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Planting Guide Index

  Mulch Pit Monthly Planting Plus Guide

At the Mulch Pit, we're learning as we go along. Learn with us here as we discover the best things to plant, pick, prune and prepare for each month of the year in our Tropical Permaculture Garden.

Please add to this growing knowledge bank by commenting on the entries below (coming soon!) and by joining us for hands-on learning in the Pit.

 

Wednesday
Jan162013

For the month of June......

Pests

  • Watch tomatoes for silverleaf whitefly.  Treat with a home-made neem spray.

Prune

  • Prune passionfruit after harvesting to promote regrowth.

Plant

  • Plant sweet corn, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, rocket and spinach to take you through to the end of the dry season.
  • Plant a second round of asian greens.
  • Plant beans under corn that is 30 cm high for easy bean supports.
  • Plant out new citrus trees.

Prepare and Provide

  • Mulch thicky around orchard trees and give a good soaking once or twice a week.
  • Pineapples are starting to flower.  Feed with organic fertiliser and mulch heavily.  Water from above.
  • Tie fruiting tomato stalks to the trellis with pantihose for support.
  • Keep liquid fertilising dry season crops.
  • Chase frogs, ants and other critters out of your irrigation pipes with a burst of water.  Use wire to dig out the debris from clogged holes.  (GA 2005)
  • Throw sprinklers and spray nozzles into a bowl filled with water and vinegar to eliminate lime residue.  (GA 2005)

Pick

  • Custard apples are ready to pick when they turn from dark to pale green and the skin between the raised parts turn creamy green.
  • Harvest turmeric clumps.  Wash and freeze fresh rhizomes or make powdered tumeric by boiling and drying clumps.  Leave a clump in the ground for next seasons crop.
  • Snip off fresh dill, parsley and coriander leaves - toss in your salads with cherry tomatoes which should be falling off your vines!  (GA 2005)
  • You should be harvesting limes, pomelos, cumquats, mandarins and grapefruit. (GA 2005)
  • Harvest a bucketload of new basil leaves; make pesto or eat them raw. (GA 2005)
  • Pick radishes before they grow too hot; and plant a new crop which will be milder.  (GA 2005)

Protect

  • Stop watering yam beans or tubers will split and burst out of the ground.  Harvest when needed.
  • Plant flowers in and around your vegie garden to encourage predatory bugs like pirate bugs, assassin bugs and green lacewings.

(Sources: Gardening Australia 2005, 2010 and 2011; Top End Gardening, Environment Centre NT)

Tuesday
Jan152013

For the month of July.....

Prepare and Provide

  • Keep frogs, lizards, birds and other predators happy in your garden this month by supplying them with water.
  • When pineapple centres start turning red, apply blood and bone around the base to stimulate good fruiting.
  • Apply liquid fertiliser to fruit trees and late dry season crops.

Pick

  • Whole corn and tomatoes can be frozen.  Run tomatoes under the tap while frozen to remove their skins easily.
  • Harvest your cassava or the termites will move in and eat them.
  • Pinch off the flowers of basil plants to stop them going to seed.  Use them in cooking!

Plant

  • Last chance to plant out year-round veges so they can settle in before the build-up.
  • Plant rows of Asian greens, corn, parsley, coriander and dill.
  • Plant a crop of cherry tomatoes now.
  • Plant cassava, cocoyam, taro and yam in soil heavily enriched with compost and mulched sugarcane, straw or dry lawn clippings. Liquid feed fortnightly.
  • Sow seeds for slow-growing fruit trees that you want to plant out in the wet.

Protect

  • Keep up the water to rambutans or the fruit will drop.  Net them to keep the birds away.

 Pests

  • Squeeze the tops of corn cobs daily to squash heliothis grubs which can move in overnight.

(Sources: Gardening Australia 2010 and 2011; Top End Gardening, Environment Centre NT)

Monday
Jan142013

For the month of August....

Plant

  • Sow seeds for fruit trees that you want to plant in the Wet.
  • Plant sweet corn every few weeks to have fresh crops all year.  Plant four rows 30cm apart.  Put a handful of compost in each hole with the seed and dose with blood and bone.

Pick

  • Pick your glut of passionfruit and freeze the pulp in handy ice-cube trays.
  • Pick and freeze chilli's in abundance or hang them up to dry on a length of cotton.
  • Harvest seeds from your dry season crops.

Prune

  • Prune passionfruit then feed and water to encourage new growth and flowers.
  • Pick off flowers from basil constantly.

Prepare and Provide

  • Your lime tree will appreciate a sprinkle of blood and bone, compost and fertiliser with trace elements.  Mulch deeply.
  • Apply compost or liquid compost to your year-round growers.  Keep liquid feeding rocket, lettuce and coriander to stop it from going to flower.
  • Apply dolomite to the garden before planting wet season crops. 
  • Build a windbreak around your vege beds to protect from gusty winds.
  • Top up mulch as required.

Pests

  • To stop possums from getting your mangoes, wrap plastic around the trunk of the tree.
  • Encourge green ants into your garden by building a nest to deter fruit-tree pests.
  • A drip irrigation system in the vege patch is the best way to prevent mildew.
  • Watch for evidence of sap-sucking insects on fruit trees.  Hit them with a soapy water spray, white oil, neem oil or potassium soap.  Spray in the evening.

Pot Up

  • It's a good time for repotting pond plants.  Divide them up or upgrade to a bigger pot.  Add a slow release fertiliser designed for water plants and top up with pebbles.

(Source: Gardening Australia, 2005 & 2010; Top End Gardening, Environment Centre NT)

Sunday
Jan132013

For the month of September....

Plant

  • Plant seedlings of cherry tomatoes, Bali corn, Asian basil, Italian parsley, watermelon, snake gourds, bitter melon and Jap pumpkin.  (GA 2005)
  • Plant seeds for fast growing fruit trees you want to plant out in the wet season.
  • Consider a spot for clumping bamboo to provide shade and meet all sorts of practical uses in the garden.  Consider Timor Black, Monastery and Buddha Belly 'Wamin' varieties.

Pick

  • Harvest seeds from your dry season crops.

Prepare and Provide

  • Provide shade for plants that don't appreciate build-up exposure.
  • Provide water for frogs and birds.

Protect

  • Protect tomatoes and capsicums from the sun with shade cloth.  Hand pollinate flowers with a small paintbrush if they stop setting fruit.  (GA 2005)

Propogate

  • Dig up and separate lemon grass clumps.  Cut off and mulch the tops.  Re-plant clumps on the borders of your garden to deter weeds.  (GA 2005)

Pest Control

  • Hang out your fruit fly baits.  (GA 2005)

(Source: Burke's Backyard, Sept 2010; Top End Gardening, Environment Centre NT; Gardening Australia, September 2005)

Saturday
Jan122013

For the month of October....

Plant

  • Plant seeds for fast growing fruit-trees for planting out in the Wet season.
  • Throw in your wet season crops like taro, water chestnut and peanuts.
  • Throw in some bananas.  Plant the sucker deeply so the first new leaf is touching the soil.
  • Consider planting a fruit tree such as avocado, custard apple, jackfruit, mango, macadamia and citrus.  Plant into mounds 15 cm high to avoid root rot.  Feed with an organic fertiliser, mulch generously and water well.
  • Finger limes, dwarf lemons and pineapples can be planted in pots as long as they get sun for six hours a day.  
  • It's still OK to divide up bamboo or bring in some from a neighbour's garden.  Create a shady spot in the garden or pot up for your balcony.

Pick

  • Collect seeds from your dry season crops.
  • Keep an eye on your cashew apples and mulberries to beat the birds and fruit flies to the ripening fruit.

Prepare and Provide

  • Keep up the compost to year-round growers. 
  • Make a batch of compost and liquid compost to use in the Wet.
  • Help bamboo get going during the wet, with a big dose of manure, a 30cm thick layer of mulch and a good soak to encourage new shoots.
  • Feed fruit trees now and every six weeks except citrus - wait until it's finished flowering.
  • Apply potash to mango, avocado, custard apple and star fruit.  Then when fruiting starts, apply a good organic fertiliser.
  • Your composting worms will appreciate more food now it's getting warmer.  Chop up scraps well.  If bedding becomes smelly from overfeeding, sprinkle garden lime over the surface of their bed and work it through.
  • Keep up the irrigation until there is at least 200 mL of soaking rain or your fruit trees will stress out.
  • Prepare for Wet season downpours by reschaping the ground around gardens.  Consider building swales to redirect water and tidy up established swales by removing weeds and obstacles.
  • Stack up the mulch in preparation for the Wet, but give the soil a good soaking first.

Prune

  • Prune tarragon, mint and Vietnamese mint.  Take some cuttings to propogate now and plant these out in the garden next month.
  • Tip prune passionfruit to encourage growth and flowering.

Pests

  • Layers of wet newspaper between pineapples will help control weeds.
  • Watch out for fruit fly.  
  • If root-knot nemotodes have invaded your beds, plant jumbo sorghum or cassava to starve out the pests.

(Sources: Gardening Australia October 2011; Burke's Backyard, Oct 2010; Top End Gardening, Environment Centre NT)