Early summer brings with it lots of jobs for eager gardeners, as well as opportuntities to relax, unwind and entertain in the garden. Stay on top of watering, weeding, mulching and pruning for a flourishing garden all through the warmer months. There's plenty of choice when it comes to sowing seeds in December; it's a good time to start many perennials as well as warm-season annual herbs, flowers and vegetables.
Read on below or click the following links to browse a range of seeds to sow now in your climate:
▩ Cool Climate: Tasmania, Melbourne, Mt Gambier, Canberra, etc.
▩ Temperate Climate: Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, etc.
▩ Sub-Tropical Climate: Brisbane, Bundaberg, Carnarvon, etc.
▩ Tropical Climate: Broome, Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, etc.
▩ Arid Climate: Broome, Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, etc.
Not sure which climate? Click here.
Early summer crops should be starting to produce now, but there are also plenty of vegetable seeds that can be started in December. Nightshades, cucurbits and beans are some of the most productive crops in the summer garden, and there's always room to squeeze a few more into pots, along fences or between ornamentals. Sow seeds of leafy greens for salads and stir fries, corn for summer eating, and root crops for autumn harvest.
- Cucurbits: Bitter melon, cucumber, gourd, luffa, summer squash, pumpkin, rockmelon, watermelon, winter squash, zucchini.
- Nightshades: Capsicum, Cape gooseberry, Cossack pineapple, chilli, eggplant, tomato.
- Legumes: Adzuki bean, borlotti bean, bush bean, climbing bean, winged pea.
- Brassicas: Chinese cabbage, mizuna, mustard (Cold climates only: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower).
- Leafy greens: Amaranth, celtuce, cress, endive, lettuce, garland, orach, rocket, silverbeet.
- Root Crops: Beetroot, carrot, kohlrabi, mangel wurzel, parsnip, radish, swede.
- Stalks: Celery, corn, Florence fennel, rhubarb (seed).
- Heat Lovers: Artichoke, okra, passionfruit, rosella.
Succession sow fast growing soft-leaved herbs including basil, chives, cress and mustard, or start seeds for perennials including echinacea, feverfew, lavender and hyssop. Harvest or tip prune herbs so they have fresh new growth ready to use in Christmas meals and BBQs.
Herb Seeds to Sow Now:
- All climates: Basil, borage, chives, cress, echinacea, fennel, feverfew, hyssop, lavender, lovage, mustard, oregano, purslane, sorrel, thyme.
- Temperate and cool climates: All of the above plus anise hyssop, bergamot, catmint, catnip, chervil, coriander, dill, lemon balm, mint, parsley, perilla, Russian tarragon, sage, savory, yarrow.
Seeds for heat-loving flowers can be planted in all climates in December, with a wider selection available for gardeners in subtropical zones and southern states. Summer-flowering sweet peas, lillies, zinnias, cosmos and phlox should be putting on a show, with dahlias also starting to bloom in warm-climate gardens.
Flower Seeds to Sow Now:
- Tropical and arid climates: Canary creeper, cardinal creeper, celosia, Chinese forget-me-not, dahlia, echinacea, feverfew, impatiens, lavender, Livingstone daisy, marigold, spider flower, sunflower, zinnia.
- Sub-tropical, temporate and cool climates: All of the above plus alyssum, amaranth, aster, butterfly bush, Californian poppy, chrysanthemum, cornflower, globe amaranth, salvia, schizanthus, verbena, vinca.