September Gardening Guide – Tropical Climate

September Gardening Guide – Tropical Climate

credit Quinn Dombrowski
Image credit: Quinn Dombrowski

What to Plant in September?

  • There is still time to plant the last crop of just about everything. Be aware that some crops will be lost if there is an early wet season. The last couple of years have not seen a good wet season so planting is likely to be productive. That prediction might bring on an early wet season!
  • Pumpkin planted now will likely provide for Christmas dinner. Jap does well in this climate. Plant into a heap of compost or well-rotted manure in a corner or out of the way. They require little care, but do need to be out of the way of lawnmowers and foot traffic.
  • Plant and look after the asparagus, turmeric, galangal and ginger rhizomes, and water chestnut bulbs that you have just planted. This is the vulnerable time. It is a little early for the ginger and turmeric to be growing.


  • Trim and use as mulch any plants looking straggly as they will be putting on their spring growth when the weather warms and humidity starts rising.
  • Bag any fruit susceptible to fruit flies.
  • Fertilise fruit trees with potash for sweet fruit and strong tissue.

Weeds, Pests and Disease

  • The brassicas are starting to go to seed. Allow the seed pods to ripen fully on the plant before harvesting. Choose the seeds from any that were not particularly affected by white cabbage moth larvae.
  • Clean up any fallen fruit and feed to the poultry, or bag and bin. They can also be solarised to kill the larvae. Solarise by putting into a plastic bag and leaving in full sun for a week or until there are no surviving larvae.

Harvest and Preserve

  • The main fruit crops at the moment are custard apple, caimito or star apple, pawpaw, citrus, bananas, five corners, avocado and chocolate pudding fruit.

Permaculture Principle #9: Use Small and Slow Solutions

  • This principle is about living and working within your means.
  • Gardening also needs to be within the means of the garden. Force-feeding with lots of fertilisers will result in heaps of lush plants for lots of input. The bugs will love them. Less artificial feeding will produce less food but it will be stronger, more nutritious and cost effective.
  • Perennial crops will provide food over a much longer period with less work and environmental disturbance than annuals.
  • I choose to live on 810 square metres as that is what I can manage. It also produces most of my food. On a larger acreage I would not produce a higher percentage of my food but the costs would be much higher for the same output.
  • I have published a template so that people can design their own permaculture gardens. The book includes a short introduction to permaculture and zoning. It then works through the zones with plenty of work space on each page. It also includes examples of the base plan and overlays and sheets of graph paper and tracing paper to work with. It is available in hard copy or an email form. I can be contacted through by email or phone. The information is on the website or plants.

It is with much pleasure that we welcome Leon Michael born by caesarean section on Monday 24.08.2015. He weighed in at 4 kilograms and was coming feet first. Everyone is doing well. This is my first grandchild and I will be known as Amah Mackay.

– Kathleen Hosking, Solution Focused

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