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March – Permaculture Food Gardening in Subtropical Australia

March – Permaculture Food Gardening in Subtropical Australia

by Ewa Bekiesch, Permaculture designer, educator, sustainable living consultant, and healthy food advocate.

March is the month when we get busy! Very busy! Even though it still feels like summer, we do have autumn. The winter sowing and planting have started and I am excited about it! I also look forward to the following weeks when I can spend more time in the garden. The summer heat and humidity didn’t make it very easy lately.

General jobs in March

Note: This is the monthly edition. If you haven’t read my ‘Autumn Gardening Jobs’ article yet, start there: Autumn – Permaculture Food Gardening in Subtropical Australia

  • Pruning and trimming perennial bushes and vines and turning them into mulch. Those that don’t have any seeds go straight onto the garden beds. The ‘seedy’ ones end up in the worm farm or compost. Trimming your perennial plants at the beginning of autumn will still give them enough time to get some new growth before winter.
  • Preparing the garden beds, if not done yet, for the winter sowing and planting. Regenerating, enriching the soil, and mulching (check my Autumn – Permaculture Food Gardening in Subtropical Australia article for more info about it)
  • Busy planning what seeds and seedlings go where and when

Sowing, Planting, and Harvesting in March

I included links to the individual plants so you just need to click on it to get to the shop to find more info about the plants and to order one if you like to grow your own. NEW! I started to include info about the health benefits of each plant. All based on academic articles and also my research while studying “Food as Medicine” at Monash University.

We do sell many of the fruits and veggies in the form of seeds, cuttings, and plants through our online store at All are naturally grown, non-GMO, heirloom, and open-pollinated plants, and most of them are coming from my food forest. Check it out! New!! Earn reward points with each purchase and use them for a discount on your next order! I have included links to the individual seeds and plants. 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 (all coloured names include the links, more to come!). Enjoy!

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 orders are always very much appreciated as they help us do what we do. Thank you very much for your support.

If you want to know how we use the plants we grow, or you like to add something or ask a question, simply comment below, and follow us on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. I am also offering onsite and online/email/over-the-phone consultations if you are not sure where to start. More info about my services here.


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 how to use them, along with some other tips and tricks.


Make sure the plants are sun-trained before you plant them and also check where they grow best, sun, half-shade, or shade.

No trees in this list, mostly because there are too many trees you can grow in a subtropical climate so simply choose what you enjoy eating and what suits your garden. Talking about planting trees, you should resist planting any young fruit trees during the summertime as they may struggle to get established. Especially during a very dry and hot summer. If you want to know what trees we are growing, check our ‘Food Forest Guide‘.


We are harvesting daily and as required, depending on what we like to eat and cook, and/or what needs to be harvested. The March harvest list includes and is based on what grows in our food forest. 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, or as green mulch ‘chop and drop, go to compost if they are taking over, or as food for our chickens, ducks, or worm farm. The possibilities are endless. Many of the plants or seeds are available in my online shop.

Perennials crop we harvest in March:
  • bush basil – Ocimum oxcitriodorum
  • Ceylon Hill Gooseberry
  • Cranberry Hibiscus – Hibiscus acetosella – leaves
  • 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
  • Sugarcane Red – Saccharum officinarum – cane, mostly to dry and store for smoking meet later on
  • Sweet Leaf – Sauropus androgynous – leaves
  • Elderberry – Sambucus Nigra – berries and flowers
  • Alpine strawberries – Wild Strawberries – berries
  • Aloe Vera
  • Dragon fruit
  • Guavas – we have different varieties like the Hawaiian, Giant Thai White, Strawberry, Lemon, and Malayan guava
  • shallots
  • garlic chives
  • pineapples
  • sweet potatoes – leaves and roots
  • bananas
  • passion fruit
  • pawpaw – leaves and fruits
  • Horseradish leaves – leaves and roots
  • limes
  • Blackberry – leaves
  • Star fruit – fruit
  • Limes
Short-living perennials and annuals we harvest in March:
  • squash, tromboncino, zucchini, pumpkin
  • Winged bean
  • chilly, capsicum
  • eggplant
  • all sorts of herbs
  • Asian Pigeonwings, Butterfly Pea – Clitoria Ternatea
  • Okra – Abelmoschus esculentus
  • West Indian Gherkins, Maroon Cucumber – Cucumis anguria
  • Cucamelons
  • Bottle Gourd, Calabash – Lagenaria siceraria and other gourds
  • Luffa – Luffa aegyptiaca
  • Armenian cucumber
  • QLD Arrowrot – leaves for chickens and bulbs for us

I’m pretty sure that I forgot about one or the other plant we sow, plant or harvest but will update as we progress into the month. Any questions or comments? Simply use the comments section below. If you would like to learn how to plan and design your edible garden, and how to grow food, consider joining one of our workshops or enroll in the self-paced online course. More info here.

Buying winter veggie seeds and seedlings

When buying seeds and seedlings, go for the heirloom ones. Heirloom varieties are open-pollinated which means that you can collect and save your own seeds from the plants you grow in your garden, store them for the following season, and use them to grow your own food from year to year. Some people say that the heirloom varieties give you a delicious taste compared to the hybrid ones but I cannot confirm that since I always use heirloom seeds. It makes me think now, maybe that is why our homegrown food tastes so delicious.

I’m pretty sure that I forgot about one or the other plant which we sow, plant, or harvest but I will update here as we progress into the month. Any questions or comments? Simply comment below and don’t forget to check out our online shop at

Would you like to support our work? You can do so by sharing our articles and videos and subscribing to our YouTube channel which also helps other people to find us more easily.

For design, consultation, workshops, and courses check our website here.

If you would like to buy us a coffee, you can do so here.

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 🙂

How is your garden doing in March? I would love to hear from you! Comment below.

Happy Gardening!


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