Winter Vegetables To Grow In Melbourne

50 Top Winter Vegetables To Grow In Melbourne

The winter season in Melbourne starts in June and ends in August. The winter season is the best time to plant your vegetable, especially if you love organic food. Growing in winter is risky, but understanding which vegetables thrive in a particular season is helpful. 

Growing vegetables in winter does not kill vegetables but somewhat slows their growth. Every drop in temperature reduces the growth rate. Vegetables growing in the winter are grouped into two groups, hardy and semi-hardy vegetables. 

Hardy vegetables are tough and can withstand temperatures below 28 degrees. Examples of hardy vegetables include spinach, walla, sweet onion, garlic, leek, broccoli, rutabaga, rhubarb, kohlrabi, kale, cabbage, chicory, Brussels, sprouts, corn salad, arugula, tara beans, radish, mustard, Australia winter pea, and turnip. 

Semi-hardy vegetables can withstand temperatures between 28 – 32 degrees and frost. Examples include beets, carrots, lettuce, chard, Chinese cabbage, endive, radicchio, cauliflower, parsley and celery, and parsnips (only the roots can tolerate low temperatures).

Other vegetables, such as purple kale, Rosalind broccoli, and purple sprouting broccoli, contain a pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is a compound that the vegetables a vibrant red or purple color. This component also makes them more resistant to rot caused by winter. 

Here is a comprehensive list of winter vegetables to grow in Melbourne. 

June:

Broad bean, onion, peas, shallot, cabbage, Jerusalem artichoke, rosemary, thyme, radish, marjoram, dill, garlic, mint, endive, chicory, snow peas, and sage.

July:

Broadbean, cabbage, chicory, radish, endive, Jerusalem artichoke, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard greens, onion parsnip, marjoram, rosemary, shallot, snowpeas, dill, and mint. 

August:

Tomato spring onions, spinach, snow peas, rhubarb (crowns), radish, potato, peas, onion, mustard greens, parsnips, lettuce, leek, kohlrabi, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, endive, dill, chicory, cabbage, artichoke, asparagus, and beetroot. 

Benefits of Consuming Vegetables 

1. During winter, most people, especially children and older people, are more vulnerable to cold and flu. Regular consumption of vegetables is the body’s defense mechanism and boosts the immune system. It also strengthens your body. 

Although some people argue that taking your flu shots should be enough to protect from the flu and cold, vegetables such as broccoli and spinach help to strengthen the body’s natural defense system. 

2. Consuming vegetables to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings is healthier than indulging in candies and other unhealthy foods. 

3. Buying vegetables that are available in season is much cheaper. Individuals and families can buy in bulk at more affordable rates, saving more money.

4. Pumpkin, green peas, and cauliflower are high in fiber content and help the body feel full. Consuming vegetables helps control overeating and excessive weight gain, especially during this winter period. It is advised that people who are obese should eat more vegetables during the winter. 

5. Vegetables are suitable for the heart, especially if you have hypertension, stroke, or heart disease. 

6. Vegetables such as carrots, spinach, and sauch contain high amounts of beta-carotene, while broccoli, kiwi, and cantaloupe are excellent sources of vitamin C. 

7. Vegetable vegetables are highly nutritious and nutrient-packed, Besides fiber, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Incorporating vegetables into your daily diet helps to protect the body against diseases. 

8. They aid in weight loss, especially for obese people. 

9. They reduce the chances of heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, and stroke. 

How to Start a Winter Vegetable Garden 

The following steps guide farmers or individuals on the proper steps to take when planting vegetables in the winter. 

1. Obtain good vegetable seeds before the winter begins, preferably late summer so that they can mature before or after the winter season.

2. Clear your garden. Get rid of all the weeds in your garden or garden beds. 

3. Aerate and break up the clods in the soil by turning the soil over. To do this, you would need a 12-inch garden spade. 

4. Add fertilizer and organic manure to the soil and mix well using a garden fork. 

5. For the growth and enrichment of vegetables, you can add either of the following: ● A bone meal that is rich in phosphates 

● Ablood meal that is rich in nitrogen, cottonseed meal 

● Organic vegetable food 

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. 

6. Make furrows or mounds with your hoe and ensure that the furrows face both north and south so that vegetables will get total exposure to sunlight. 

7. Tall vegetables should be planted facing the north, while the short vegetables should face the south. This is to prevent the tall crops from shading the short vegetables. 

8. Cover your garden or garden beds with portable cold frames or plastic row covers to prevent your veggies from freezing or becoming frosty. These row covers or frames are essential to retain moisture, keep the vegetables warm, and provide crop protection. 

Examples of row covers include: 

● polyethylene covers 

● Frost cloth 

● Raised beds with lids 

● Cold frames 

● Greenhouses 

For extra insulation and warmth, add mulches such as leaves, straws, snow branches, and compost.

Another alternative is arching a PVC pipe over the garden and arranging them to create a mini greenhouse for your vegetables. 

9. If you planted your vegetable seeds on garden beds, transplant them when they begin to show true leaves and have grown past the seedling stage. This should be done between five to eight weeks before the first frost. 

10. Water your vegetables regularly but carefully. To know if your vegetables need water, check the texture of the soil.

If the ground feels dry, it lacks moisture and should be watered. It is, however, advisable to water during the bright hours of the day during winter. 

Problems Encountered During Planting in the Winter 

1. Infestation of cabbage whitefly on cabbage and broccoli, causing sooty molds to develop in the upper leaf surface. Control: Cabbage whitefly is challenging to control because it is ubiquitous. However, there are preventive measures: 

● The use of pesticides is a widespread control measure taken to eradicate the pest, but it has limitations due to its harmful effects on harmless animals. 

● Introduction of other predators of the cabbage fly, such as ground beetles and ladybirds. 

2. Most winter vegetables are prone to attack by pigeons. They peck on the leaves, ripping them off and leaving behind the stalk. Control: Grow the affected vegetables under a nut or a fruit cage. Caution must be taken to avoid trapping or injuring the pigeons. To do this, ensure that the veggies are tightly secured under the net and check regularly for holes. 

3. Annual vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, spinach, radish, and biennial vegetables such as onions, carrots, and beetroot are prone to bolting when stressed. Cold spells majorly cause bolting.

Control 

● Cultivate vegetables that are resistant to bolting. 

● In bolted onions, bolting can be suppressed by the application of fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen. 

● For cold-sensitive vegetables such as Endive and Swiss chard, sowing should be delayed until the temperature becomes more stable. 

4. Cabbage and other vegetable such as broccoli, are prone to attack by cabbage caterpillars. These cabbage caterpillars create holes in these vegetables’ leaves, destroying them. 

Control 

● Use of pesticides. Precaution should be taken to prevent harm to other non-harmful species. 

● Introduction of predators such as social wasps and birds that will reduce the presence of the caterpillar. 

● Biological control. 

● Grow vegetables under nets or horticultural fleece. 

● Ensure that the nets do not touch the plants to prevent the adult females from laying eggs on the nets. 

● Hand-pick the caterpillars and their eggs on the farm regularly or when seen. 

5. Plants showing stunted growth, presence of wilt or off-color foliage. This is usually caused by over-watering. Control: Water your crops appropriately and only when necessary. Only water the soil when it is dry and drained of moisture. 

6. Vegetables exhibiting slow growth and the presence of wilt and sometimes death of the vegetables. This can be due to suffocation or overheating, mainly if you use the greenhouse method to protect your veggies.

Control: introduction of vents to reduce overheating and suffocation. The vents should be placed strategically to regulate the temperature and reduce overheating. 

7. Vegetables are yellow, and thin but do not wilt. This is due to nutrition or mineral deficiency. 

Control 

● Test the soil to determine which minerals or nutrients are deficient and supply them.

● Add organic fertilizer to enrich the soil. 

8. The leaves appear brown and shrivel and the margins are scorched. Several factors could lead to this, including dry soil, salt damage, fertilizer burn, potassium deficiency, and cold injury. 

Control 

For cold injury: protect the plants with row covers, frost cloths, or polyethylene covers. For fertilizer burns: flush the remaining fertilizer out of the soil. Avoid over-fertilization and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when fertilizing your garden. 

For potassium deficiency: apply a fertilizer that is rich in potassium. You can also add wood ash or green manure. 

For dry soil: water the soil regularly and deeply. 

Conclusion 

Despite the challenges of planting in the winter season, it is however very possible to grow your vegetables. This article is a guide to help you with that. Enjoy the planting season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *