Australia is a very big country. From one side of this sunburnt country to the other, across her sweeping plains, are a number of climate zones. The temperate conditions in Adelaide are very different to the heat and humidity experienced in Cairns, and this means that what you plant and grow in your garden, and when, depends on where you live.
To help you with growing your own fruits and vegetables at home, we have created the Australian Seasonal Planting Guide. This guide shows you the five climate regions in Australia and gives you the low-down on the best times for when to plant fruits and vegetables for where you live.
Australia’s climate regions
Australia can be sliced-up into five regions with unique climatic conditions in each.
Extending across the north of Australia is the tropical region. This area experiences hot and humid summers (upwards of 30°C) and warm winters. The tropical region includes areas such as Port Hedland and Broome in Western Australia, Darwin and the top third of Northern Territory, and Cairns down to Townsville in Queensland.
The planting guide suggests that tropical regions are best for growing basil, corn, and sweet potato almost all year. Most other plants have decent windows for planting, so almost any plant can be sewn.
Warm, humid summers and mild, dry winters are had by those living in the sub-tropical region, although the summer heat is slightly less than the heat in the tropics. This region spans from the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, across Brisbane and South East Queensland, up the Queensland coastline to the Whitsundays, then across into the Gascoyne region in Western Australia and down to Geraldton.
The planting guide for the sub-tropical region recommends that it is an ideal climate for beetroot, carrots, chives, oregano, radish, silverbeets and turnips. Generally September through to April will see perfect planting weather.
The arid region zone spans from coastal Western Australia all the way over to the Great Dividing Range in Australia’s east. In this area are places like Kalgoorlie, Alice Springs and inland areas of Queensland. These areas are warm, dry and experience little to no rainfall.
For the arid region, the planting guide suggests that carrots, radish, silverbeets and spinach are the all-year round bets. Most other plants are able to be grown throughout the year, depending on the season.
The temperate region covers most of Australia’s population, from Toowoomba and the Southern Downs in southern Queensland, down through eastern New South Wales including Sydney, the southern half of Victoria and Melbourne (excluding the cool/mountain regions, explained below), and across the coastal South Australia and Western Australia taking in Adelaide and Perth.
Characteristic of the southernmost points of mainland Australia, the temperate region can mostly experience a warm summer and a cool winter. Temperate region planting guides limits ideal growing times for most of the plants on the list, however lettuce, radish and turnips are almost able to be planted in any season with results.
Mild to warm summers and frosty winters are the weather forecast for cool/mountain regions of Australia. These are areas that often form ice and snow, or experience much colder winters than the rest of the country. The cool/mountain regions of Australia include high areas of south-eastern New South Wales, high areas of Victoria, and the majority of Tasmania.
The planting guide for cool/mountain regions manages to remove some planting options from the guide, with the frosts rendering some unable to be planted at all. It’s suggested not to plant sweet potato at all, while capsicum, cauliflower, chilli, coriander, garlic, peas, spring onions and strawberries have very limited planting windows. Plants susceptible to damage from frost need extra care, such as growing in a greenhouse or indoors.
Australian Seasonal Planting Guide – download and print
To keep all this information on-hand in your home, we have for you the HomeLeisure Australian Seasonal Planting Guide, a free and simple download that you can print and keep at home.
Simply click the link below to start the download, and print it through your personal printer. It’s a very handy guide to put up in the garage or garden shed, and use when looking ahead to when to plant fruits and vegetables in your garden.
Be sure to tell us what you’re growing and what you enjoy most about gardening. Good luck and may all your crops be successful!