SeansBrewing
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Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:02 am
Location: Waialua, HI

Planting suggestions for Hawaii (Warm Climate year-round)

Hello All,

New Gardener here doing my first year of crops. This year I just kind of dove right in and bought a random basket full of seeds that I thought would be fun to grow. Unfortunately I am finding some of them are growing better than others, which I am learning is because some plants are more suitable for warm weather than others.

The average lows here range from 65(Jan) - 75(Aug) and the highs from 80(Jan) - 89(Aug). My yard gets lots of sunshine, but there are a few spots where I can plant and get shade for parts of the day.

So what vegetables and/or fruits will grow best??? I am willing to grow anything edible, here is a list of the plants I have in the ground now.

Cucumber (One month old, fast start, appear to be growing well)
[img]https://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d119/Seano99/Cucumber1.jpg[/img]

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Carrots (One month old, slow start, still small and not growing to fast)
[img]https://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d119/Seano99/Carrot.jpg[/img]

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Lettuce (One month old, Fast start, but doesnt appear to be growing fast)
[img]https://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d119/Seano99/Lettuce.jpg[/img]

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Spinach (One month old, fast start, appears to be doing very well)
[img]https://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d119/Seano99/Spinach.jpg[/img]

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Basil (One month old, slow start, but looks healthy)
[img]https://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d119/Seano99/Basil.jpg[/img]

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Tomato (2-3 weeks old, slow start, but 3/4th are doing well, others have leaves dying)
[img]https://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d119/Seano99/Tomato.jpg[/img]

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Cilantro (One month old, looks healthy)
[img]https://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d119/Seano99/Cilantro.jpg[/img]

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Lemon/Lime (Age not known, purchased full grown at Home Depot)
[img]https://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d119/Seano99/LemonLime.jpg[/img]

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Arugula (One month old, started well, but now appears to be dying)

Beets (Seeds sprouted, lots of them, 1 week old)

Papaya (seeds still not sprouted after 1 week, still waiting)

Rosemary (Seeds not sprouted after one week, still waiting)

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Any advice you can give would be great!!

Thanks!
Sean

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lorax
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Posts: 1316
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

Hi Sean! I'm in Ecuador, which is similar in climate to you (although I'm at a much higher altitude and in a desert).

What's done well for me is the following:
"Cool" crops - need to be grown in at least partial shade:
Bush beans
Zucchini
Squashes of all types
Cukes
Carrots (grow under tomatoes for best results)

"Hot" crops - can take full sun
Citrus of all types
Bananas
Papaya / Babaco / Chamburo / that group of plants
Spinach / Beets / Chard / Epazote / Malabar Spinach
Tomatoes (like part shade; "cherry" types seem to do best)

The papaya may take up to a month to sprout, but you're in Hawaii! You should be able to ask somebody that has papaya growing for a cutting - that's faster and more reliable than seed-starting, since papaya seedlings are notoriously finicky and prone to fungal problems.

I'm currently fighting with sweet corn; I may not have the short day-lengths necessary to ripen it, though, and my high altitude seems to have stunted the plants... :shock:

I'll also be able to report in about 6 months on the viability of growing pumpkins as ground-cover under bananas. I expect it to be more successful than simply giving them their own patch, since the leaves seem to fry in the hot sun.

csvd87
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Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:12 am
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Rosemary can take a wile, took mine a good 3 weeks, but I can't keep it living.
Papaya took about a week to 10 days, seems healthy, have 3, 1 with 2 true leaves. I actually transplanted one small seedlings, and after a day or 2 it is picking back up. Hoping I can move these to large containers for indoor growing until spring.

Lorax, you mention Epazote, do you know a good seed supplier? I see West Coast Seeds has it listed, but they haven't had seeds for months.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

sean - none of your seedlings look like they are really thriving for how long they have been growing (when you say one month old you do mean from when it first sprouted, not from when you planted the seed?) That would not likely be because of your climate (which sounds perfect for germinating lots of things) but other factors, like the soil, soil fertility, light, how much they are watered etc.

The lettuce, spinach, carrots are cool weather crops, which I plant here as soon as the frost is out of the soil. They may not do as well for you, given not much cool weather. All the rest should be fine and should love your not too hot/ not too cold climate as long as they get plenty of sun.
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lorax
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Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

CSVD, I know that Johnny's Seed Co. had them last year, but I have never had to buy Epazote - it's a weed here. If you can't find seeds, let me know, and I'll harvest some off of the big patch in the common garden.

csvd87
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Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:12 am
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Thanks Lorax

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soil
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Location: N. California

warm climate year around? sounds perfect for a perennial food garden. plant once, maintain and eat good for a years.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

cynthia_h
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Look into Sunset's Western Garden Book. There are two Sunset climate zones in Hawaii (H1 and H2); the growing conditions differ in subtle but important ways. Working with rather than perhaps against or at cross-purposes to the local growing conditions makes a great difference in results.

Sunset also has an excellent "Practical Guide to Gardening" which functions as a Gardening 101 for soil prep, necessary tools, irrigation, etc. in the same volume, and recommended cultivars of common vegs/fruits depending on your Sunset climate zone.

This may reduce the amount of flailing away you do and elevate the level of questions you ask. It's extremely difficult to come up with the right questions when you're just entering a new field; you don't even know where to start....Sunset may be available at your local public library; it's usually available for purchase at hardware stores, garden-supply stores, and the like. Also ==> bookstores! :wink:

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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