A guide to running a succesful garden in Sydney's winter

Sydney has a beautiful climate and is ideal for all gardeners, having the ability to nurture your plants 12 months a year is something many people in the world don’t get to enjoy. Mild winter conditions mean there are still a variety of plants that can be grown in the colder months. While many shy away from their garden in the winter, there are still a variety of different ways you can achieve a successful harvest no matter the time of year. This guide will show you how you can reap the rewards of a successful harvest in the winter months.

Vegetables that thrive in Sydney’s winter

Unlike other parts of Australia, Sydney Gardeners won’t have to worry about things such as frost or snow that can turn their garden on its head. All you need is a spot that receives enough sun, some healthy soil and your garden should thrive. Even some vegetables that thrive in the summer months can make it in the winter. Our winter’s are relatively mild and luckily we can get away with a lot.  Here are some of the best veggies for the winters in no particular order. 

  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Broad beans
  • Chinese broccoli and cabbage
  • Turnip
  • Beetroot
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • English spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Silver beet


Herb gardening in Sydney’s winters

Herbs are some of the easiest and most convenient plant life to grow. Any beginner gardener can start on them and they can be grown in small spaces like balconies or kitchen counters. Some of the best herbs that thrive in Sydney’s winter are:
  • Thyme, 
  • Winter 
  • Tarragon, 
  • Parsley, 
  • Oregano, 
  • Marjoram, 
  • Garlic
  • Coriander

Pests and diseases in the winter

Luckily there are far fewer insect pests in Sydney’s winter months. Diseases are also less apparent but not entirely. Take the time to plant your seeds with adequate space to ensure quality air circulation and prevent fungal diseases from growing. Do not water the leaves of your garden in the cold months as this can lead the trapped moisture can harbour diseases.

When to grow winter vegetables

It’s essential you get your planting underway before the cold really sets in. This early planting means your seedlings will be more robust and resilient to extreme temperatures. Make sure to not plant too early or warm season insect pests like caterpillars or snails might eat up your winter seedlings early.

Make sure you know the correct time frame for how long a fruit or vegetables will take to grow. Root crops can take three months and if you plant these at the end of winter they might die as the months get warmer. Consider what the weather conditions will be from the time of sowing the seeds to the final harvest.

Pruning in the winter

One of the first thing we start on in the colder months is rose pruning. You’re going to have to trim down the rose significently. You should be leaving just three or four stems left of the rose.
Some plants that will also need pruning in winter once they’re bear is Hydrangeas, Wisteria and Grapes. If you’re going to prune Gardenia’s early august is the best time. If you’re planning on growing new Frangipanis, cut them off entirely and leave them to dry for a few weeks. Then plant them into a sandy mix with stakes for added support. For your grasses you can use a higher speed on your lawn mower and if they happen to be ornamental grasses, cut them to ground level to allow them to rejuivnate in time for summer.

The best tips for winter gardening

Focus on the sunny spots

In the winter months there’s going to be less sunlight per day and the light that does come will be weaker to add cloud coverage. That’s why you must emphasise the sunny spots in your garden and plant accordingly. Even if a certain garden bed works in the summer months, it might not make the cut in the winer and you could move the beds and plant positions to an area that receives more sunlight. Making assumptions for the winter months based off the summer months can very easily lead to a pitiful harvest.

Prevent the effects of frost on your garden

If you live on the outskirts of Sydney you might be unlucky enough to receive some frost. To avoid this and keep your plants healthy, place them in raised beds as they work very well to deter the effects of frost. If you know frost will come every year plant veggies grow above ground, such as cabbage, lettuce or cucumber. If you want to keep your veggies nice and warm at night, you can erect poles around your veggie patch and put a tarpaulin or plastic over the top to protect them from the effects of frost. Remember you must remove the covering early in the morning so your garden will receive the necessary sunlight.

Crop rotation in the winter

When you’re starting a new winter patch try moving around where you plant your vegetables. This is called Crop rotation and it will mean that you will have less problems with pests as they won’t be accustomed to the same plant each and every year. Another benefit of rotating your crops in Sydney is that it gives the soil a chance to take a break from feeding plant life and gather up new nutrients.

Winter is the best time to weed

Due to the extra rainfall the winter months receive, the soil will be softened and it will be easier to get rid of any unwanted plants. These weeds will come out easily and you won’t have the problem of an additional seed load that will begin growing in the warmer months of spring.

Collect and store your compost in the winter months

The cooler months of the year are a perfect time to begin composting. If you don’t know what compost is, it’s the process of collecting natural food waste in a bin and allowing it to decompose. These food scraps will eventually turn into rich nutrients that will do wonders for your garden. Adding a layer of compose give or take one inch thick will help your plants in any season sprout through the surface and bear an abundant harvest.

Turn down your irrigation systems

You won’t have to be watering your garden at such a busy schedule as in the summer months. Your entire garden will require less water in the cooler months so it’s best to adjust irrigation systems if you have them as well as reduce your watering habits. Too much water can damage succulents and dry climate plants which already don’t do well in the cooler and more moist weather.

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