As November moves into December, Newcastle is seeing the rise of true Summer. Though that does mean a spot of rain, we are also in for sunny days and green gardens. To that end, if you want to experience an active lifestyle and enjoy the season, try getting out into your garden and planting some Summer fruits and vegetables.

Here are some suggestions for you, as well as their benefits.


There's nothing more refreshing than some lettuce in your sandwich straight from the garden. You'll love it and the whole family certainly will, too. Growing lettuce in hot weather can be a bit tricky, though. Lettuce plants aren't big fans of hot sunshine, so make sure to offer them a little shade and some regular watering. Your Newcastle retirement home should be OK, however, as temperatures don't often break what lettuce can handle and there will be rain enough to bolster what water you add yourself.

Lettuce is very low calorie so it's a great addition to a meal if you're trying to balance your weight. It also contains vitamins A, B and C, as well as numerous other beneficial minerals.


Whether you consider them a fruit or a vegetable, tomatoes are one of the world's healthiest foods. If you don't already have some in your garden, now is the time to add them in.

Bunnings Warehouse recommends planting in a raised bed to assist with drainage and aeration. If you need help constructing one, just ask a staff member at AEH and they'll make sure you get what you need. You can install a small stake to begin with, but tomato plants can grow quite large so a taller one is recommended.

Tomatoes are rich in antioxidant properties, not to mention their other vitamin and mineral benefits. One such mineral, lycopene, has recently been discovered to have links to improved bone health, reports a study published by the US National Library of Medicine. Make sure tomatoes are in your salads, sandwiches (with your lettuce) and pasta sauces.

What else?

There are, of course, a plethora of other great Summery fruits and vegetables to plant during the sunny season. Cucumber is a great one, as well as capsicum, celery and eggplant. As for fruit, watermelons planted in December should be ready come February and are rich in vitamins A, B6 and C. 

Planting your own garden is a great hobby to keep fit and active, not to mention how much it can reduce your supermarket bill. Make sure you get out in the garden this summer to experience it for yourself.

What to plant and why to plant it: Summer edition