June – Permaculture Food Gardening Australia – Subtropics and Warm Climate

by Ewa Bekiesch, DipSustLiv. – Permaculture designer, consultant, and healthy food advocate.

We are coming into winter and there are many activities that we can do in our gardens during this time of the year like extending the existing garden beds or building new ones. There is never enough growing space in the garden! Who agrees? I have two favorites of raised garden beds. Very easy to build and super effective! See below and take it as a guide if you want to build your own. The walls can be made from any kind of material: timber (not treated), metal sheets (galvanised are best), rocks, bricks, and so on.

Also, a herb spiral next to your kitchen window might be a good project for winter. You can watch the video about how we have built it below at the end of this article.

General gardening jobs

  • There is a competition going on in the garden beds. Some veggies may bolt very quickly if growing too close to each other. We harvest the young greens like bokchoy, radish, and carrots, and enjoy them as they come while making more room for the others to grow.
  • Sowing, planting, harvesting – see the list below
  • Weeding and mulching the garden beds if needed
  • Applying compost tea + water mix (1:4), every 4 weeks onto the garden beds. Most winter vegetables like brassicas, garlic, beetroot, carrots, and so on need lots of nutrients to grow. Help them thrive. I have made a video about how to make and use compost tea. Click here to watch the video.

What NOT to do in June

  • Trimming bushes and trees should be considered carefully. All established and overgrown evergreen trees and bushes may help the young fruit trees and bushes get through winter by blocking off the cold winds. The deciduous ones like Mulberry, Peach, Nectarine, Apple, Nashi Pear, and others need to be pruned as required which is usually about the time before they get new growth.
  • 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 a big NO in June.

Sowing, planting, harvesting

Notes:

One of the reasons for providing all the information is to encourage everyone to grow their own healthy food, build resilience and confidence, and taste the difference of homegrown food! Your seeds and plant orders in our online shop at www.foodforestseeds.au are always much appreciated as they help us do what we do.

I have included links to the individual plants and seeds in the list below so you can click on them to get to the shop to find more info about the plants and to order one if you like (all coloured names include the links, more to come!). All are naturally grown, non-GMO, heirloom, untreated, and open-pollinated plants, most of which come from my food forest.

There are more plants you can grow but I am limiting my list to the plants that I grow in my food forest and have the best experience with.

Sowing

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’ (FREE with any order in my online shop) for more info.

Planting

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‘.

Harvesting

We are harvesting daily and as required, depending on what we like to eat and cook, and/or what needs to be harvested. The June 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
  • Ceylon Hill Gooseberry
  • 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
  • Rosella – Roselle – leaves and calyx
  • 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
  • West Indian Arrowroot – Maranta arundinacea – root
  • Sweet Leaf – Sauropus androgynous – leaves
  • Elderberry – Sambucus Nigra – berries and flowers
  • Alpine strawberries – Wild Strawberries – berries
  • Aloe Vera
  • Dragon fruit
  • Loquat fruit
  • Star fruit
  • shallots
  • garlic chives
  • pineapples
  • sweet potatoes – leaves and roots
  • bananas
  • passion fruit
  • pawpaw – leaves and fruits
  • Horseradish – leaves and roots
  • limes
  • grapefruit
  • mandarines
  • oranges
  • pomelo
  • Blackberry – leaves
  • Dandelion – leaves
  • Cotton balls
Short-living perennials and annuals we harvest in May:
  • Bottle Gourd
  • Winged bean
  • Madagascar bean
  • Poor man’s bean
  • Pigeon peas
  • chilly, capsicum
  • eggplant
  • tomatoes
  • all sorts of herbs
  • Asian Pigeonwings, Butterfly Pea – Clitoria Ternatea
  • West Indian Gherkins, Maroon Cucumber – Cucumis anguria
  • Luffa
  • QLD Arrowrot – leaves for chickens and bulbs for us
  • mustard greens
  • bok choi, pack choi
  • kale
  • radishes – leaves and roots
  • Mexican cucumber, cucumelons
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce

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 July.

What are you sowing, planting, and harvesting in your subtropical garden at the moment? Any questions? Leave your comment under the article below.

If you would like to support our work, you can do so in many ways:
*subscribe to our YouTube channel
*leave a comment under the videos you watch
*follow us on Facebook and Instagram
*buy a plant, cuttings, or seeds at https://www.foodforestseeds.au

Enjoy your garden!

Ewa

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