Once upon a time in fruit and veg shops all over the world produce was being sold that was either in season locally or within a few days travel by road or rail. There was no need to ask “what time of year do apples grow” because we knew when they were in the shops they were in season. We did our weekly shop and we were supporting local farmers.
Yet unsatisfied with not being able to buy what we wanted and when we wanted, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, shops started to import produce from other countries and it would travel by shipping containers and be weeks if not months old, by the time it made it to our kitchens. Now when we do our weekly shop we are supporting large multinational corporations. We compromised freshness and quality for convenience.
But all that can change by embracing foods that are fresh, in season, and grown locally or even better grown by YOU!
In Australia there are five different climatic zones: cold, temperate, sub tropical, tropical and arid. These areas are defined by geographic location as well as temperate, rainfall, humidity and altitude. All influencing factors when it comes to what to grow and when and what time of year produce comes into season.
To find out what you should be planting now see my monthly planting guide!
By choosing the right things at the right time of year you are guaranteed of getting a good crop. Plants are sensitive to temperature and light levels and will respond only when it’s at the optimal time. For example if you plant your tomatoes in Melbourne in July, the seed won’t germinate let alone grow, they will be frozen solid. Equally if you plant your brussel sprouts in Brisbane in January, they will grow but it’s unlikely you will get any sprouts because the hot weather will send them to seed very quickly.
The best time to get your crops in is at the start of their natural season. This will ensure that your plants will be growing, flowering and setting fruit at the best possible time. By going to early crops will be affected by temperature, either too hot or too cold. Like tomatoes that can be affected by frost or in hot weather when lettuces will go straight to seed and not produce anything for you to eat.
By planting to late your crops will also be ready to harvest too late and you could get pests and diseases. Zucchinis season starts around September for most regions except tropical areas where they can be grow all year round. If you plant them in December in Sydney, then by the time they have grown and producing a crop, the night time temperatures will have started to drop and the dew will cause your plants to get powdery mildew, which will affect the quality of your zucchinis.
When deciding what to grow at this time or any time of year you need to know what climatic zone you live in and what is in season or about to come into season. But most importantly you need to grow what you love to eat.
No matter what part of the country you live in, here is you complete guide to growing what is in season right now!