Autumn’s cool weather is the perfect time to get out into the garden. While it’s a great time for planting in general, there are some types of food plants that love it even more than others. Read on for inspiration.

Adelaide apple tree
It's a great time to plant apple trees in Adelaide.

Knowing what to plant when can help with your gardening success. Keep reading for autumn food planting ideas:

1. It's time to plant deciduous fruit and nut trees

Autumn is a great time for planting fruit and nut trees because the harsh heat has dropped off, rainfall (hopefully) increases, and the soil is at a nice temperature.

Deciduous fruit trees (those that lose their leaves every winter) are perfect to plant through autumn, winter and early spring. While you can plant them anytime, the cooler weather will help reduce transplant stress and set your new trees up to thrive.

These trees are perfect to use to cool your home in summer (when they’ve got lots of leaves), as they will let the precious winter sun through in the cooler months (when their leaves have fallen off).

Here’s some of the deciduous fruit and nut trees that grow well across Adelaide that you can plant now:

  • almonds
  • apples
  • apricots
  • cherries
  • feijoas
  • figs
  • mulberries
  • nectarines
  • peaches
  • pears
  • plums
  • pomegranates
  • quinces
  • walnuts

Do any of these sound tasty to you?

Subtropical fruiting plants – like avocadoes, citruses and guavas – can be planted in autumn but only if the soil or planting area has a temperature of 18+ degrees (check the Bureau of Meteorology for the long range forecast or grab a soil thermometer from your local garden store). If it isn’t warm enough, don’t risk it because your new tree will be stressed and may not thrive. If you’re really determined to plant despite the temperature, you can try growing your plant in a pot indoors until the weather is warmer.

person holding peaches
It's a great time to plant lots of delicious fruits in Adelaide.

2. It's the best season for planting native food plants

Autumn is the best time of the year for planting native food plants too.

Adelaide’s local edible native plant called muntries (Kunzea pomifera) is a good one. It’s a hardy berry-producing plant that can be enjoyed raw in salads, cooked in muffins or made into jam. Yum!

These berries contain up to 4 times more antioxidants than blueberries. Muntries grow as a dense ground cover, however they can be grown on a low trellis for easier harvesting.

When purchasing local native food plants, you’ll most likely find them in tube stock (small long square pots). Planting in autumn gives them time to settle in and establish their roots ready to take on the summer heat later in the year.

Your best bet for purchasing is a native plant nursery – but it’s always best to call first to see what they have in stock.

muntries-credit Malcolm Haines, Ligaya Garden
Muntries. Photo: Malcolm Haines, Ligaya Garden.

Where to next?

Just beginning your gardening journey? Head to our gardening hub for tips and tricks to help, including a downloadable copy of our Adelaide Planting Guide.

Person picking apples
Plant apples now to reap the rewards later.

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