Monday, September 27, 2010

A clean slate in the vegetable garden - the Yates challenge

I am slowly realising that the wet season in the tropics is a totally different season to anywhere else. I joined the Yates challenge and planted some bean seeds, but not one came up. Regular vegetable just do not do well here. I got my free packet of carrot seeds in the mail this week and will give them a try. I haven't tried them before but who knows, they might like all the rain.

My gem squash was doing quite well, and then it seemed to take on a new lease of life and start running rampant in the vegetable garden - oh no!  wait a minute! this is a different vine and the gem squash has totally died off again.  Succumbed to powdery mildew yet again! I think this is a jap pumpkin vine. 

Instead of the beans against the fence I have planted long tropical snake beans, jicama (yam bean) and ginger.  Right in the corner my sweet potatoes are starting up again.   So in a little while this fence will be covered in greenery, and I have learnt a lesson - in the wet season only plant vegetables that enjoy this weather. .  The pigeon pea has been trimmed right back - that adds nitrogen to the soil every time it is cut back.

One of the wet season vegetables I really love to grow are asparagus, not only because I love them, but they are such a cool plant to watch growing!  I never realised that the ones you don't harvest turn into ferns, and you need to stop harvesting for the dry season so that the crowns can build up to give you a good crop in the wet season!  They are perennial plants so will produce for the next twenty years.  I have a tomato plant plant growing nearby as that deters asparagus beetle.

  I am going to put in three more plants later in the year- they are still tiny in pots, and only start producing in their third year.  To the left in the pot is comfery which I use in my compost as an accelerator, and also to make a comfrey tea foliar feed. .
The lemongrass has been cut back and well mulched

all the peppers are now taking off as well

I do realise that this has probably taken me out of the Yates drawing since they don't really supply many seeds for our wet season, but thought others might be interested to see how some of these tropical vegetables are grown!  I will continue to post the progress of my Yates carrot seeds, and who knows they might just take off!


  1. It's a hard lesson, but there are not all that many vegetables we can grow in the heat and humidity ... let alone the 'wet'! I think you've done a great job finding some that are suited to your climate and conditions ... snake beans, yam beans, ginger, pigeon peas, peppers, lemongrass and asparagus seem to do doing so well for you.
    Have you ever tried to grow eggplants? ... they do quite well in the tropics. Great post highlighting some of the problems up here.

  2. Hi Bernie, Oh sorry I left out eggplant - yes I do grow them - and they now seem to pop up in odd places, I have a lovely big bush growing in the front garden! In fact I am just about to try a recipe for eggplant green curry...


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