Just wanted to ask if many people grow back yard vegetable gardens on the islands?
My next door neighbor has an amazing vegetable garden, so it's definitely possible.
That is awesome! My wife and I are looking at relocating to STT, so I can teach, and we can have a place to settle down for the long, long term. I garden as a hobby, and I had read that there are some water issues.
Thank you again Lisa, I appreciate it
somethings do not do as well as they do in the main land. things that need a cool night don't do well.
But you can some stuff, but you need to set up some watering system.
Yes, it's possible to raise veggies here -- some do better than others. I haven't had a locally grown tomato that tastes like a tomato, though. (Most tomato plants here don't even bear much fruit; too hot.) Greens of all kinds and herbs do great, as do some varieties of peppers.
I'm not a tomato person at all, but I bought some gorgeous "on the vine" tomatoes at Cost U Less last week for my family. They were actually red like tomatoes are supposed to be, which is the first time I've seen that since I've been here. 🙂
Ah, good-looking tomatoes we have... but how did they taste? *-)
That I don't know... You'd pretty much have to hold me down to get me to actually eat one!
Don't have a green thumb(wish i did, working on it).
I'm always TRYING to grow stuff.
Scotch bonnet & other hot peppers do well,as does chives. I can't seem to figure out sweet or bell peppers & tomatoes.
In the perfect world, I'd grow the above, asparagus, brussel sprouts,cauliflower,broccoli, snow peas to name a few.
Anyone have luck with these?
Would be great to not have to buy these items!
i do grow many different palm species though.
Winter is the growing season here. By now most crops are about done.
We grow bananas, sweet plantains, carambola, guava, sugar cane, sour oranges,, tangerines, papaya, pumpkin, and kitchen herbs.
For local vegetables we go to Josephine (Coral Bay Garden Center). She often has cherry tomatoes. One of our neighbors grew and sold beefsteak tomatoes for years.
For water we collect from 3000 sq. feet of roadway. I think we get 500 gallons/inch of rain.
Filtered sunlight gives our plants a heat break.
We also grow Bamboo.
I grow in containers, continuously. Peppers, Tomatoes, greens, cukes. ginger, basil. oregano and other herbs. In the summer rig up some shade cloth, the sun get's strong. I like containers (2-2/2 gallon) it saves on water and use drip irrigation.
Cucumbers are tough but aquaponics straightened me out about the caterpillars. You have to pay attention to the greens and pick them yong before they get bitter. I use a soil free mix with compost mixed in. The shade cloth helps deal with the heavy rain.
I want Bamboo.
Pineapples rock! And I canned lots of tomatoes this year (and last).
Thanks for the tip on the greens, Bombi. I'm accustomed to letting them get supersized then picking them, but that doesn't work so well here. Also, local worms and bugs have had field days (literally) eating the greens, so it's been tough. I'm thinking of using old baby stroller mosquito netting to cover some stuff.
We consistently grow mangos, papayas, pumpkins, limes and bananas. They all pretty well take care of themselves (my kind of gardening). We recently planted an avocado tree, one of my favorites.
Re the avocado..in order to get fruit you need two trees that bloom/fruit on the same calendar cycle. One on an adjoining property would work if neighbors have trees, I can't remember what the max distance is supposed to be.
Thanks, beachy. Neighbors have trees relatively close by. As for the bloom/fruit cycle, well, I don't know about that one. Guess I'll have to wait and see.
Great post! I'm happy to see that some of you are growing successfully in containers, as that's what I plan to do, at least in the beginning. I won't have a yard at first... just a balcony. Since I'll be arriving in July, I"m guessing there's not much that I could plant right away. Maybe some herbs? What do you green thumbs think?
And have you encountered particular things that don't do well in containers? Here in Phoenix, I had major problems keeping basil alive in a container, but it does fine in the ground. (Well, more than fine. It's a gigantic bush!) I'm sure there are others like that. I just don't want to waste time and money on them if I can avoid it!
For those who grow tomatoes... did you find a way to make them taste good?
The last couple of years on STX, I've been disappointed with the tomatoes. Years past, they were outstanding from the rainforest, the UVI farm store, the farmers' market and the ladies on the side of the road. My usual lady told me recently she doesn't have tomatoes much anymore because they are too expensive. The ones I got during "tomato season" just weren't as good. Friend of mine in FL started a composting pile and out of the pile grew tomatoes. She has been posting pictures on facebook, and they are amazing.
From all the posts on here it looks like one could grow a huge variet of things. Re: Avocado tree, when I lived in L.A. we had 60 trees on the hill above us. They do great in So. Cal, but not sure about the tropics. It's funny though, some trees will kick out fruit like mad, as where others would be a bit sparse. The next year; just the opposite. They also take years to mature. Asparagus also takes years to mature. We are chili heads, and love Caribbean food, so with the advice I have received here, I am going for Scotch Bonnets, Jalapenos, Tomatoes, cucumbers, and Herbs, since I will have to container grow. I would like to plant some Hot Hatch Green Chilis, and see if those will produce. Thank you all again, I will keep checking back to see if I can get some more info on a water collection system.
I've tried growing several different types of veggies & fruit, all in containers, as our soil at our home is very poor, I believe it's called Caliche soil. I've had good luck with different types of melon; honeydew and canteloupe, peppers, miniature eggplant, zucchini ... not easy, bugs/caterpillars seem to love zucchini leaves. I've set up watering lines on timers, which helps reduce water usage and saves a bunch of time from watering manually ... one of my best gardening investments. I've also grown different types of lettuce, radishes and green onions. One of my other favorite gardening gizmos is (as seen on TV) my Topsy-Turvey! Yes ... I ordered now and also received the tomato slicer thingie and recipe book.;) But seriously, I used it for tomatoes and peppers and they grew for the longest time - not like they showed on the commercial, but was good for keeping them slug and snail free. I've also grown pineapple, cutting the top off and planting it - the pineapple that grew from it was quite possibly the best I've ever tasted. YUM!
Happy gardening! 🙂
Is the topsy -turvey thing just a planter, upside down?
Works well w/ tomatoes here?
I just can't get the tomoato or sweet pepper thing right...
I call my soil martian mud as it is rust colored clay.
Jill, I tried to grow pineapples the same way when I lived in New Orleans. For two years, they never did a thing! What was I missing?! How long did yours take? Did you do anything other than chop off their heads and stick them in the dirt? 🙂
My dad created a Topsy Turvy by drilling a hole in a 5 gallon bucket and hanging it by the handle. It worked fine and produce some nice tomatoes.
I've had luck with tomatoes over the winter when the nights get cool. I had pattypan and sunburst squash take off beautifully only to become dinner for the bugs. Cucumbers faced the same wrath. Herbs are easy!
I too cut the top off of a pineapple and stuck it in the ground. It just kinda rotted away and never did a thing. What's the trick Jill? 🙂
this stuff will kill the caterpillar on cukes, zuccini etc
Re water collection, we sometimes do a little basic gray water collection from the washing machine run off. We use it on the base of the larger, more mature trees and plants (not the edible parts of fruit or veggies). Try using less detergent if going this route--I think it is more gentle on the environment and the clothes. I use a LOT less soap by putting in a little soap, letting the machine agitate, then letting the clothes sit and soak in the water, then re-agitate, soak, re-agitate, soak. Makes a 30 minute cycle take hours, but hey, I enjoy novel forms of entertainment.