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Spices to grow in Victoria

By August 23, 2020December 19th, 2021No Comments
Spices can be berry (eg peppercorn); a fruit (eg chilli); buds (eg cloves); roots (eg ginger); seeds (eg caraway) and even bark (eg cinnamon). Many can be grown locally and here’s some.

Chillies: Belong to the Capsicum family. Usually grown as an annual in Melbourne because they don’t like the cooler winter weather we experience. Chillies are a good companion plant in the garden for their insect deterring benefits.

Coriander: best grown in the cooler months as a herb, but as a spice save the seeds when it does a bolt during summer.

Curry leaf: Murray koenigii. Best grown in a pot so you can move it during winter to a more sheltered frost free area – it does originate from the Indian subcontinent so not always happy during our cooler weather. The leaves can be frozen

Elderberry: Sambucus nigra. The berries are rich in Vitamin C; sometimes used as a health tonic for coughs and colds, but most often made into wine and jam. Musical instruments are fashioned from the wood.

Fenugreek: A member of the pea family so an excellent manure crop. Fenugreek can be used in cooking or eaten to sweeten the breath.

Juniper: Juniperus comminus is the variety. Need at least 2 trees for fertilisation because male and female flowers rarely grow on the same plant. The green berries can take 2-3 years to mature and turn black when ready to be harvested. They are used to flavour gin, and in cooking, partner particularly well with game dishes, especially venison or kangaroo meat.

Mustard: a member of the Brassica family. Also grown as a green manure crop to improve the soil and for erosion control. Depending on how they are prepared black seeds are generally hotter than brown or white ones.

Nigella: similar to cumin, which doesn’t grow in Melbourne. A common name is “Love in the Mist”, but make sure you plant Nigella sativa. The black seeds are one of the ingredients of Indian spice blend, Panch phora./vc_column_text]