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Jack Hardy

Jack Hardy

Gardening with Jack: Lettuce & Greens

For many people the vegetable growing season really gets under way in October when cool weather crops like lettuce and greens come into their own. And what a selection we have these days. Some seed catalogues carry more varieties of lettuce and greens than they do tomatoes. The most popular …

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Gardening with Jack: Cucumbers & Co.

The produce we grow in our vegetable gardens can be classified into four groups: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes, etc. (Solanaceae); cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, etc. (Cucurbits); cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. (Brassica or Crucifers); and the rest, lettuces, carrots and whatever. The good gardener will avoid sowing any members of these groups …

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Saturday Morning Special

I love going to the Abaco Cancer Society Thrift Shop on Saturday mornings. The air-conditioned shop is located behind the Abaco Groceries store on the Airport Road, opens its doors at 10 sharp, and stays open until 1. As you enter you will find books to your right and the …

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Gardening with Jack: Heirloom Tomatoes

If taste is your priority then you need to grow heirloom tomatoes. These are varieties that have been selected as superior and have been grown for many years, sometimes centuries. Heirloom tomatoes may have green shoulders, cracks around the stem end, uneven shapes and poor production but they will have good taste. They are tomatoes with character.

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Flowering Shrubs

Crepe myrtle, yellow elder, clerodendrum, cape honeysuckle and frangipani are all popular flowering shrubs on Abaco and are being joined by Mussaenda, a plant developed in the Philippines that has enlarged sepals which are as colourful as bracts on poinsettias.

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Gardening with Jack: May Gardening

Strawberry plants can take a good deal of heat but they too should be removed to a semi-shaded area that protects them from early afternoon sun. Pin the young plants produced on runners into their own small pot and wait until the runner dries before cutting the cord and making your new strawberry plant independent. Immediately re-pot into a one-gallon container and fertilize with a Miracid spray on a regular basis.

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Gardening with Jack: Papaya

Papaya is a great fruit for winter residents to grow. Arrive on Abaco, spend a month settling in, then plant a few papaya seeds. Next year fruit will be waiting for you and be available all through your stay.

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Gardening with Jack: April Gardening

Although there are two or three months of production left in our vegetable gardens there are already signs that many crops are coming to an end. Lettuces, for instance, turn bitter as the temperature rises and many of our staples become stressed. Tomatoes started from seed at the beginning of April will produce flowers in late May and by that time our nights will be warm. Regular-sized tomatoes need temperatures below 68 degrees to set fruit. The best bets for late tomato production are cherry tomatoes, particularly of the large-fruited or grape varieties.

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Gardening with Jack: Glenn’s Garden

The Bahamas is a young country in geological terms. Its soil is thin and weak, very different from our much older neighbours such as Cuba and Jamaica. Traditional home gardeners compensate by augmenting their resources with soil from the US. Others use one of two extremes: hydroponic culture or organic gardening. Marsh Harbour accountant Glenn Koepp has chosen the latter path using resources from the sea and from local businesses.

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Gardening with Jack: Spring Time

The end is nigh. If you plant a tomato seed today you will reap ripe tomatoes at the very end of June or early July, but only if there are cool nights in May that allow your tomato flowers to self-pollinate. Cherry tomatoes produce earlier and self-pollinate more easily so …

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