Home Gardening

Outdoor Gardening

Organic Gardening

Modern Gardening

Urban Gardening

Gardening Business

Growing Vegetables In South Africa, Sowing Calendar

Growing Vegetables in South Africa

Hello gardeners, we are back with a new topic today and the topic is all about growing vegetables in South Africa and the vegetable planting calendar of South Africa. Do you live in South Africa and do you want to grow your own vegetables in South Africa? Well and then you will need to follow this complete article to grow vegetables in South Africa. In this article, we will also mention all the requirements for growing vegetables in South Africa.

Introduction to Growing Vegetables in South Africa

Growing your own vegetable garden is the latest gardening style trend. South Africa is a country rich in biodiversity. Whether you live on the breezy coast or the sunny north, what any garden ground in South Africa can do is grow vegetables.

Starting a very small vegetable patch in your backyard has beautiful benefits not only are you becoming more self-supporting and therefore spending less at the grocery store, but you are also present to the environment. Not to cover, a vegetable garden can be a delighting feature too. Before you begin, there are some basic things to keep in mind when starting a vegetable garden from scratch.

A Step-by-Step Planting Guide for Growing Vegetables in South Africa, and Planting Calendar

So, to make things very easier for you curated a vegetable seeds calendar that can help you plan to grow your winter vegetables and summer vegetables at home. To be included in such a diverse country that is home to near every kind of topographical feature conceivable. From plains to mountains, Mother Nature resides most beautifully on every edge in South Africa. It was a challenge to give you this handy planting calendar but we have tried to supply you with general sowing season seeds in South Africa. However, to get the most exact details about the city or town you are in, we suggested that you consult your local area nursery.

Basic Things to Remember When Growing Vegetables in South Africa

  • Space matters

The quantity of work involved is mostly determined by how wide you want your vegetable garden ground to be. You may be looking to dedicate a small edge of your vegetable garden to a few herbs and lettuce heads to supplement your home cuisine, in which case a 2×2 meter spot is all you require. Perhaps you are aiming higher, and wish to grow sufficient produce to completely support you or even to sell at local planting markets. Wide vegetable gardens offer a wide range of choices, and you could even create a small orchard or vineyard if you have space. The first step is to plan how much space you require for the number of vegetables you want to grow.

  • Selecting the right location and type of raised bed for your vegetable garden

Always grow vegetables in direct full sunlight and prevented the wind. Poor sunlight conditions will almost guarantee it is not to good harvest and unhealthy pest-infected plants. Vegetables and herbs must get at least direct six to eight hours of sunlight per day. More light bigger vegetable plants produce and very tastier home-grown treats. Vegetables are the best grown on raised grounds. This prevents well-drained soil throughout the vegetable plants from getting compressed from you walking and working around them and tolerates so much more freedom to get the well-drained soil structure right when it comes to temperatures, drainage, etc. Proper drainage is suitable when growing vegetables so choose a spot that tolerates good drainage and doesn’t gather runoff water during heavy rains. Try to position your vegetable garden near to your kitchen. Keep in mind, vegetables like water and you will require watering them regularly so choose a spot that is close to a tap.

  • Select a good soil

Good soil is what will make or break your vegetable garden ground, you require a rich well-drained soil mixture that holds moisture well and supports good soil temperatures. Specialized herb and vegetable potting mixes are available at nurseries, but a soil mixture of lawn dressing and organic compost works just as well. If you think you are supposed to add some vermiculite, peat, or sphagnum moss, or other water keeping to the mix. You need to check your soil pH remains between 5.5 and 7.5 and then you will be excellent. A good helping of an organic general vegetable fertilizer like eggshells always a good thing when preparing your well-drained soil for herbs and vegetables

  • Which type of vegetables to grow?

It’s frequently a perfect idea to map out where you will be vegetables planting what. Keep the following in mind when selecting vegetables to grow. Collect together vegetable plants with similar well-drained soil, water, and sunlight requirements. Will you be planting in rows or more vernacular? There are compact growing vegetables are different varieties available for gardening in small spaces. It is always an asset to adding some flowering plants to your vegetable garden, they will add a display of colour and many will deter pests. It is good to grow herbs side by side with their vegetables. Try these suggested vegetables for your vegetable garden they all supply results relatively very easily and don’t require much maintenance. These vegetables are such as tomatoes, bush beans, chillies, and lettuce, etc.

  • Water and Weed

Water very carefully, perfectly near to the garden ground. It is very important to retain the raised bed moist. You can punch holes in a plastic bottle to supply an excellent spray. Watering in the middle of the day can destroy the vegetable plants. You will require keeping your vegetable garden free of weeds, which will compete with the vegetables for more sunlight and even nutrients. Pick out weeds by hand, do not use chemicals.

  • Mulching

Create mounds throughout the base of the vegetable plants to help them grow upright and aerate the well-drained soil. Use a trowel to heap the well-drained soil throughout the vegetable plants, be very careful not to destroy the vegetable plants or roots. You can also add a little organic compost throughout the vegetable plant itself from time to time.

  • Crop rotation

For each site location, it is very best to grow a different kind of plant each gardening year. So if you grew root plants in a particular place one year, go for leafy vegetable plants the next, and so on. For example, you seem to sow lettuce seeds one year ago and then grow radishes in that spot the following year.

  1. To avoid exhausting the well-drained soil
  2. To protect the spread of pests and disease
  3. To better and maintain soil fertility
  • Maintenance is key

As with the most popular things in life, for very good results, you need to observe. Shorter times of more regular attention in the vegetable garden are improved than longer times less frequently. Notice your vegetables weekly for insects, pests, and even diseases. Prevention is always better than cure. Feed vegetables regularly feed twice a week or so with a water-soluble fertilizer. Try to water your vegetables at the base of the plants and avoid water on foliage and fruits, this to disposed be to supports pest activity. They require water early in the morning or late afternoon. Reduce dead and diseased components as it appears. Many vegetables like tomatoes and some bean varieties require to be encouraged with a frame or trellis as they grow. Keep an eye on when good time harvest, if you don’t notice your vegetables regularly they may over ripen before you have a chance to pick them.

  • Harvesting

Once your vegetables are fully mature, it is a good time to harvest them. The quantity of time from germination to grown-up when the fruit is ready to eat varies according to the type of plant, climate, soil, and sunlight.

How to Sow the Seeds Directly Into the Garden Ground?

  1. Sowing the seeds directly into where they will grow. Usually, this procedure is best for wide seeds that are very easy to handle.
  2. Ensure that your growing seed boxes are moist. 
  3. Use a shovel or your finger to make holes 2 to 3 cm deep. Place the plant seeds in the drills.
  4. The distance between the drills will vary as maintained by the medium size of the plants. Leave 1 to 2 cm between small plants like radishes. For wide plants like lettuces, you will require to plant the seeds in drills 20 to 40 cm apart.
  5. Using your hands, gently cover the seeds with well-drained soil. Ensure that they are not buried too deep and reduce any lumps of soil.

How to Transplant Seedlings?

  1. Select the sturdiest, healthiest vegetable plants.
  2. Plant out in the afternoon or on a cloudy day to make sure that the seedlings are not destroyed by strong sunlight.
  3. The day before planting out, water the growing seed boxes and plant in containers thoroughly, to create the very best possible environment for the seedlings.
  4. Reduce the seedlings and a little well-drained soil, using a shovel or small spoon.  
  5. Use a stake or trowels to make 10 cm drills in the grow box or container, making sure you leave the right quantity of space between each vegetable plant.
  6. The plant roots should point downwards and be separated.
  7. When you have finished transplanting the seedlings, water gently, making ensure that the roots remain covered. You can drills holes in a water bottle or jar lid to produce an excellent spray.

Tips for Starting a Vegetable Garden

Begin slowly with a small vegetable garden, if you try and create a plant overnight you are bound to be disappointed. Try not to begin your vegetable plants from seed the first year, buy healthy, compress, and bushy little vegetable plants from the nursery instead.

Tip: visit the vegetable garden in the afternoon or early morning for the best.

Prevent your vegetable and provide with the matter, add a layer of mulch throughout your vegetable plants to better water retention, temperatures, and weed control. Space your vegetable plants properly. Vegetables planted too near together compete for sunlight, water, and nutrition and struggle to grown-up. Use high-quality fresh seeds. Old seed frequently struggles to germinate, ensure your seed is from a reliable source. For the very best results seeds sow in trays, plant out, and space plantlets as they are grown-up. Water your vegetables properly, never tolerates your vegetables especially seedlings to dry out. Shove with your finger in the top 10cm or so of your vegetable ground and check well-drained soil moisture regularly. Ensure you vegetable plant and harvest at the right time, make yourself a vegetable gardening planting calendar, list when what is planted, and make notes as you grow around the year, this information will be invaluable for the next growing season.

South Africa Vegetables to Grow In Winter Season

Vegetables grown in the winter season like September, March is the most popular sowing month, only this time it is for autumn and winter vegetable plants. The cooler days make working in the garden a pleasure, so make the most of the available period to set up the vegetable garden for the next few months.

The main plants to grow are leafy greens vegetables like lettuce,  greens, spinach, and Swiss chard, easy root plants carrots, beetroot, and radishes, and the brassica big four broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale.

#1 Broccoli

In case if you miss this: How To Grow Capsicum In Greenhouse.

Broccoli (Image credit: pixabay)

Ensure the vegetable plants require full sun during winter and are watered regularly so that they do not sag. They require fertile soil to enrich with organic compost before planting. When planting out seedlings or transplanting, moderately organic fertilizer but don’t put the fertilizer in the vegetable planting hole or against the stem or it will be destroyed. Two weeks after planting, feed with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, and again after four weeks.

#2 Cabbages

Cabbage winter season plant varieties are like Cape Spitz, Brunswick, Drumhead, Glory of Enkhuizen, and hybrids plants such as Conquistador and Hercules, as well as Chinese cabbage, can be sown from February to May. Plants require full sun, fertile well-drained soil, and space to grow, at least 1m per vegetable plant. Prevent aphids and Bagrada bugs by sprinkling preventively with organic manure once a week. The green peach aphid is a bearer for the beet yellowing virus, also known as brassica remarkable disorder, which protects heads from forming and turns the leaves red or yellow. Planting too near together, getting not sufficient sun, or not sufficient water may also affect the formation of heads. Use bird netting to shield young seedlings.

#3 Carrots

Carrot’s winter season plants are different varieties like Cape Market and Scarlet Nantes and also cool-season varieties and are best sown now. The specific requirement of carrots is deep, loose soil, and it’s well-drained. Do not enrich the well-drained soil before planting. If the garden has heavy or compressed soil, rather grow baby carrot varieties in pots. Mixing the seed with mealie meal helps spread it more evenly. Wrap the seed with a thin layer of sand and firm down. Because the seed sowing depth is so shallow, the seed dries out very easily. Water while the seed is still germinating. Carrots must be thinned out or the surrender will be poor. Begin early, when 2 to 3 leaves have developed because it is stronger to thin out later when the roots become intertwined. The final garden spacing should be 3 to 5cm apart. One or two weeks before harvest, you need to add the water to carrots with Epsom salts dissolved in water. This gives the carrots a huge color and very sweet to taste.

#4 Kale

Kale is less troubled by pests than other brassicas plants, is disease resistant, and allows cold which gives the leaves a sweet taste. The plant requires full sun or semi-shade, infertile well-drained soil that is moderately acidic. Feed monthly with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Plants grow up to 1m, and the leaves are harvest from the bottom upwards, always leaving the top four leaves as the growing head. Cook kale like spinach or combine it with spinach leaves.

#5 Lettuces

Salad Lettuce
Salad Lettuce (Image source: pixabay)

In the autumn and winter seasons, they grow lettuce in full sun. Plant in fertile, slightly acidic well-drained soil and is enriched with organic compost and bone meal. Sow crisp-head lettuce first because it takes longer to grown-up than loose-leaf lettuce. Space plants 30cm apart for adequate air circulation. With this kind of spacing, they are less likely to fall prey to fungal diseases. Retain the soil consistently moist, as dry spells-stressed lettuce develops a bitter taste. Fertilize monthly, probably with a liquid organic feed. For a better taste and color, water the lettuce leaves with added Epsom salts 1 tablespoon to 5 liters of water.

Common Vegetables to Grow in South Africa

#1 Capsicum – cute stuff

This sweet golden is also called a red mini pepper looks quite like a bright, shiny apple. The 8cm-long fruit seems to be bite-sized, but the plant submits up to three times more than optimal peppers.

Growing tips: Plant in a 45 to 60cm diameter container, making sure it receives at least direct six hours to eight hours of sun per day. Add organic compost to the potting mix to enhance moisture keeping. The moist soil must drain well but not dry out quite. You need to water regularly in summer. Don’t over-fertilize, as plants develop lush foliage at the expense of fruit supply. For the very best flavour, let the fruit ripen fully and snip off with scissors.

#2 Capsicums – la bomba

A jalapeno-type pepper grows into a graceful upright plant 56cm high and 46cm large with a strong, sturdy main stem and glossy green leaves.

Growing tips: It usually requires a wide, deep container to quarter its roots. The plant requires full sun and water regularly in summer. Feed the plants once a week with a liquid fertilizer. The wide dark-green fruit has thick skin and can be harvest when green. Cut, quiet then pull the fruit from the plant.

#3 Egg Fruit

This dwarf plant or eggplant grows only 60cm high. It keeps 25 to 50 eggplants per plant and starts keeping within 45 days of planting compared to 90 days with normal varieties. The grown-up fruit is about 5cm in diameter, very mild tasting, and with none of the bitterness of the bigger fruit.

Growing tips: Full morning sun six hours and afternoon partial shade is perfect. Use a rich, organic soil mix that drains well, water regularly in summer, and fertilize with a liquid fertilizer almost once a month.

#4 Zucchini

Easy to harvest and it is popular not only for its attractive golden and green fruit but also because it’s very easy to pick. The leaves don’t have any prickles and all it takes is a fast twist to snap off the fruit. These upright, spreading plants grow 1.3m high and large.

You may also check this: Bitter Gourd Growing Tips.

Green Zucchini
Green Zucchini (pic source: pixabay)

Growing tips: Plant a single plant in a wide, deep container at least 50cm in diameter. It does best with morning sun and afternoon partial shade, regular watering, and monthly fertilizing. Harvest when the fruit is about 15 cm long. The more you pick, the more it supplies. Yellowish leaves indicate a lack of food and boost with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

#5 Red Stripe Tomatoes

With its bright red fruit and moderately darker stripe, this plant takes 68 days to grown-up. Suitable for hanging baskets and containers and also pots, it cascades up to 60cm.

Growing tips: It requires plenty of sunlight and you need to water every second day in summer. Maintaining the moisture as plants in hanging baskets dry out quicker than plants in the ground. Start feeding when the fruit starts to set. Tomatoes can be harvested when they start to show colour but will be more flavourful if tolerated to ripen on the vine.

#6 Cucumbers

One of the first in the extend of patio vegetables and it’s a suitable vine variety for wide containers with small trellises. This quick-growing plant supply early with high submits of 20cm-long, dark-green cucumbers that are flavourful and crunchy.

Growing tips: Choose a big container and then add organic compost to the potting mix for fertile soil, and water daily making sure the container drains easily. Fertilize when the plant starts to set fruit. For good quality, don’t tolerate the fruits to become overripe on the vine.

Vegetable Planting Calendar in South Africa

VegetablesPlanting seasonHarvest
BroccoliJanuary10 to 15 weeks
CarrotJanuary to April12 to 18 weeks
CapsicumAugust to September10 to 12 weeks
CucumberSeptember to December8 to 10 weeks
Chilli peppersSeptember to November9 to 11 weeks
CabbageJanuary to March11 to 15 weeks
TomatoJanuary10 weeks


  1. I like to learn about planting vegetables and fruits and I have a back yard where I started to plant on 2018
    Planting different vegetables I like to learn more about planting

  2. I like to grow vegetables that are useful such as spinach, onions, green pepper, tomatoes, beetroot, pumpkin, cabbage and garlic.

    When is the exact time to start. Is there a winter spinach?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here