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What to Plant in Birak: Tips for Successful Summer Veggie Gardens in Perth

The Noongar Season of Birak (December - January) is represented by the colour red which symbolises heat, sun and fire.

During Birak, the rain eases and the hot weather really starts to take hold. The afternoons are cooled a little with the sea breezes from the south west.

Traditionally this was the fire season for Noongar people and they would burn the country in mosaic patterns. An almost clockwork style of easterly winds in the morning and sea breezes in the afternoon would enable them to burn for several reasons, including fuel reduction, increasing the grazing pastures for animals, to aid seed germination and to make it easier to move across the country.

Birak is also known as the season of the young. There are many fledglings venturing out of nests in Birak, though some are still staying close to their parents such as magpies and parrots. Reptiles will also be shedding their old skin for a new one.

Fledgling bird on grass


A young bird ventures out from the nest


With the rising temperatures and the decreasing rainfall, it's also a time for the baby frogs to complete their transformation into adulthood.

Gardening in Birak

During the season of Birak you need to pay close attention to watering in the garden as the heat can quickly damage plants that are not getting enough water. Reticulation needs to be checked regularly to ensure it is working correctly. Hand watering with a hose or watering can is often the best way to pay close attention to the needs of individual plants. Applying a generous layer of mulch around plants will ensure that the roots are protected and help with even absorption of water by reducing run off.

Greensmart pot with lettuces


A Greensmart pot planted out with lettuces and herbs


Using a self watering pot such as a Greensmart pot can be a great solution during hot weather as it ensures that water reaches the root zone which is key to plant health in the heat. Olla pots are a permeable terracotta pot which can be buried close to plants to slowly water at the root zone through hot weather. Olla pots are ideal for herb pots and veggie gardens.

Olla pot buried in garden with beetroot plants


Burying an Olla pot in your Summer veggie garden will help to supply regular water to the root zone.


1 Response

Simon Wright

Simon Wright

January 28, 2023

I would love to receive advice on flower varieties to start from seed during Birak season, not the traditional Petunias, Marigolds etc and including ones for cutting that could blend well with Dahlias – an unusual combination!

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