We are into the hottest month of the year yet it is time to start tomatoes from seed and tomatoes do not like heat. Warmth, yes, but not heat. Experienced gardeners will be able to cope with the conditions and less experienced practitioners will learn along the way what works …
Teas are both healthy and refreshing and if you collect your makings from the garden they are also very cheap. Teas are usually freshly made and drunk hot but can also be prepared, cooled, and used ice cold. You can also use the sun to make your teas. Place your …
Papaya and bananas are productive all year round but most other fruits have a definite season to look forward to. All of our summer fruits can be eaten out of hand but some can be enjoyed in other ways. Boil dark red Barbados cherries (Acerola) in sugar water. When cool …
The vegetables we grow in our yards tend to fall into family-like categories: tomatoes and peppers, cucumbers and squash, cabbage and kale, lettuce and greens, and the root crops. Extensive as these categories are there are a few vegetables left over that may well deserve your attention. Celery is a …
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …