Keeping it simple this season


After reviewing last Spring/Summer’s harvest and the photos (like the one above from last November), the plan this season is to keep it simple, grow what we know, grow what we know we will eat. So I’ve started the first of my seeds in punnets (inside on a heat mat), completed a basic garden planting plan and although it may change as the season progresses, it’s a start!

I thought by sharing it might provide you with some ideas for your garden this Spring.

Here’s what I’m planning to plant –

  • Tomatoes – Black Russian, Yellow Pear, Purple Cherokee, Blue, Tigerella, Jaune Flamme & Ananas Noir, Pink Bumble Bee & Big Rainbow… and maybe a few more.
  • Basil – Sweet & Lettuce Leaf
  • Zucchini – Tuscan & Black Beauty
  • Kale – Black Toscana, Red Russian, Red Bore
  • Cucumber – Lebanese & Mini Muncher
  • Broccoli – Waltham and Green Sprouting
  • Pumpkin – Waltham Butternut
  • Peas – Greenfeast
  • Beans – Borlotti and Frost (for drying and storing)
  • Capsicums – Mini
  • Cauliflower – Mini
  • Brussels Sprouts – Long Island

Plus, requested by the kids –

  • Rockmelon – Sweet Granite & Petit Gris De Rennes
  • More carrots!
  • Sunflowers

This is what’s already in the patch that will be growing/harvested over Spring/Summer:

  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Asparagus
  • Kale
  • Broadbeans
  • Peas
  • Sweetpeas
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Silverbeet
  • Radishes
  • Beetroot

And here’s what I’m not planting this year and why:

  • Corn – we’ve never had a fabulous crop of corn and this year I will buy it from the Farmer’s Market instead as we need it, or in bulk and blanch, cut and freeze for the cooler months.
  • Saucing Tomatoes (San Manzano, Roma etc) – This year I am focusing on the salad/fresh tomatoes. The saucing tomatoes I will buy by the box at the market. Though I’ve had good crops of saucing tomatoes before,  its not always in the quantities needed for a big batch for preserving.
  • Lettuce – our lettuce is always bitter and we don’t eat a lot of anyway.
  • Chia – this is easy to grow, but it’s difficult to harvest the seeds. Has anyone worked out the trick to getting the seeds out easily?
  • Rocket – no need to plant, it’s already popping up in the garden from last year!
  • Stevia – I grew this last year and it did well, but I think I’ll give it a miss this year.
  • Chillies – we seem to be still inundated with dried chillies from last year, so we will skip them this season.

Looking back at the comparison of my ‘planned’ and ‘actual’ plantings for each of the previous seasons (I do a plan twice a year, one for Spring/Summer and the other for Autumn/Winter) I know that there is always room for a late arrival or change of heart, but for now, it’s time to get growing!


  1. says

    Love your list!
    I am very big on only spending time and money on growing things I know we will eat. After that I look at what we can grow easily, because I am all enthusiasm and no skill when it comes to the garden! This year though I am going a bit over the top on flowers as our bee hive is really struggling, and if they survive the next few cold weeks I am hoping a massive flower crop might help them get going again.

    I have to ask though – everyone tells me how easy it is to grow chia, and I’ve tried twice and not managed to get a single seed to sprout! What am I doing wrong? Is it just simply too cold too late in the season out here near Mt Macedon?

    • natasha says

      Not sure about the chia. I grew mine over Spring and purchased the seeds from Eden Seeds (rather than using ones from the health food store which are not always guaranteed to sprout). They do need the warmer weather – perhaps try again around October?

  2. Elizabeth says

    It’s great to read someone else’s list and reasons.
    I am in the Inner West of Sydney and last year I had my best tomato ever, it was the Broad Ripple Currant Tomato, it just kept producing and the flavour was divine. I don’t have a lot of room so even the size of the bush was perfect. I would recommend that variety to everyone.
    I want to grow corn, but when space is limited I think you are right, it is better to buy it at the local growers market. I am trying my first Petit Gris de Rennes rockmelon this year, I put my seeds in this week, last year I tried the French Charentais – wow, the flavour! The flesh also went very close to the rind so there was hardly any waste. I kept the seeds and have sprouted some now, ready to transplant next week 🙂
    Oh and Mini White Cucumbers are great too!
    I look forward to seeing your progress through the year.

  3. Liz says

    Hi Tash and everyone,

    To get chia and amarath seeds out of the plants easily, when the buds are fat and ready to harvest, you need to cut the tops of the heads of the plants off with all the buds. Leave hanging to dry over a collection container. When completely dry, rub plant tops between palms until the buds have completely broken down. Then you need to do something called ‘winowing’ which is to put the seed mix into a shallow container and shake. The seeds will fall to the bottom and you gently blow the dry plant matter off the top. It is a lot of effort to get the seeds, but this method is the easiest. Happy gardening!

  4. Robbie says

    missed out on getting ananas noir into punnets this year and desperately want a couple : live in east gippsland and come to Melb regularly.. any chance? can bring you something in exchange?

    • natasha says

      Hi Robbie,
      I only have two that are already in the ground – but I can check at the local food swap for you next weekend and see if anyone has any spare. If they do I’ll let you know 🙂 Cheers, Tash


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