September 9, 2010 at 9:22 am #253147BrookesyMember
As the days get hotter the plants are supposed to start producing better, yes? Well in the tropics it’s getting a bit hotter than everywhere else, and I have a few questions to my fellow tropical dwellers.
What shall we plant that will not only withstand, but like the heat?
What shall we do to the garden to get some cool areas ready for those plants that need respite from the sun?
What should we rip out since it will be of no more use?
Well I have cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower which produced some leaves this winter, but no heads. Just to make sure I was getting nothing out of them some caterpillars cane along and ate the growing heads out of them too. So I will rip them out soon, freeing up some real estate. The lettuces next to them are going to seed so they will also soon come out and I will have about 1mX4m of blank canvas. Any suggestions? I don’t really know what will thrive in the full tropical sun.
I also have a fenceline running along a suspiciously convenient angle that covers my beans peas and tomatoes from the sun after about 11. Anything else that would like a bit of shade but still survive the heat? I think the peas might be a lost cause.
Anything else the tropical garden gurus do to prepare for wet season?September 9, 2010 at 11:30 am #476059broniMember
Hi and welcome Brookesy!! Not sure where you live, but here in Charters Towers we are still planting corn and carrots before it gets too hot. We’ll also grow snake beans over summer. I also have a wheelbarrow that I park underneath a mango tree and grow climbing spinach, and it wanders up through the mangoes. Not a lot else really, in the heat here.September 9, 2010 at 9:50 pm #476060narellehMember
I basically leave it fallow – I pile on mulch, poo and whatever else and leave it till March the following year. Sometimes self sown things come up and I leave them to it – sometimes we get produce and sometimes we don’t. I plant tree/pigeon peas (or rather they plant themselves now and I pick out some to stay;)) to provide shad also have interplanted with 2 banana patches which provide shade. I use passionfruit vines on trellis’s in rows for shade. This way at least something is happening in the garden while nothing is;) and if they become too rampant or too shadey – just pull something up or trim it and feed to animals or mulch it. I protect my herbs and most of them survive the summer but usually we have to start everything out again each march – between the heat and the rain it usually dies out.
The real expert in this area (I feel) is Rounthebend (RTB), she is a well of practical info and seems to be able to grow quite a bit in the summer. Maybe pm her if she doesn’t see this thread:tup:September 10, 2010 at 12:20 am #476061dianneParticipant
like it has been said, depends where you are, Im not so far up so I get away with a few things others higher up cant. get yourself some shadecloth to go over the gardens, this helped mine a lot. you could try pumpkins ( depends were you are) sweet potato, beans, okra, cherry tomatoes, corn, luffas, eggplant,amaranth, capsicums,ceylon spinach, chillis, plain/garlic chives, rosellas, ginger, turmeric,water chestnuts,arrowhead. make sure you put a really good layer of mulch too.
and most diffently check out RTB. she is an insperation:tup:September 10, 2010 at 12:48 am #476062leftoverqueenMember
It’s so good to hear from a fellow tropical gardener dealing with the challenges of the tropical climate! I’ve been attempting to grow veges and fruit on our block north of Katherine, NT for the last two years with some *ahem* mixed results… have learnt to accept that there will be failures but try to focus on the successes – like gardening anywhere I guess.
I grow veges in old tractor tyres and at the moment I’m still picking lots of tomatoes (Tropic and Moneymaker varieties, seed bought from Green Harvest website as well as Roma from the local hardware store), silverbeet, capsicum, Savoy cabbage and eggplant which are all holding up well as the days get hotter; my broccoli and cauliflower didn’t survive past the seedling stage – eaten/couldn’t take the heat. The corn has been ripped out – only got a couple of ears, I think it needed way more water; the Chinese broccoli and bok choy have done one round and gone to seed but I’ve ambitiously planted another round of seeds last weekend.
Now getting to the topic of what to do in the Wet – I agree with narelleh – I put the tyres to rest with a thick layer of poo, mulch, grass clippings etc so they’re ready to go again next March. It’s just not worth the heartache of watching plants get destroyed by grubs and mould and trying to garden in the humidity and heat – not fun!
However I do plant snake beans on the walls of the chook pen to climb up – they seem to be suited to the Wet and I love them in salads or just to nibble on as I wander around the garden!
There are no doubt lots of other things you can do in the Wet, I’m still learning, but there’s my ideas for what they’re worth.
Good luck and keep posting!:tup:
Thanks for the tip re Roundthebend narelleh – I’ll look at her posts to get some more info.September 10, 2010 at 1:44 am #476063roundthebendMember
Geez guy’s I’m still learning with the rest of you:lol:
I have been doing trial and error planting for the wet over the last few years and have a few goers
Endivia/ Endive…………….this salad green hangs on well through he wet ( unless it actually goes under water for 10 days:confused:)……break up and soak in cold water if you find it a bit bitter)
Cherry Tomatoes are the only tomatoe that keeps on keeping on in the hot wet conditions…………….but boy do they produce heaps!
Sweet corn will grow well, but give it some support as the ground can get so wet that the roots just cant support it………….but if it is raining a lot when it flowers you loose the pollen:noapprove:
Snake beans do really well as they love it hot and wet.
Pumkins go balistic……………will die back a bit if hey get mildew but seem to take off again OK.
Climbing spinach………..another hot wet grower and the baby leaves are a real treat in salads:tup:
Definately sweet potatoe growing time…………….have to keep the bugger under control or it will do the full take over bid.
There are a lot of asian greens that also do well……………but only grow them if you like them to eat;)
No No’s………….most root veggies, they will just rot.
Any hearting lettuce as they will eithr go to seed or the insides will turn to mush. Some of the open leef verieties do Ok but give them some shade and grow and pick quick.
Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes ( except cherry), peas, french beans, cucumbers,…………..ant think of any more at the moment, but these will just give you heart ache:(
I gererally shut down half the garden for the wet season and use this time to pile on manure, mulch ect on the beds not in use to build up the organic content for winter plantings.
Best thing is……………….. the tropical fruits are in abundance instead:)September 10, 2010 at 2:20 am #476064leftoverqueenMember
love your photo roundthebend – are you a cattle producer? we’re on a cattle station here, brahmans – they’re v. photogenic!September 10, 2010 at 3:41 am #476065roundthebendMember
Need to update my avatar:shy:……………..we changed over from droughtmasters to stud Charolais this year…………………mmmm, now put the Brahman with the Charolais and we have a real winner for a tropical summer:lol:September 10, 2010 at 9:50 am #476066BrookesyMember
Hmm, thanks for the tips, I am in Cairns. A friend from down the road gave me some cherry tomatoes for seeds the other day but I think my girlfriend threw them out while they were dying on a paper towel. 😐
I think I’ll do snake beans and hope that the ‘tropical’ fruits I have going will make it. I have passionfruit, rosella, mulberry (which I expect will start to falter soon), guava and avocado saplings that I hope won;t die through their first wet season. Oh, and a pineapple head growing.
Seems like we have to treat our summer like winter, but we have Mangoes soon!September 10, 2010 at 11:39 am #476067GabesMummiMember
Brookesy I’m in Cairns too! Have been growing home veges for a couple of years now, however didnt’ have much happening this year so far due to having another baby end of March. He’s kept me busy enough!;) Anyway, specifically on Spring/Summer growing, we have been trying different veges over the past 2 summers and intend to try some more again this year. So far had success with Okra, Eggplants, Snake Beans, Winged Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Egyptian Spinach, Ceylon Spinach, Leaf Amaranth, Basil, Ginger, Tumeric, Snake Cucumber, Perennial Capsicum, Bitter Melon (haven’t really acquired a taste for this though), Rosellas (mum grew these up here), and finally Corn (get it to grow, but never seem to pick the cobs at peak and they are not really sweet, will try again another year). I have heaps of Luffa seeds from a friend, PM me if you want some, or anything to do with the above veges seeds.:tup:September 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm #476068MileyMoonMember
You could head to the markets and ask the growers what they are growing this time of year and if they are in Cairns. I know a lot of Tableland growers go down but we can grow lots of things over summer.
Also there are lots of tropical veggies that should grow great. Think about the tropical islands and places like South America, Asia and India. Lots of heat and rain and Humidity 😐
For something different you could grow Yacon (from South America) they like lots of water; Taro likes it wet as well and I think Cassava isn’t fussy.
My Grandmother lived on the coast and used to grow a lot of things in pots and move them out of the rain when it got too heavy, also their garden bed was raised.September 11, 2010 at 7:03 am #476069gremmblesMember
I am trying Okra this year, it is supposed to love the tropics. Anyone else had success with it.
I am also planting the usual things like cucumbers, watermelons, pumpkins and snake beans. Sweet potatos are looking good.
I am keen to get more advenurous each year.September 20, 2010 at 3:15 am #476070NeataMember
i’m with you there Gremmbles, each year i finding something else that thrives on neglect.
I think my Neighbours have done well with Okra. They also grow a lot of Taro and Cassava. We’ve done really well with cherry tomatoes from last years seeds, Broccoli, cauliflower still doing really well in the new shade house and of course the unkillable sweet potatoes. Luffa’s are always a winner too.
We have limes for the first time (3 yr old trees) and the rest of the orchard is also coming on nicely, with some Tangelos and oranges starting to form. Passionfruit vines have completely covered 2 sides of the carport but have no interest in flowering yet and we have our first Banana flowers. Sweetleaf going strong, as is the Basil, Cat Mint and Lemon grass.
Gave up on anything that i bought as hardware store seedling, not sure where they start out in life but they certainly don’t like me much. 😆
Next victims i’m planning to try are climbing spinach and maybe some rocket. :wave:September 29, 2010 at 11:39 am #476071MatthewWilliamMember
Hi Brookesy! Hope you get so much of suggestion now.
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