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#500696 - 02/04/15 08:37 PM Growing vegetables & herbs in San Pedro
dschick Offline
Is it possible to grow vegetables & herbs in San Pedro? If so, are raised beds necessary?
Dawn Schick

#500701 - 02/04/15 10:57 PM Re: Growing vegetables & herbs in San Pedro [Re: dschick]
CaptOneIron Offline
You will have to import or make the dirt.
Captain One Iron

#500706 - 02/05/15 08:14 AM Re: Growing vegetables & herbs in San Pedro [Re: dschick]
elbert Offline
dschick, It's truly an up hill battle.
I've tried and watched others over the years It's a very difficult environment for it..
We don't have dirt, it's a barrier island of calcium carbonate, there is a salt mist in the air that gets in everything. The ground water is high in salt and calcium so only salt tolerant plants survive.
You can bring in soil or compost it and import fresh water or collect rain water but you need a screened in area or the crabs and lizards will eat it as it grows. Too many obstacles to be practical.
On the upside delicious fresh fruit and vegetables are brought to the island by boat, grown in the rich soil of the mainland where 100 inches of rain falls a year that makes growing easy. It's so cheap you would never be able to compete with that market economically.
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#500708 - 02/05/15 08:50 AM Re: Growing vegetables & herbs in San Pedro [Re: dschick]
ScubaLdy Offline
I'm trying and with some success. I put planter boxes all along my two decks and filled them with black dirt. I use rain water. The first three herbs I planted did very well; basil, parsley and turnip greens. I have been using all of these and giving away extra. Two weeks ago I planted cilantro, chives, rosemary, acorn squash, jalapeños and long red peppers. The cilantro germinated in 3 days and the other in 5 to 6 days.

In a section I call the farm (cleared open area) The cantaloupe seeds sprouted well. The iguanas got 8 hills and I have 4 left. They are flowering nicely and have set a couple of fruits. The watermelon sprouted in the planters but was transplanted to the farm and did not survive. I was told that mint is a deterrent for iguanas and did find a few scraggly plants. These few have spread nicely.

I purchased a great horned owl solar powered life sized statue, the eyes are scary as $#!+, and the thing makes a clicking sound as the head rotates. This I had mounted on a stump in the middle of the farm field. I want my caretaker to make a few clacking whirligigs to add to this area to keep the birds out.

These nightly rains and sunny days are doing wonders. One of my friends (who knows everything - really) insists that the days are not long enough to ripen foods. This does not make sense to me as it grows under the same sun on the mainland
My attitude: What have I got to loose? $1 US on each packet of seeds and the joy of watching it sprout is enough to delight this simple soul.

NOTE: Potential ex-pats - it really doesn't matter what you do when you come here - just do something to amuse yourself and keep living not sitting on a bar stool dying.
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#500709 - 02/05/15 09:54 AM Re: Growing vegetables & herbs in San Pedro [Re: dschick]
Diane Campbell Offline
Also note that composting is not so easy without earthworms.

#500728 - 02/05/15 02:22 PM Re: Growing vegetables & herbs in San Pedro [Re: Diane Campbell]
Wizardofaahs Offline
Composting does NOT require earthworms. You need a bin, keep the rain out, turn it regularly, keep adding scraps (no meat) and, viola' compost. There should be a composting facility on the island for all of the green waste. They could bag it and sell it back to us. I would love to be able to buy compost here on the island.
Words have power. Speak it into existence.

#500729 - 02/05/15 02:26 PM Re: Growing vegetables & herbs in San Pedro [Re: Diane Campbell]
Wizardofaahs Offline
Additionally, raised beds are the answer. The Squarefoot Gardening method would be the way to go. Easy to manage. We just need to get vermiculite and peatmoss here and combined with compost (absolutely NO black dirt or soil) you are good to go. A bit of protection from the critters will ensure you have large fresh salads daily. One 4' x 4' box will feed one adult daily for life.
Words have power. Speak it into existence.

#500730 - 02/05/15 03:15 PM Re: Growing vegetables & herbs in San Pedro [Re: dschick]
ScubaLdy Offline
Wizard - why no black dirt?
I've contended that someone with a proper machine should be able to make a living here - get paid to clear land, put through a grinder and sell as mulch.
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