What to grow in summer in Australia: Summer planting guide

When it comes to food, we all know that fresh is best. And there’s no better feeling than eating fresh produce that you’ve grown, straight from your very own garden! But if you’re not sure where to start, or even what to grow, we’ve got you covered. We’re bringing you the ultimate guide on what to grow in summer in Australia.

Thanks to our resident gardening expert, Ingrid Devlin from Gardening with Ingrid, here’s your summer planting guide!

Related article: In the garden: How to start a veggie garden
Related article: In the garden: Summer gardening guide

Words by Ingrid Devlin

Gardening tips to help get you started

To get the most out of your garden and to grow the best produce possible, it pays to plant the right thing at the right time. Keep scrolling for our quick and easy reference guides to help you know what to grow in the garden in your region.

All of these plants can be grown either from seeds or seedlings. If you decide to grow from seeds, your seeds need to be started in a seed tray. Allow them to germinate by keeping them in a warm place with an ideal temperature of between 20 and 30oC.

Once your seeds have germinated, keep them in a warm, sunny position. Water them regularly and plant out in your garden after about 4 to 6 weeks.

The different climates zones of Australia

Australia is a big, beautiful and very diverse place! So it’s important to remember that what grows well in one area of Australia may not suit another.

This map of Australia highlights the various climate zones. Keep on reading to find out the best things to grow in your garden in summer based on where you live.

Climate zones in Australia

Tropical zone

Those of you who live in the tropical zone know your humidity! It includes the top east coastline of Australia (Mackay, Townsville, Cairns) sweeps across the top end of Australia (Darwin, Katherine) and goes right across to the top end of the WA coastline (Broome and down to Exmouth).

The best things to plant in a tropical zone in summer are:

  • Artichoke
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Cabbage
  • Capsicum
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Chilli
  • Chives
  • Choko
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Ginger
  • Mustard greens
  • Leeks
  • Okra
  • Potato

  • Radish
  • Rockmelon
  • Silverbeet
  • Squash
  • Sunflower
  • Sweet corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini
What to plant in Summer in Australia - tropical zone

Sub-tropical climate

Sub-tropical regions go from Coffs Harbour, through Brisbane and right up the coast to Rockhampton and Mackay. It also covers the mid-WA coastline.

The best things to plant in a sub-topical zone in summer are:

  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Capsicum
  • Chilli
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Leeks
  • Onion
  • Oregano
  • Parsnip
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Rocket
  • Rockmelon
  • Silverbeet
  • Squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini
What to plant in Summer in Australia - sub-tropical zone

Grasslands zone

Capturing in-land Australian cities such as Mt Isa, Tennant Creek and stretching across to the WA coastline, if you’re in the Grasslands zone, you KNOW hot summers! But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an abundance of things to grow in the garden.

The best things to plant in a grassland zone in summer are:

  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cape gooseberry
  • Capsicum
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Cress
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Leek
  • Onion
  • Parsnip
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb
  • Silverbeet
  • Spring onion
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip
  • Zucchini
What to plant in Australia in Summer - grasslands zone

Arid climate

The arid climate zone is Australia’s biggest region. It covers almost all the inland areas across all states. An arid climate has hot, dry summers and cool to warm winters.

The best things to plant in an arid zone in summer are:

  • Artichoke
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Borage
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Capsicum
  • Chilli
  • Chives
  • Choko
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Oregano
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb
  • Rosella
  • Silverbeet
  • Squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini
What to plant in Summer in Australia - arid zone

Warm temperature zone

The warm temperate zone includes the New South Wales tablelands and coastline from Sydney, all the way down to Melbourne. It runs across to Adelaide and Perth, as well as inland Queensland.

The best things to plant in a warm temperature zone in summer are:

  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Capsicum
  • Carrots
  • Chicory
  • Chilli
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Parsnip
  • Peas
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Rocket
  • Silverbeet
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini
What to plant in Summer in Australia - warm temperature

Cool temperature zone

Things get pretty chilly in the cool climate zones of Australia! They include most of Tasmania, mountain and inland areas of New South Wales, Victoria and the tablelands of the ACT.

But just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean you can’t grow a great crop in your very own backyard. You just have to know what to plant!

The best things to plant in a cool temperature zone in summer are:

  • Basil
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Chilli
  • Chives
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Globe artichoke
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Parsnip
  • Potato
  • Radish
  • Spring onion
  • Silverbeet
  • Shallots
  • Sweet corn
  • Tomato
  • Turnip
  • Zucchini
What to plant in Summer in Australia - cool temperature zone

We hope you found this summer growing guide useful! Growing your own produce and seeing the fruits (or veggies!) of your labour is so rewarding… and delicious! Has this guide of what to grow in summer in Australia inspired you to get out into the garden?

If you do, we’d love to see — be sure to tag us on Instagram or drop us an email. Or, feel free to share your gardening tips and tricks with us in the comment section below. Happy gardening Lovelies!

More gardening tips and advice

About Ingrid Devlin

Ingrid Devlin from Gardening with Ingrid

Ingrid is a Melbourne Mumma of 2 who’s hobby and passion is her beloved garden. She’s a self-taught gardener who grew up loving the outdoors and spending time gardening with her parents. You will find her out in the garden every single day, so certainly knows her way around a veggie patch!

Instagram: @gardening.with.ingrid

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