For a start my birthday is in May and that means presents.  May also brings our first really Autumnal weather heralding falling leaves and slightly cooler temperatures.  As a result May often sees the final harvesting of many warmer weather crops.  Crops that started in Feb – April continue on in May, things like Sweet Potato, Tamarillo, Eggplant, Capsicums and Chillies as well as greens & herbs like Parsley, Kale, and Silverbeet.  As I have included them in my earlier posts I won’t highlight them here.  Instead these are some of the new things and final crops that will come out of my and other Melbourne gardens in May.


Pomegranate –  I should really have included pomegranate last month but as my tree is yet to reach cropping size I wasn’t really sure exactly when crops began.  I went round pick up my daughter from a friends house the other day to find two trees in their backyard laden with beautiful bright red fruit.  And better yet the family to whom they belong to don’t use them so we get them all!  YAY!  I picked a good few that day and left a few that weren’t quite ripe yet but as those others will ripen in May I thought I could include them in this post.


Feijoa – I love Feijoa’s but as yet I haven’t found room for a plant so this is another crop that I have to scavenge from neighbours.  There is a tree between my house and the shops which conveniently deposits fruit on the footpath and May is when it generally deposits them.  As its not unusual to use feijoas as hedging I suspect I’m not the only one who gets their fruit by picking it up on their daily constitutional.


Lettuce –  My lettuce struggled this summer.  I didn’t look after it well enough and the plants bolted in the heat.  Plus I didn’t sow seed regularly enough to keep up with the bolting.  All this will change in May as the ones I sowed at the beginning of March start to crop well.  My plants seem to be really enjoying our mild (about 20C) temperatures and are growing nicely.  Well those that haven’t been attacked by my marauding hens are, but that is another post altogether….


Basil – I find my basil plants start to look a little on the sad side by the end of May so I try and harvest as much as possible during the month in order to freeze it for use during winter.  I freeze basil leaves whole and in pesto form, with both working well as a way of ensuring I have that fantastic basil flavour to use with all those tomatoes I preserved over summer.


Turmeric – I think I will harvest my turmeric crop in May – I harvested at least some of it then last year.  It does depend on the weather a bit as I do want to maximise its growing time so if May is really mild I might not harvest until June.  Regardless though I will probably bandicoot around a grab a few bits as I have been doing with my ginger for the last month or so.

So what will you harvest during May, or indeed enjoy scavenging from others?

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26 Responses to Top 5 – Fruit and Veg in Season in Melbourne in May

  1. Michelle says:

    Oh, lucky you, to have such a source of pomegranates! Two trees… I would be jealously guarding such treasure.

    I was hoping to be harvesting sugar snap peas through May, but it looks like it won’t be the case. My pea plants are dying off, not sure why, perhaps the weekly warm spells into the 80°F + (27°C) temps (and forecast to be warmer the next few days), not to mention a few kinks in the irrigation drip lines… But the lettuce is growing like gangbusters, and spinach, and favas, and beets – that looks like what I’ll be feasting on for a few weeks.

    • Liz says:

      Shame about your peas. The tragedy with the pomegranates is that the owners will probably get rid of the trees soon as they planning to extend their house. Hopefully though they delay a year or two.

  2. Wow you can grow turmeric and ginger in Melbourne?????? TELL ME MORE 😀

    • Liz says:

      I wrote posts on both last year: the turmeric one is here and the ginger one is here. I might do new versions to document this years growth in a month or so when I harvest but in a nutshell: I grow both for fun. I get harvests but not very big ones so far although I am still working on how to maximize my yield.

  3. I’m impressed that you have turmeric in Melbourne. That’s great that it will grow that far south. It’s one of my very favourite garden crops. Here in northern NSW it is so productive that I don’t harvest it – I just dig a bit up whenever I want it, usually every few days. Fresh turmeric is to dried like fresh ginger is to dried – a different spice altogether. Lately I’ve been loving turmeric tea – just finely sliced fresh turmeric with boiling water poured over it. My pomegranates are much earlier – all finished a few months ago now. But they are another of my key favourite things to grow.

    • Liz says:

      We don’t really get big crops from the turmeric so I grow it for fun rather than it being really productive although I could probably make a lot more use of the leaves than I do. I will try the tea though – that sounds really interesting. Interesting that your pomegranate season is so much earlier. But then I guess your climate is that much warmer.

  4. The Shroom says:

    I don’t recognise the Feijoas are they a native Australian fruit? What do they taste like and what do you use them for? 🙂

    • Liz says:

      No they are actually South American but they are grown a lot for fruit in New Zealand and to a lesser extent Australia. They taste a bit like guava and I just eat them fresh as you would most fruit.

  5. Daphne says:

    One of those on your list I’ve never eaten (feijoas) and one I’ve had one time in my life (pomegranate). The tumeric isn’t sold fresh around here only dried. At least I’m familiar with lettuce and basil. May is a time of scarcity still here. Last year I got strawberries in May. This year I’m guessing not until June since last year was about three weeks ahead of normal. So it will be greens and maybe some radishes and turnips. Lettuce, kale, spinach, and Asian greens are our May crops. Oh and herbs. I’ve already been picking the cilantro.

    • Liz says:

      I’m always jealous of your abundant cilantro. I sowed some seed recently so I might get enough leaves for harvest in a month or so but then again they might all die, bolt and get attacked by the chooks (all equally likely) and I will ogle yours instead…

  6. I agree may is the best (I have a birthday as well). I have a client with a feijoa tree (they are kiwis so they wanted something from their past). Despite e fact that I planted them in a more sunny position he moved them together and now the citrus completely shades them? What can a person do? I am considering doing a hedge at my place around the pool but I am not completely sold on its pineapple flavour. But maybe a pomegranate?

    • Liz says:

      You might be able to hedge with pomegranate. Some varieties are a lot denser than others foliage wise. Even if it didn’t completely screen the area it would taste pretty good I reckon.

  7. Oh stop, you have a pomegranate tree? Now I know you really live in paradise!

  8. Lucky you with the pomegranate. I have been eyeing off a tree down the street and trying to pluck up the courage to knock on the door. Our lettuce, silver beet and kale are looking really good at the moment, as are the cauliflowers and broccoli but my peas are struggling. We seem to have a grasshopper plague and they keep eating off the pea shoots at the base. I think we are on our third replanting. They seem to prefer the Greenfeast to the sugar snaps so my hopes of a pea crop are fading at the moment.

    • Liz says:

      Go on knock, otherwise you’ll regret it if they start to fall off and rot on the ground. I noticed today that the slugs have started to get at my peas so I will have to protect them – same thing happened last year but I was lax and consequently we had no peas. I’m also growing Greenfest – they are clearly attractive to the pests aren’t they?

  9. Bee Girl says:


    (That is all.)


  10. I’m so jealous of your pomegranate forageing! I havent’ had one for ages. Our basil is also dying, slowly we are moving to hearty winter herbs.

    • Liz says:

      I can’t tell you how excited I was to find these trees – we have been eating a fruit a day for the week since I found them.

  11. And my birthday too – Taurus!!

    • Liz says:

      Ah yes, the bull. I suspect I can be stubborn, not sure what other traits I am supposed to have but the stubborn thing definitely rings true.

  12. Sarah says:

    I’m just starting to pick a few lettuce leaves, but the basil is a way off yet. Pomegranates and turmeric would grow in my dream garden, and I had to look up feijoas – are they good to eat?

  13. Diana says:

    Happy Birthday!
    Nice harvest of turmeric in Melbourne climate.

  14. Louise says:

    Ah, so behind in my blogging! LOVE the pomegranate! Incredibly red and juicy. I am planning to plant several pomegranates in my new patch, do you know what variety these are? Love the turmeric!

    • Liz says:

      No idea about the variety I’m afraid. They tasted pretty good though. I find the deep red ones (both inside and out) are generally better than the paler varieties but that is from fairly limited experience.

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