What to Plant in Autumn
If you’re looking at ways to stretch your budget at the moment, you’re in luck because autumn in Brisbane is the perfect time to be planting vegetables and herbs that will reduce the cost of your future weekly food bill and add in so much fresh flavour into your home-cooked dishes that you’ll never look back!
Now, depending on your available real estate – and by this we mean available space – you will need to determine if you go down the path of buying seeds (whilst this is better value for money as you could end up with enough to feed the neighbours, you will need to factor in germination time) or heading down the nursery aisle that leads you to discover the established seedlings on offer for this time of year.
Whilst winter is on the way, don’t discount your salad faves, so definitely entertain a medley of lettuces, rocket, cucumbers, tomatoes, capsicum, eggplant and a delightful range of herbs, if they take your fancy. We are living in the Sunshine State remember, so check out what’s available in seedling form in your local nursery, hardware shop or your favourite online plant retailer and be guided by what’s on offer seasonally.
Also, importantly, make sure you do your research on the aspect and orientation of your garden to determine the ultimate amount of time in the sun for the time of planting and each plant’s needs.
Root vegies – such as carrot, radish, turnip and beetroot – are perfect for planting in autumn in our climate, and will be harvested in time to add to hearty winter casseroles or to spice up a home-cooked date night meal on a budget.
Leafy greens are a healthy addition to everyone’s diet (especially if the kids haven’t twigged as to how mums ‘hide’ them in nearly every meal) so have a go at planting out silver beet, kale, along with cabbage and broccoli, plus a host of Asian greens, such as Bok Choy, if a sizzling stir-fry is in on repeat in your recipe repertoire.
Climbing beans and peas are perfect to take your garden vertical and the ideal option if you have a balcony garden or a small garden where the floor space is limited. Companion plant some Sweet Peas and the trellis will be as pretty as a picture and will smell divine to boot, not to mention being a gorgeous cut flower inside your home. And don't overlook the magical Marigold to bring a pop of colour into your at-home-garden that also attracts the bees and butterflies.
When it comes to multi-use culinary cuisine flowers in your garden, one that is not as commonly seen as years gone by across the gardens of Brisbane is the humble nasturtium. Loved for its hardy disposition, the nasturtium grows well in shade and full sun, and can fill up an otherwise dull garden space in no time, plus it looks fantastic cascading from a pot on a balcony. Not only is it an edible plant (leaves and flowers) but it is also loved by bees and wasps so a total yay level plant.
These plant suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg (lettuce), so have some fun with your choices and enjoy taking the time to increase your self-sufficiency. It's a practice that will certainly grow on you (pun intended) and save you money in the long run.
By Danella Perrins