Vegetable plantings in April+Storing your Autum harvest

Autumn days in southern higher latitudes (400S+) grow shorter and cooler

although the average daily temperature is still 18-200C.

The nights cool rapidly and temperatures get down to below 10 0C.

This makes a big difference to the ripening of tomatoes and strawberries.

Bringing tomatoes inside when they show a hint of pink and placing them in a dark room or cupboard will hasten the ripening.

Be prepared however to make some green tomato relish with your top layered tomatoes in this climate.

They are unlikely to ripen on the bush from now on.

Now is the time to plant garlic for vegetative growth whilst the soil still retains some warmth,

also cauli sedlings and broccoli will grow quickly this month.

The usual 12 weeks for vegetable maturity will lengthen as the days become shorter

as most vegetables rely on light summation to producew their edible parts.

The key to growing good garlic is to get it in and sprouted early

to procuce healthy leaf growth in the Autumn before bulb development in the late Spring.

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4


Scarlet Nantes Carrots;

Coriander, Beetroot,

spring onions (Lisbon)

Chinese Cabbage

( Wong Bok) (Bok Choy)

Leek seedlings

Harvesting: Radish, Lettuce,Silver Beet,Carrots,Parsnips, Beetroot, Wong Bok,Cucumber,Pumpkins, Squash, Tomatoes.

Fruit:Figs, Pears, Granny Smith Apple,Fuiji apple, Pink Lady apple, Grapes, strawberries.

Storing Pumpkins, carrots and parsnips over winter.


Allow the vines to die down naturally. At this time of the year they become prone to powdery mildew and wither fairly rapidly.

Despite tales that pumpkins need a frost to keep well,

I have found this to be poor advice especially with the thinner skinned varieites such as Butternut.

Bring them in before the first frost cutting the stem and leaving about 1 cm either side of the junction attached to the stalk.

This will wither and harden preventing disease from entering the fruit.

Place your pumpkins in a well ventilated dark place and check regularly,

using any that show signs of rot at the base or where the stalk enters the fruit.

We used the last pumpkin from last season a month ago, so there is only about a month in the year when you won't have pumpkin.

My wife makes and freezes soup from the last pumpkins, so I can say that this is a year roiund vegetable.

See here for cultivation notes


A mature Queensland Blue Pumpkin 08/04/2010










My pumpkin patch is a mulched hillside with a southerly aspect.

The pumpkins still get plenty of light , but in growing down the hill towards the south they are somewhat curtailed

and produce fewer and bigger pumpkins.

Each plant produces 3-4 good size pumpkins, so with 8-10 plants we get a pumpkin to eat and share each week.








Carrots & Parsnips

These root vegetables mature well in the cooler months and develop more flavour;

especially parsnip which really needs a good cold spell to develop its best flavour.

If you have room under your house and wish to store these vegies to make room for a green manure crop

you can store them in plastic garbage bins or boxes covered with sand.

Keep the root intact to get best results and cover each layer of begetables with a layer of coarse sand

to keep a little residual mositure and air whilst eliminating light.

They will store well until the weather really gets warm in December.

By this time you have new season carrots ready in the garden.

If you leave them in the ground they will run to seed in September.

Green manure

A great way to replenish your beds with nitrogen and to prepare them for the new spring sowings

is to plant any spare space with legume crops


Now is a good time to make your compost heap for rotting down over the winter.

See here for advice on compost.



This page was last updated on 16/01/2018