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Old 09-30-2010   #9 (permalink)
flowerBill's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Posts: 436
I've been growing veggies every winter when we come down. We are generally there from November through April. Usually I grow tomatoes, peppers, pole beans, basil, cilantro; and cucumbers and squash in past years, but not any more. Last year I had little worms in the cukes and squash for the second year in a row and couldn't shake them. Tomatoes have been fairly easy but you must use varieties resistant to tomato yellow leaf curl virus. I bring down two varieties of seed. One is Margo and one is Champion II. All my plants were stunted and died my first year (three winters back). Then I figured out it was a virus and brought down resistant varieties the next year. Some photos

We cover the plants with netting to keep out the birds that munch on the fruit.

Peppers are easy, no bug or disease problems so far. It's very dry in the winter and that no doubt helps with disease on everything. Pole beans, basil and cilantro have also grown well for me. You need to water alot since the soil drains so well and I add any organic matter I can get. A friend , Torsten, has ducks and the duck poo is a wonder drug for vegetables. If I don't have that I fertilize with sheep shit sold in bags at Home depot as "abono de Borrego". Soil is very poor so it needs organic matter and periodic feeding (I do it about monthly with some kind of manure top dressing).

Cukes and squash have grown well but worms in the fruit is an unshakable problem for me. Here's a photo of the healthy plants of cukes and squash

I also have papayas, several types of bananas, guava, limes, tangerines, sour orange, annona, mango, rosemary and nopales planted. So far only have picked fruit on the papayas but the others won't be long as they are growing. The rosemary is great ground and fried with diced potatoes and string beans in butter. Also like grilled chicken with rosemary.

Preparing the soil is a chore involving digging down deep, removing rocks and building raised beds. I remove all the soil from the future walkways and put it in the raised beds and cover the walkways with the smaller rocks. Raised beds are edged with the rocks dug out. Paths tend to get made where the bedrock is closest to the surface. Add digging out roots etc. and you can see it's all a tremendous amount of hard work but once it's done things grow well. I bury my household compost in holes between plants to aid in building the soil. As a bonus small citrus, mango and avacado trees come up and can be moved to better locations. Here's a shot of garden prep work.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

Last edited by flowerBill; 10-03-2010 at 04:56 AM..
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