A guide to growing successful vegetable and herb gardens in the Mid Coast area

Gardening in the Great Lakes Region of NSW: A Guide to Planting Vegetables and Herbs in Subtropical and Temperate Climates

The Great Lakes Region in New South Wales offers a unique climate that blends subtropical and temperate weather patterns, making it a fertile ground for a diverse range of vegetables and herbs. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a novice looking to start your garden, knowing which plants to grow and the optimal time for sowing and harvesting can make all the difference. Here's a guide to help you plan your garden throughout the year.


  1. Tomatoes

    • Sowing Time: Plant seeds in late winter (August) to early spring (September).
    • Harvesting: Expect to harvest in summer (December to January), depending on the variety.
  2. Carrots

    • Sowing Time: Sow from spring (September) through to autumn (March).
    • Harvesting: Carrots can take 3 to 4 months to mature, making them ready by summer or early autumn.
  3. Spinach

    • Sowing Time: Plant in early autumn (March).
    • Harvesting: Ready to harvest within 6 to 8 weeks of sowing.
  4. Capsicum

    • Sowing Time: Sow in spring (September) once the weather warms up.
    • Harvesting: Harvest in mid to late summer (January to February).
  5. Zucchini

    • Sowing Time: Plant in the warm spring soil (October).
    • Harvesting: Zucchini grows quickly and can usually be harvested within 6 to 8 weeks.
  6. Lettuce

    • Sowing Time: Best sown in the cooler months of spring (September) and autumn (March).
    • Harvesting: Ready within 6 to 8 weeks from sowing.


  1. Basil

    • Sowing Time: Sow in spring (September to October).
    • Harvesting: Leaves are ready to pick as soon as they are big enough to use, usually 6 to 8 weeks after sowing.
  2. Parsley

    • Sowing Time: Can be sown almost all year round, avoiding only the coldest winter months.
    • Harvesting: Ready to harvest in about 9 to 11 weeks after sowing.
  3. Mint

    • Sowing Time: Best planted in spring (September to October).
    • Harvesting: Mint can be picked as soon as it's established and will continue to grow back.
  4. Thyme

    • Sowing Time: Sow in early spring (September).
    • Harvesting: Harvest as needed; thyme is a hardy perennial that grows back.
  5. Coriander

    • Sowing Time: Sow in late summer to early autumn (February to March).
    • Harvesting: Coriander grows quickly and can be harvested within 6 to 8 weeks from sowing.
  6. Rosemary

    • Sowing Time: Plant cuttings in spring (September).
    • Harvesting: Harvest as needed; rosemary is perennial and very resilient once established.

And little Lumpy helpers always welcome . . .


Tips for Gardening in the Great Lakes Region

  • Understand your microclimate: Even within the Great Lakes Region, microclimates can affect growth. Monitor your specific area and adjust planting times as needed.
  • Soil preparation: Both subtropical and temperate plants thrive in well-draining soil. Enrich your soil with compost and ensure it is loose and fertile before planting.
  • Watering needs: While herbs generally require less water, vegetables may need more, especially during hot periods. Mulching can help retain soil moisture.
  • Pest management: Use natural pest control methods where possible, such as companion planting and encouraging beneficial insects.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a vibrant and productive garden throughout the year in the Great Lakes Region. Whether you are cultivating a small home garden or a larger plot, these plants will thrive under your care, offering fresh flavors right from your backyard.