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My Blog


Autumn Is the Time to Plant

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Autumn is the time to plant!!
As I’m writing this blog I can already hear the mumblings “here we go, a salesman trying to drum up some business”.
Most people think that spring is the best time to plant but its not.  There is no right or wrong time to plant in the warm temperate, subtropical and tropical areas of Australia but the best time to plant is autumn as I’ll show you below.
Compare the conditions in spring, when most gardeners plant and autumn when there is not much planting done.  In spring the soil is cold and dry (cold because winter has just finished and dry because late winter and spring tends to be the driest part of the year) and the ambient temperature is rising, often quite radically.  All of this makes it quite stressful for the plants being planted (and those planting them).
In autumn conditions are much, much more favourable, the soil is warm and moist (warm because it has had all of spring and summer to heat up and moist because most of our rain falls in late summer and early autumn) and the ambient temperature is falling slowly.  All of these conditions a make for an almost stress free transaction from pot to ground, both for the plants and those planting them.  The other advantage of autumn planting is that you don’t need to be consistently watering.  Often all you need to do is water the plants in and keep an eye on them, only giving the occasional deep watering.
If you are in a frost zone it will be important to protect newly planted plants from frost for the first year.
I resent being called a salesman, I’m a “plantsman”, have been for most of my life and yes I am trying to drum up sales, but only because this is when my customers and I, those that have taken my advice, get the best results and pest satisfaction from their gardening.

Categories: Planting Time

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Reply Irrigation
10:39 AM on December 21, 2012 
Thanks for dragging me out from that myth that planting can only be done in the spring only.I think you have a robust knowledge about agriculture,irrigation and also about planting.
Reply Birdie
2:21 AM on January 20, 2013 
Hi, I am very interested in birds and in wildlife in general. I rent in the suburbs ( Buderim) is it possible, do you think, to have a few potted plants around the garden to encourage birds and butterflies? This house is a palm tree oasis and devoid of much attraction except at berry time
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2:03 PM on July 10, 2013 
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1:20 AM on March 25, 2016 
This is also what we found over the last 3 years, trialling plants for our garden in Magnetic Island (same latitude as Townsville). After a normally relentlessly hot and rainy / humid summer (where most of the plants just rest & survive) the garden wakes up againg in autumn, and the growing & planting season kicks off. We still nedd sun protection for the plants and irrigate 3 times a week, but otherwise it is exactly as you described and gives newly arrived plants a head-start of up to 9 months until the next baking hot & humid summer. BTW, the veggie-growing season up here is from autumn thru winter until the end of spring...