November in the Garden- Permaculture Food Gardening in Australia

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

November is the month when we can literally watch the food grow. All the winter crop is gone by now, the last cabbages are transformed into sauerkraut, and we concentrate on cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, capsicums, and co.

Unfortunately, it is very dry in some parts of Australia this season. In this article, I have included a list of edibles that are drought-tolerant and will thrive in conditions with only very little watering.

This article might give you some ideas about what can be done, sown, planted, and harvested in the garden in November in warm and subtropical parts of Australia. Note: all based on my experience and the work in my food forest. Feel free to comment below if you would like to add or ask something.

Since I am being asked where to get the plants I grow – we do sell many of our food forest plants and seeds online through our website here.

General gardening jobs

  • Increasing biodiversity in your garden to attract beneficial insects. Many of them will be predators that feed on the bugs you don’t like in the garden. Biodiversity creates a natural balance in the ecosystem so nature can help itself and you can benefit from it.
  • Applying compost tea every 3-4 weeks to plants with new growth and the garden beds around the veggies. Check my video here if you want to know how to make your own. You can use any greens for it! This is something I talk about each month but it is really important! Applying compost tea to your garden should be a regular task if you love your garden.
  • Sowing, planting, harvesting – check the list below. This is the perfect time to plant new fruit trees!
  • Summer is just around the corner! Weeding if required and mulching, mulching, mulching! Don’t forget to water the ground before adding new mulch. Mulch will keep the soil cool and moist and this is exactly what we want. The earthworms are most happy and active when the soil temperature does not go over 24°C
  • Applying fruit fly bags and nets on ripening fruit and veggies, make or buy fruit fly traps, and plant heat-resistant herbs like Bush basil, Rosmarine, mint, shallots, and other near fruit trees and garden beds to confuse the creatures you don’t want in your crop.

What NOT to do this month

  • Planting any brassicas and radishes is over now until autumn. They don’t like the humidity and hot temperatures we are coming into. All of them will bold quickly and all sorts of bugs will have a feast on them, too, so forget it! However, if you have some of them bolting now, you can leave them for the beneficial insects and seeds for the next season

Sowing, planting, harvesting

Notes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 🙂
  3. 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!

Drought-tolerant edibles

Click on the link for more info and to order

And here is the regular list of what you can sow and plant in November:

Sowing

Many of the plants are self-seeding in our food forest and emerging like out of nowhere. 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.

Planting

No trees in this list, mainly because there are too many fruit trees you can grow in a subtropical climate so 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‘.

Planting throughout the entire month:

Harvesting

We harvest daily and as required, depending on what we like to eat and cook, and/or what needs to be harvested. The November harvest list includes and is based on what grows in our food forest and what is possible, fruit included. 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
  • Bush basil – Ocimum oxcitriodorum
  • Cassava – Manihot esculenta – roots
  • Cranberry Hibiscus – Hibiscus acetosella – leaves and flowers
  • Galangal – Thai Ginger –Greater Galangal, Alpinia galangal – 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
  • 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 – flowers
  • Lemon guava
  • Alpine strawberries – Wild Strawberries – berries
  • Aloe Vera
  • Mulberries
  • shallots
  • garlic chives
  • sweet potatoes – leaves and roots
  • bananas
  • Horseradish – leaves and roots
  • limes
  • Dandelion – leaves and flowers
  • Pepino fruit
  • Asparagus
  • different herbs
Short-living perennials and annuals
  • zucchini
  • tromboncino
  • eggplant
  • Luffa
  • pumpkin
  • beetroot
  • Pigeon peas
  • tomatoes
  • all sorts of herbs
  • cucumbers
  • cucamelons
  • QLD Arrowrot – leaves for chickens and bulbs for us
  • Cassava
  • kale
  • Chinese tree lettuce leaves

What are you sowing, planting, and harvesting in your garden at the moment? Leave your comment under the article below on my website. I would love to hear from you.

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 my Food Forest Guide at https://www.foodforestseeds.au
*Book one of our workshops or online course
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Enjoy your garden!

Ewa

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