Prepping Your South Maui Garden for Summer

April 29, 2010 at 7:07 pm Leave a comment

Ah – spring is in the air and the garden magazines and newspapers are telling you to get out in the garden and plant! But WAIT…we live in South Maui. Things aren’t quite the same because we can grow year round. However, when you look at seasonal planting guides for Hawaii, summer is actually the least productive.

Many gardeners actually use the summer to let vegetable gardens go dormant. There are many good reasons to do this. Unless you have full shade, most lettuces will bolt before you’ve collected the first edible leaves. Pests seem to be in full force when it is hot and dry. A dormant field may cut down on soil-borne pests and diseases.

Planting a cover crop is one way to minimize water use while enriching your soil. A few that are recommended in our sandy, alkaline soil are barley, woollypod vetch and sweetclovers.

If you want to try to keep your garden up, make sure to rotate your crops, use organic fertilizers, mulch well and keep your plants hydrated. Remember that hot dry winds may cause plants to transpire resulting in limp leaves and dead-looking plants. When the cooler nights come, they’ll perk right back up. Although watering 2-3 times a day for short periods may help; it is important to check your soil to make sure you aren’t over-watering. If you are growing in pots, make sure to mulch well to keep the soil cool.

Some edibles that do well in the summer here include: Chives, Mint, Beans, Corn, Eggplant, Green Onions, Onions, Peppers, Squash, Sweet Potato and Taro.

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