July in our Subtropical Veggie Patch

What was growing

Front yard – mandala

View from the mailbox onto our mini mandala garden

I am so excited about my garlic, I can’t wait for harvest time. The glen large is doing so well even though I can tell now that I very much over planted. The Italian pink isn’t that fantastic, but we’ll see how it goes. I may not bother replanting next year and try a different variety. Late August I will switch off the irrigation for that final harvest which I anticipate will be around late September.

Glen large happily growing

We’ve harvested the main heads of the broccoli and I’ve left them in for the side shoots, they’ll keep producing for a while yet so I will leave them in. I have planted out some cherry tomatoes amongst them and when they start to kick into gear I’ll remove the broccoli. I planted some extra carrots in the north eastern bed which are nearly up to round 1 thinning stage.

Sideshoots from broccoli – we probably get more of these than the original head by leaving them

The royal blue potatoes are growing well. My strategy for potatoes is to neglect them and I don’t irrigate that section of the mandala at all. I did however top this bed up with the fresh compost as when I first planted it out I felt like it was a little too devoid of organic matter.

Around the outside (I call it the perennial section) I planted 3 asparagus crowns and they have popped up already! I am leaving them this year and will wait until next year to see how they produce.

Front yard – the stage

We’ve just harvested the broccoli here and are leaving for side shoots. The peas will be ready for harvest soon and the tomatoes are starting to harvest. We’ve already picked a couple of monster tomatoes from this section.

The stage. Check the rosellas in the background – alive, but struggling. I’ve kept them in for a wind break and to see what they do next season.

Aquaponics

Still doing shit. The shade is the enemy. But we’re still getting strawberries and celery and lettuce and herbs and aphids and spider mites.

Aquaponics. That mint (I popped in there to propagate a cutting) has to come out or it will take over the system and we’ll never get it out.

Back raised beds

Raised beds in our backyard being raided by the crew

Vegepod is loaded with beans on one side. Aphids killed most of my pakchois on the other side. I’ve never had such an epidemic as usually other bugs seem to keep them in check, but because they were under a net they didn’t stand a chance. I’ve taken off the top for now and removed the heavily infested plants so we’ll see how they go now.

4 types of bush beans in here (yes I over planted)

The potatoes are starting to fall over, I am guessing that means that harvest will be soon. Some are still standing tall so I will wait for them to drop before I harvest. We’re planning on building a new bed for spring in this section so I may even wait until we are ready for that.

Our carrot harvest out here was pretty disappointing this year, but the sugar snaps and snow peas had been fantastic.

We’ve also another 3 asparagus crowns out the back corner in the perennial beds which I will wait for them to become established.

Asparagus crowns planted and already sprouting!

Food Forest

I know I am not keeping the water up to this section. We have a lone papaya on the papaya tree. A couple of Madagascar beans from the teepee. I am tempted to divert our bathroom sink waste into this section to give it a boost. The pigeon peas are in abundance at the moment, I have so many that I don’t need to harvest them, so we’ve had a family of King parrots come in to enjoy them.

Winter Food Forest

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What I planted in July

Tomatoes. This is basically the last time I’ll plant tomatoes this year aside from maybe one off cherry tomatoes in Spring. You can see my YouTube clip here on my strategy for tomatoes in our climate. I’ve also kept up succession of kale, lettuce, kohlrabi and asian greens. If you’re after ideas of what you can plant in July in the subtropics you can find my lists here.

Harvests for July

Not a huge month in terms of harvests, but with what we’ve been harvesting it’s stuff we would normally buy in the weekly shop.

The big harvests were for broccoli and tomatoes. We’re also doing our own oyster mushrooms now too, we didn’t get a huge harvest but hoping to get a few setups on the go to supply our needs.

In total we harvested just over 8kgs of produce.

Things we harvested:

  • Broccoli
  • San marzano tomatoes
  • Tropic tomatoes
  • Mortgage Lifter tomatoes
  • Tigerella tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Kohlrabi
  • Birds Eye Chilli
  • Pineapple
  • Pak Choi
  • Lettuce
  • Eggplant
  • Oyster Mushrooms
  • Snow Peas
  • Purple Podded Peas
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Capsicum
  • Radish
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale

Bug Watch

Aphids, Spidermites and some weird triangle looking thing that I am assuming is a leaf hopper. There were also some flying bugs hovering on our daikons, I am not 100% sure but I am thinking thrips.

Bugs around in July:

  • Aphids
  • Spider mites
  • Cabbage Moth Butterflies
  • Army Worm
  • Cutworms
  • Shield bugs
  • Leaf hoppers
  • Thrips

General Observations

The cockatoos have been stealing the passionfruit. I am not too worried as we’re over passionfruit as we had so many early in the year. A block of land was cleared behind us and we watched as the possums jumped from the trees as they were being knocked down. Poor things, I hope no babies were lost. So I am doing lots of research on plants I can guerrilla plant in the park for them. I suspect we may get some visitors soon due to this land clearing.

We had more rain than usual 52mm, which was good to have the tanks topped up.

Here is a tour I did early in July.

August Planning

It’s a big one to much to write out here, if you’re a Dirt Lover you can see my full masterplan inside the portal with all my plans for our 12 beds (around 24m2 of growing space).

If you’re wanting to know what you can plant in August you can get my full list here.

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