September in our Subtropical Patch

We’ve mostly spent this past month wrapping up those final cool season crops and preparing for the warm season. Here’s what we did.

What was growing

Front yard mandala

Front Mandala garden September 2020

I decided that I wasn’t brave enough to put peanuts in the mandala garden and opted instead for zucchinis. Zucchinis are always the best here planted in Spring. In summer the mildew takes over, however with the predicted rainfall we’re about to get it’s likely that spring may suffer the same consequences.

I planted out corn where the potatoes were with some old seeds I wanted to see if they were viable. It’s been 2 weeks and it’s pretty safe to say they are not, so will get some fresh sweet corn seeds in there soon.

The pink thai egg is finishing up and the 3 mystery cherry tomatoes from our mix are starting to kick into gear. I’ve been raising some basil to interplant in this area, mixed basil varieties of dark opal, lemon, lime, thai and genovese. Basil is one that does well when it’s hot so I figure I may as well make the most of the space with different varieties.

The middle section is doing a final run of giant yakumo snow peas. We’ll see how far they get before the heat sets in.

Font yard – the stage

We pulled the last of the tomatoes, with a few still green on the vine. I just up ended the vine and let them ripen. Probably about 80% finished ripening this way which is great.

We’ve since planted in some pumpkins.

We also cut down the rosellas and mulched them up to add to the bank. I am hoping to get some sunflowers out here until the next batch of rosellas kick off, but I am waiting for rain as it’s so dry.

Aquaponics

I finally did a clean out of here. The chickens were very pleased. I am not planning anything in here as we are doing a further rejig later on. I’ll mostly just sprinkle lettuce seeds.

We’ve had the black aphid issue on spring onions (happens every year), they completely wipe them out if I am not onto it. Thankfully I had others going around the garden to keep us supplied, but I’ve taken them out, washing as many aphids off as I can, trimmed them down and will keep on top of them with a home made eco oil spray. These spring onions we have in the aquaponics are ones that duplicate every year, so we never run out and rarely have to plant extras – except for this time of year.

We harvested the first barramundi along with the last remaining jade perch here for Nathan’s birthday and they were good. We need to get some more crayfish into the system as well.

Back raised beds

We’ve added additional beds to the backyard configuration, and as soon as I harvest my coriander seeds we will add the final large bed.

We’re trialling a wicking bed on the back fence to see how it goes against the tree root invasion. If it’s successful we will roll it out for the majority of beds.

In this area we’ve got lettuce, celery, radish, spring onions, mustard greens, kale, swiss chard in harvest mode. The sugar snaps are finishing up (I am always disappointed with how much they yield as we eat them before they get to the kitchen, make a note to plant 10x more) and the madagascar climbing beans are just kicking back into gear.

The Vegepod

The next run of beans are on the way. We’ve been getting loads of fennel from in here and the beets are looking great.

I am still undecided if I want to keep the vegepod, or at least attempt to convert it to a true wicking bed.

The food forest

We’re pumping more water into this area. A pawpaw is almost ready to harvest and the coffee beans are looking pretty good. I need to add some manure out here to give it a bit of a boost.

The hydroponics

This isn’t new but I am not sure why I fail to mention it in my updates, but we have a small autopot hydro setup. Honestly I don’t do anything with it. I haven’t even filled the reservoir since may. We have two capsicums growing in here, but I am planning on extending this system for things that I struggle to grow (capsicums) because it’s so easy!

What I planted in September

The warm season succession is in full swing. I definitely need more capsicums and now we’re eating way more salads I plan to plant at least 2 dozen plants a month.

  • Lettuce
  • Malabar Spinach
  • Blue butterfly peas
  • Madagascar climbing beans
  • Okra (haven’t grown this before)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Beetroot
  • Spring Onions
  • Cucuamelons
  • Luffa
  • Mustard Greens

If you want a full list of things you can plant in September head on over here.

Harvests for September

This month was a little less than previous months at 12.1kgs of produce harvested. 8kgs of that being tomatoes. September is always a tricky month as you start the new season.

Harvests this month included:

  • Fennel
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Pak choi
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Sugar Snaps
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Spring Onions

Pest Watch

The possums are getting closer, nibbling our passionfruit vines. I am sure it won’t be long until they find the good stuff. I want to start planting some natives around the outside of our food growing areas to helpfully give them what they need.

We have had leaf hoppers on our Eggplant. It took me a while to figure out if they were good or bad, but they are pretty bad and the old eggplant is not happy. I will wait until my new Black Beauties kick into gear and sacrifice the old plants – 2-3 plants is plenty for our eggplant needs.

We’ve also seen the black aphids and also we are seeing loads of white cabbage moths out and about, so no doubt we’ll have issues in that department soon.

Surprisingly I haven’t seen fruit fly yet, my father in law who lives not far from us has had them but our pink thai tomatoes that I didn’t cover and are all ripening up haven’t had any stings yet. I am preparing for it though with the Black Krims completely netted.

Pests for september:

  • Leaf Hopper
  • Cabbage Moth Butterfly
  • Black aphids
  • Possums

General Observations

Not much rain as expected, around 8mm earlier in the month. Our tanks are now dry. We would love to get a 10000 litre tank in at some point which might cover our needs.

You can see a Spring Garden Tour I did here of our plans and what we’re doing.

Plans for October

I’d love to finalise the final configuration of our back raised garden area and move our birdies beds to the front yard.

I am going to try growing a few new things this year, including amaranth, jicama and kangkong.

If you need some inspiration on what you can plant during October you can grab my lists here.

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