Fresh summer vegetables make amazing salads for those hot days and vibrant dinners for long summer nights. Below we round up Australia’s favourite vegetables that are in season in summer.
Asparagus is a spring vegetable but Australia typically has a crop in spring for export and a crop in summer for the local market. Australian-grown asparagus is in season from August to March, outside of these months you are likely to be buying imported produce as around 30% of fresh asparagus is imported.
Butternut pumpkin is in season in summer. Although typically an autumn vegetable there is usually a second harvest of this variety of pumpkin around December and January.
Capsicums are summer vegetables and the majority of Australian capsicum is grown outdoors in Queensland during its natural growing season. Capsicum is usually available year-round due to investment in glasshouse and polyhouse growing technology.
Celery is a summer vegetable with the majority of production in Victoria during the summer months. Celery is available year-round with additional supply from Queensland during the winter months.
Chillies are summer vegetables and most of our chillies are grown in Queensland in later summer. The peak time when chillies are in season is between December and March. We don’t import any fresh chilli but up to 25% of fresh chillies are sent for processing to create products like chilli flakes.
Cucumbers are summer vegetables but are available year-round because more than 50% of Australian cucumbers are grown indoors in glasshouses and polyhouses. The rest are often grown undercover for additional protection through the spring and summer months. Continental cucumbers hit peak availability from late spring to early autumn while Lebanese cucumber availability peaks in November and December.
Eggplants are autumn vegetables but availability often starts to increase in late summer. In Australia as many as 60% of eggplants are grown indoors which ensures the fresh eggplant season stretches throughout the year.
Fresh herbs like coriander, parsley and basil are summer vegetables. The peak supply of most fresh herbs falls in late autumn and throughout summer. Most herbs are available year-round thanks to the use of greenhouses and polytunnels but 70% of the fresh supply still comes from conventional growing methods in the natural growing seasons.
Garlic is a summer vegetable, but almost all garlic we consume in Australia is imported. If you are looking for locally grown garlic in summer you might find fresh supply in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.
Ginger is a summer vegetable with the peak availability in November and December. Fresh ginger is available year-round in Australia but almost 50% of the fresh supply is sent for preservation or processing into beverages like ginger beer.
Leafy asian vegetables like wombok, pak choy and bok choy are summer vegetables with the peak availability falling in late spring and early summer. Leafy greens like English spinach, silverbeet and kale are summer vegetables but are available year-round
Leafy Salad Vegetables
Leafy salad leaves like rocket and baby spinach are spring vegetables but availability starts to peak in late summer and continues throughout autumn. They are generally available year-round despite more than 90% of supply being grown outdoors using conventional growing methods.
Head lettuce varieties like iceberg, cos, and oak lettuce are summer vegetables. The peak availability for iceberg lettuce starts in late spring and runs through to early autumn, while availability of other lettuce varieties including cos and oak peaks in the middle of summer.
Onions are summer vegetables with the peak availability for most varieties falling in late summer and autumn. All varieties are typically available year-round, but the peak supply of Brown onions is in Summer and Autumn. Ironically spring onions typically peak in Autumn, with red and white onions also peaking early in Autumn.
Snow Peas & Sugar Snap Peas
Sugar snap peas and snow peas are summer vegetables with the peak season in early summer and late autumn. Garden peas are also a summer vegetable but typically peak in late autumn. The vast majority of garden peas are sent for processing so fresh supply is not
Sweet corn is a summer vegetable with the peak of the growing season falling in January. Most of Australia’s sweet corn is grown in Queensland with the peak of the NSW season in early summer and the Victorian season in late summer. Sweet corn is grown year round so there are no imports of fresh sweet corn.