Vegetables best grown in STX for personal gardening
We are planning to relocate in STX in the future and currently live in Carlsbad, Ca. We enjoy gardening and have vegetable garden in mind for when we move there. We are currently looking at property for sale to build on and curious what part of the island is best for growing vegetables and fruit trees. We want to be tucked in a ways from the coast but absolutely love the North Shore and Cane Bay areas.
Any advice of areas that are better for growing would be greatly appreciated when considering what area we should be seeking to purchase property.
My apologies as I meant to place a “?” in my topic heading. I am unsure how or if I could edit that to help support my topic having questions rather than allude to me having good advice to share of what vegetables are best grown on STX.
First time on a blog before~forgive me!
STX has some good agricultural background -- for a personal garden mostly be aware that there is limited or little fresh water - most houses have a cistern and no public water -- consider catching and storing grey water from a driveway for example to use for gardening.
? Thank you, Exit Zero!
Our hopes are to have a large cistern and researching above and below ground. When I lived in STT about 19 years ago I had cistern water where I was renting and absolutely loved the rain water. I suffer from extremely dry skin and my skin has never been happier than when I lived in the Caribbean. My friends that live in STX currently are helping look for land for sale to build on. They built their house out of concrete and didn’t suffer any damage during the last 2 bad hurricanes and their 3 little kids even slept thru them. They will likely be helping us build our home when we are ready to make the transition to move there (my best friend from STT moved to STX when she got married and her husband is a contractor and knows how to build very strong and safe home).
Are you familiar with the Clairmont area near the North Shore? That is an area we are currently interested in. It appears to be pretty rural at the moment and we want chickens and little veggie garden ?
Thank you for sharing
My wife and I found seeds from a company in PR that are successfully grown in PR for sale at Gallows Bay Ace Hardware. I've attached a picture of a couple of the packs we bought. You might give them a try when you start your garden.
Clairmont is a beautiful area and my wife and I also considered it before buying a house on the edge of the rainforest north of Frederiksted. The closer you get to the rainforest, the less you have to worry about adding water to your garden.
Definitely do a PMV and consider things like ease of building, rainfall and ability to go at least partially solar (grid-tied or more) as you look at building lots. That's in addition to the views, neighborhood, etc.
Best of luck in your search!
Thank you so much for the helpful info and will check out the seeds suggested! With the Covid-19 stay at home policy we have certainly had a lot of time on our hands to be watching gardening videos and reading articles about hydroponics so it might be fun to have both a soil garden as well as hydroponic garden growing since we can keep that indoors as well. We realize the tropical storms and hurricane seasons make it challenging to have a greenhouse perhaps but even something basic and small that could be a skeleton of the greenhouse with the top and sides that can be removed that time of year would be great. Lots and lots of pondering and having fun doing all sorts of “homework” in the meantime.
If you haven't seen it, look at the episodes of HGTV's Caribbean Life. The show covers a lot of destinations, but there are a number of them about St Croix. It's also probably the best advertising the island has gotten.
Regarding the greenhouse, you can make it 'semi-permanent' if the place you buy your lot permits it.
Cut 10 ft sections of conduit in half
Screw a cap on to the threaded end and drive it into the ground 18-24" (then remove cap)
Space the conduit about 3-4' apart on the sides and 6-12 apart on the end (with larger pipe, you can space them further on the sides)
Insert PVC pipe into the top of the conduit to form a dome (you can tie the PVC dome shaped hoops together using tees and cross shaped PVC connectors - friction fit should hold it)
Cover with plastic, shade cloth, etc. and stake it down to help hold hoops in place and keep birds and critters out.
If a storm is coming, pick any crop you have, un-stake the fabric, separate and store the PVC.
Now you have another option you can doodle about when you get bored 😉
We will definitely check out the HGTV Caribbean Life episodes. I have watched a few hoop style garden beds and been having so much fun just learning more getting very inspired! We are hoping to be enough in the “boonies” it’s aok to build a little chicken coop with chicken run as well a small little green house or a handful of little hoop garden beds. Thanks for the detailed instructions above of how to build a semi-permanent one and will be adding to my journal. Everyone on this message board has been so helpful and thoughtful. We super appreciate all the different posts we have read on other topics as well. Recommendations and any advice to explore is always greatly appreciated ?
As you research, keep in mind that the deer on STX love vegetable gardens. A fenced garden or green house design has to be strong enough to keep them away from your plants. They are quite persistent.
Also, stray dogs are a serious threat to chickens so you'll need a coop with some type of pen enclosure. Mongoose also can threaten your chickens.
Plan for vegetable plants varieties that grow best in zones 10 or higher.
Think little tomatoes and peppers that like to vine. Varieties of Asian vegetables grow well in the tropics.
Here are a couple pictures of a 9' x 3' raised bed my wife and I finished this weekend. It has a 3/4" PVC frame and has 2' of hardware cloth around the bottom to discourage cane toads and bird netting over the top.
It can be watered through a soaker hose connected to our 200 gallon water tank (that collects the runoff from our solar panels) when there isn't rain for a few days.
We also got the soil for free at the department of agriculture (they have a big pile at the back that's accessible during business hours during the week).
@rewired Thanks for posting these pictures! We wanted to come out last summer to look at properties of land only available and not sure if we will come out this summer or not yet. Everything is still so uncertain but hopefully next year. We have a few places in mind in the Clairmont area and we are unsure if Canaan is considered part of the rainforest area or not but looking at the map it we are hoping it is. We have surrendered the idea of having chickens from reading some pretty funny posts on this forum and will just try to buy local fresh eggs instead. I grew up with chickens and big veggie garden and fruit trees but it sounds like veggie garden should be aok and definitely fence it in some way with heavy screen. I super appreciate the instructions of how to build above and the photos of your garden ?