Thursday, 5 January 2012


As we face the first days of January, I note that my fellow gardeners in temperate parts of the globe are busy planning for Spring from the comfort of their armchairs.  I read one blog that summed it up as August plants are January's babies - I guess it's the sense of "planting the seed" (metaphorically speaking) even if it will be some months before there are any signs of progress. 

For us tropical gardeners, the holidays were the only barrier between us and the new projects of 2012 and now that these are over, we have no more excuses.

So, the spot has been chosen and marked off with strategically placed poles and left-over electrical wire (less attactive than proper surveyor's tape, I know, but it was readily available and free, left over from the house build.  Not whole reels of course, just odds and ends that are no longer fit for their original purpose).  The gentlemen from the country came some months ago to slash the gigantic elephant grass which was left to sun-dry and has now been gathered, along with the many branches and non edible/non-fruiting trees that were also cleared and burnt.

Having a good space between the garden and nearest neighbours means that lighting a reasonably-sized, well controlled bonfire, causes little or no discomfort or annoyance to others, and the resultant (pot)ash is a great bonus when spread around the new plot.  Whilst I will create compost heaps, burning was the best option at this stage and I did take some solace from reading that the methane from rotting waste is about twenty times stronger as a greenhouse gas than the level of CO2 emitted during the burning process - I have no idea if it's true, but it made me feel better.

Being undisturbed for many decades, this spot has not been sprayed or treated with any chemicals and is the perfect piece of virgin ground for an organic garden.  The next major challenge is financing and erecting a suitable fence to keep out  the not-so-insignificant dobermans, particularly given their perchant for fresh fruit and veggies. Once fenced, we can begin the process of creating raised beds and whilst my preference is to see aesthetically pleasing rows of neat hardwork beds, budget and durability in this high heat, high humidity, high rainfall region is pushing me towards breeze blocks (cinder blocks).   We shall see. In the meantime, it is truly a case of "watch this space".... 

New January growth on a young Mango tree
George watches over a baby coffee tree





  1. Hey Yvonne! I'm in South Florida so my growing season is a bit different. I'm harvesting tomatoes this week. Christmas for us was 80 degrees and we only just had a "cold snap" at 40 (at night) and 60+ during the day. Your place looks gorgeous!

  2. Hey Mary, Thank you and welcome to my little patch of earth. We've had the "cold snap" too - dropping from average 33c/90f degrees daytime to 27/80 daytime and as low as 23/73 at night! You would laugh to see people in puffa jackets at these temps. I guess it's all relative. The dog eat my tomatoes and I haven't planted any since, but I will soon (sounds like the old excuse - "the dog ate my homework) : ))