July – Permaculture Food Gardening Australia – Subtropics and Warm Climate
by Ewa Bekiesch, Permaculture designer, educator, sustainable living consultant, and healthy food advocate.
We are pretty much in the middle of our subtropical winter. It feels to me like this is the perfect time for reflection. Reflection and appreciation about what is important to us and what we can do to maintain, or improve it. Strolling through the garden while enjoying the warming sunrays, meditating, sitting around the fire, enjoying the time with your loved ones, with the garden, and with yourself. I personally think that the garden is a perfect place to reflect, meditate, and create while feeling a connection to nature.
What can we create in the garden in July? The list below of jobs we do during this month might give you some ideas. Feel free to comment below if you would like to add something.
General gardening jobs
- Applying compost tea every 3-4 weeks. Check my last month’s article here if you want to know more about it.
- Sowing, planting, harvesting – check the list below. Also, consider growing microgreens, especially if you don’t have lots of space in the garden. Microgreens are super healthy, they don’t take up much space and can be grown inside, too! I have a small collection of microgreens in my online shop with more info on how to grow them.
- Weeding and mulching if required
- Building new garden beds, or extending the existing ones. Check my last month’s article here if you want to know more about it.
- Pruning deciduous trees like Mulberry and others before they get the new growth.
- July is a good time for planting deciduous fruit trees.
What NOT to do this month
- Trimming tropical fruit bushes and trees should be considered carefully. All established and overgrown evergreen trees and bushes may help the young fruit trees to get through winter by blocking off the cold winds.
- Leaving old leaves on the banana plants is also highly recommended to protect the trunks during winter.
- Planting new tropical fruit trees and bushes is also a big NO in July.
Sowing, planting, harvesting
- There are more plants you can grow but I am limiting my list to the plants which I grow in my food forest and I have the best experience.
- If you are looking to buy some heirloom, non-gmo, and open-pollinated healthy seeds or plants, consider visiting my online shop at www.foodforestseeds.au Thank you for supporting my small business 🙂
- I have included links to the individual seeds and plants I sell. Simply click on the name with the link and a new page will open where you can read more info about the plant, and you can buy it if you don’t have it yet (all coloured names include the links, more to come!). Enjoy!
Many of them are self-seeding in our food forest. If you don’t know some of the plants in the list below, check my ‘Food Forest Guide’ for more info about the plants, how to grow and use them, along with some other tips and tricks.
- Indian Lettuce, Chinese Sword Lettuce – Lactuca indica
- Ethiopian Cabbage – Brassica carinata
- bok choy, pak choy
- rocket lettuce
- broad beans
- carrots, the All Season Carrot is best
- mustard greens
No trees in this list, mostly because there are too many fruit trees you can grow in a subtropical climate so simply choose what you enjoy eating and what suits your garden. If you want to know what trees we are growing, check our ‘Food Forest Guide‘.
- bush basil – Ocimum oxcitriodorum
- Galangal – Thai Ginger –Greater Galangal, Alpinia galangal
- Goldenrod – Solidago
- Gotu Kola – Centella asiatica
- Lemongrass – Cymbopogan citratus
- Longevity Spinach – Gynura procumbens
- Okinawa Spinach – Hawaiian lettuce – Gynura bicolour
- Peruvian Parsnip – Arracacia xanthorrhiza
- St John’s Wort – Hypericum perforatum
- Goldenrod – Solidago canadensis
- Tarragon, Estragon – Artemisia dracunculus
- Cassava – Manihot esculenta (start in pots if you getting minus temperatures)
- Pigface, Baby Sunrose – Aptenia cordifolia
- Brahmi-Memory Plant – Waterhyssop – Bacopa monnieri
- Bana Grass – Pennisetum purpureum x amaricanum
- Sugarcane Red – Saccharum officinarum
- garlic chives
- sweet potatoes
- Strawberry plants
- chilly, capsicum
We are harvesting daily and as required, depending on what we like to eat and cook, and/or what needs to be harvested. The July harvest list includes and is based on what grows in our food forest and what is possible, including fruit from our trees. As you may think, we don’t harvest all of it every day. Many of them simply keep growing and wait patiently for their turn to end up in the kitchen, as green mulch ‘chop and drop’, some of them go to compost if they are taking over, or as food for our chickens, ducks, or worm farm. The possibilities are endless.
Perennials crop we harvest in June:
- bush basil – Ocimum oxcitriodorum
- Cranberry Hibiscus – Hibiscus acetosella – leaves and flowers
- Galangal – Thai Ginger –Greater Galangal, Alpinia galangal – leaves and roots
- Gotu Kola – Centella asiatica – leaves
- Lemongrass – Cymbopogan citratus – leaves and stalks
- Longevity Spinach – Gynura procumbens – leaves and stalks
- Okinawa Spinach – Hawaiian lettuce – Gynura bicolour – leaves and stalks
- Peruvian Parsnip – Arracacia xanthorrhiza – leaves and roots
- Tarragon, Estragon – Artemisia dracunculus – leaves and flowers
- Cassava – Manihot esculenta – leaves and roots
- Brahmi-Memory Plant – Waterhyssop – Bacopa monnieri – leaves
- Bana Grass – Pennisetum purpureum x amaricanum – leaves for mulch and food for animals
- West Indian Arrowroot – Maranta arundinacea – root
- Sugarcane Red – Saccharum officinarum – cane, mostly to dry and store for meat smoking later on
- Elderberry – Sambucus Nigra – berries and flowers
- Alpine strawberries – Wild Strawberries – berries
- Aloe Vera
- Loquat fruit
- garlic chives
- sweet potatoes – leaves and roots
- passion fruit
- pawpaw – leaves and fruits
- Horseradish – leaves and roots
- Blackberry – leaves
- Dandelion – leaves
- Cotton balls
Short-living perennials and annuals we harvest in May:
- Madagascar bean
- Poor man’s bean
- Pigeon peas
- all sorts of herbs
- Asian Pigeonwings, Butterfly Pea – Clitoria Ternatea
- QLD Arrowrot – leaves for chickens and bulbs for us
- mustard greens
- bok choi, pack choi
- radishes – leaves and roots
- Mexican cucumber, cucumelons
- Chinese tree lettuce leaves
- Purple Yam
I hope that my article helps you to plan and organise your garden, and brings you one step closer to growing an abundance of food to become self-reliant sooner than later 🙂
The next article comes out in the first week of August.
What are you sowing, planting, and harvesting in your subtropical garden at the moment? Leave your comment under the article below or in the discussion board on my website.
If you would like to support our work, you can do so in many ways:
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*buy a plant, cuttings, seeds, or Ewa’s Food Forest Guide at https://www.foodforestseeds.au
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Enjoy your garden!