Skip to content

Plant now for a bountiful Christmas

Plant now for a bountiful Christmas

Imagine sitting around the Christmas dinner table and handing around plates of freshly roasted vegetables. As a centrepiece, a bursting bouquet of festive flowers. And best of all, all this bounty is straight from your own garden and as fresh as can be.

It might seem as if winter has only just drawn to a close, but Christmas is less than three months away. That makes it the perfect time to start planning and planting to ensure that your garden delivers as many gifts as Santa.

Vegetables

Spring is the ideal time to plant vegetable seedlings. In all but the southernmost part of the country, the last of the winter frosts have been and gone, so your new seedlings will enjoy warmer soil in which to grow.

Plant carrots, corn, zucchini and peas in early spring. Ensure that they have a sunny spot, and stake the taller vegetables as they grow to keep them from snapping under their own weight.

It’s not a traditional roast dinner without potatoes, so don’t neglect these. Seed potatoes can be planted anywhere from September to February in cool and temperate areas (but by the end of August in warmer parts of the county). They take around 12 weeks to mature, so make this one a priority if you want them for the Christmas lunch!

Potatoes need a dark spot and rich soil, so you can plant them in an area which is heavily shaded by trees or even in a compost heap. Dig them up when their leaves start to turn yellow, and save the small ones for next year’s crop.

Tomatoes are a reliable garden favourite, too. They generally take around 40 to 50 days to start bearing fruit if planted as seedlings, so if you plant in October you’ll have plenty by the time the big day rolls around. You can grow large varieties out in your garden beds, but even if you only have a smaller growing space, consider cherry or grape tomatoes in pots on your porch or windowsill. Grow basil as a companion plant: they love being close to one another, and they pair well in flavour. Serve a caprese salad as a starter for Christmas lunch – with its vibrant reds and greens, it’s the perfect Christmas offering.

Flowers

Your Christmas table will look all the better with flowers facing it, so think about your colour scheme now. Red and green continues to be traditional, but you can get as creative as you want. Just make sure you choose flower varieties that bloom relatively late, since many species are past their best by the end of December. Good choices include gerberas, lilies, roses and freesias. All of them come in multiple colours, so you can choose flowers to fit a festive colour scheme.

For hardier options, consider small potted shrubs such as anthurium, which features bright red flowers. In tropical areas like Queensland, the evergreen Christmas orchid produces long white spikes of flower in summer. Further South, Tasmania also has a Christmas plant of its own: Christmas bells, which produce red bell-shaped blooms with yellow tips. This one does grow large, so consider transferring it out to the garden after the Christmas season.

Whatever you choose, don’t stop at your own table. Grow some extras and give them as gifts!

And while you can’t grow a full sized pine tree between now and December, why not buy a small conifer from your local garden centre and put it in an attractive pot or woven basket? You’ll get that fresh pine scent without the dropped needles that come from a cut tree, and you can move it outside after the Christmas season. With a bit of care and an occasional repot, your Christmas tree can last you many years, and grow alongside your family.

Christmas is a time to celebrate abundance and joy, and what better way than to create a spread that comes straight from nature? Make the most of the beautiful spring weather now, and you’ll be able to celebrate your best Christmas yet.

 

 

Related articles from the view

Jul 19, 2018

Keen to be green? Tips for an eco-friendly interior

Keen to be green? With our awareness of environmental issues rising all the time, it’s no surprise that more and more people are keen to make sure the inside of their homes are eco-friendly. Whether it’s because you’re preparing to sell and want to present your property as squeaky clean in the greenest sense, or…
Read more
  • General
  • Residential
Sep 4, 2018

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide

You might have noticed a change in the past few weeks. Perhaps you didn’t reach for your slippers and robe as soon as you got out of bed, or you noticed the blossoms blooming along your street. Yes, it’s spring and we’ll all soon be wearing t-shirts and sandals once more. But spring isn’t just…
Read more
  • General
  • Residential
  • Rural
Jul 24, 2018

Three ways to make a small space appear bigger

Perhaps the arrival of guests has prompted you to change your floor plan around. Or maybe you’re preparing to put your home on the market, and you want to do justice to your most valuable asset. Either way, you’re looking at your space with fresh eyes. And it dawns on you: the room is small. The…
Read more
  • General
  • Residential
Oct 2, 2018

Three kitchen trends on their way out

Interior decorating trends come and go, and kitchens are no exception. From industrial-style stainless steel bench tops and concrete floors to a mid-century retro feel, kitchens are evolving all the time. As the room at the heart of your home, the kitchen is a vital one to get right and reflect your very personal tastes.…
Read more
  • General
  • Residential
Jul 10, 2018

To DIY or not to DIY?

Home improvement is a time-honoured way to spend your free weekends. And whether you’ve just taken proud possession of your first house or you’re renovating the old family home to sell, there’s doubtless plenty to be done. Employing your DIY skills can save you serious coin, not to mention offer the satisfaction of a job…
Read more
  • Residential