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Asian Herbs and Vegetables: How To Identify, Grow and Use Them In Australia
Penny Woodward 2000 (AUS)
This beautifully presented book provides a description, cultivation and use for dozens of plants used predominately in Asian cuisine. Although many originate from the tropics, most of the plants can be grown in coastal Australia. 146pp full colour
Keeping Food Production Going During Hot Humid Summers
Green Harvest carries a range of seeds ideally suited to hot, humid areas.
Gardeners in subtropical and tropical areas face a range of challenges in the vegetable garden during the 'wet'. Pests and weeds can spread in the blink of an eye, with fruit fly and fungal problems being particularly difficult to deal with.
One way of dealing with this season is to 'put the garden to bed', by spreading a liberal amount of mulch and refraining from sowing seeds until the weather starts to cool down in March. This doesn't mean there is nothing to harvest, only that the harvest is limited to perennial, tropical edibles such as asparagus, arrowroot, bamboo, cassava, chillies, choko, ginger, kangkong, lotus, pawpaw, pigeon pea, sweetleaf, sweet potato, taro, waterchestnuts and yam. Many of these plants are available seasonally. Find some of them here.
Alternatively you can substitute more familiar vegetables with hardier ones that are native to tropical regions and will withstand waterlogging and high humidity without collapsing in a slimey heap. Angled luffa or New Guinea bean will substitute for zucchini without the powdery mildew problems, snake bean will continue to set pods during very hot weather and is resistant to bean fly. Ceylon or Egyptian spinach are both rust resistant and won't bolt too fast as the weather warms up.
The following plants suitable for warmer climates are available seasonally as tubestock:
Aibika, Betel Leaf, Brazilian Spinach, Ceylon Spinach, Cranberry Hibiscus, Kangkong, Mushroom Plant, Okinawa Spinach,
Peruvian Parsnip, Surinam Spinach and Tahitian Spinach.
Tropical Food Gardens: A Guide to Growing Fruit, Herbs and Vegetables in Tropical and Sub-tropical Climates
Leonie Norrington 2001 (AUS)
This excellent book is written in an informative, conversational style that is engaging and funny. Beautiful hand-painted graphics accompany the witty prose. This is easily the best book we have come across for northern gardeners. 160pp
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