Carrots are rarely used as a side vegetable in The Bahamas but are indispensable for adding to soups and souses. The largest type is Imperator but the best tasting are Nantes and Chantenay. If your soil is heavy you should try Danvers, a broad-shouldered heavily tapered carrot that is ideal …
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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 …
Great love affairs: Romeo and Juliet, Abelard and Heloise, Bogie and Bacall, Rose and Parsley… Rose bushes grow better with parsley planted around the base and the parsley will grow green and lush.
I do not want to get into the issue of global warming but there are indications that many plants have moved to a different timetable in their flower and fruit production. Shooting Star clerodendrum – native to Papua New Guinea and the Philipinnes - was once a February flowerer but by the end of the first week of January this year Marsh Harbour had many clerodendrum shrubs in full blossom. Grass is still growing and needs more ‘out of season’ trimming than is usual during the cooler months. For the home gardener this means we can start some crops earlier than normal. Corn and watermelons are good candidates for February sowing.