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 Farming and Gardening in Puna
 Do you pay attention to 'planting' seasons?
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SoCal_to_Hawaii
Da Kine

USA
133 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2017 :  17:08:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While perusing seed sites and looking at seed packets they, of course, give a recommended planting season (early spring, etc.) Since we don't have the traditional seasons here does anyone bother to follow the seasonal advice, or do you plant whatever you want whenever you want?

Understood that it is wetter in winter with shorter days, but does that make much of a difference?

SuperK
Newbie

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2017 :  18:32:03  Show Profile  Visit SuperK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We moved in from So Cal ourselves just a year and half ago so this will be our first harvest year. We are getting tomatoes, smaller than anticipated, but ripened nonetheless. I have a new crop of seedlings following those. I have also gotten small potatoes from pots. Again, smaller, with a follow up crop in right now due for harvest in November. I plan to follow that in November so I will see if that crops goes well over the "winter". I will also be watching this thread to see how others do with their gardens.


Retired in Paradise
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rainyjim
Punatic

1784 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2017 :  15:47:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No, you don't need to follow planting seasons.

For most I would suggest starting indoors or at least in a covered area (greenhouse-like). That said pretty much everything with seeds has sprouted out of my 'compost-piles' at one time or another as a 'volunteer'.

I think more important than planting seasons is perhaps knowledge of day length (for controlling flowering) and understanding of rainfall for your specific locale. There are so many microclimatic areas on the island it is difficult to give solid advice without specific knowledge of your location and specific crop grown.
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terracore
Punatic

4149 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2017 :  16:51:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some things like potatoes grow best here in the winter. (Some types of potatoes will only make tubers here during the winter) But this has to do with temperatures.

FWIW, most of the seed packets they sell at the local big box places don't do well here in any season. We found out the slow way that there are two main variants of corn, tropical and non-tropical. The non-tropical variety only grows well here if it's constantly doused with insecticides.

Gardening or farming here is an adventure, meaning that you will have to grow lots of experiments that test what will do well in your specific micro-climate. One suggestion for shortening the learning curve is to try and grow things that have already been proven. The UH Seed program is a good start ( you can buy online https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/SEED/ )

If you are buying from seed catalogs it's going to be hit or miss even if you are getting stuff that does well in similar climates (Florida, California, etc). There is no way to account for all the variables like hours of sunlight, rain, and pests.

Our best technique thus far is to grow small experimental crops first. If it's something that you REALLY want to grow, plan on repeating your experiment 3-4 times to see how it does with each season. And plan on fertilizing a lot. Most feeding guidance isn't assuming 150 inches of rain per year.

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leilaniguy
Punatic

USA
1332 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2017 :  21:47:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


Have you tried growing red runner beans? They are a perennial, and and the roots can be eaten? We have one pot of vining spinach right now, not nearly enough, need at least 10.
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SoCal_to_Hawaii
Da Kine

USA
133 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2017 :  18:26:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks all for somewhat confirming my suspicion about the seasons.

I do have a shade house with a rain impermeable top for a) shade (duh), b)rain control (I've lost several things to the three-straight-days-of-rain), and c) a bit of bug control.

I have gotten seeds from CTAHR, but shied away from them after two different types sprouted bugs. The corn grew worms when I germinated them in a paper towel, and some other tiny crawly thing showed up in the baggy I had only CTAHR seeds in.

I am experimenting with various things:
-Eggplant has done okay (CTAHR).
-Corn so far has been a failure (CTAHR and Burpee).
-A small peanut experiment went well, but a second batch has not had nearly the germination rate as the first.
-When I first moved here I had more asparagus beans than I knew what to do with, but since then for some reason I've had problems even getting beans to grow (asparagus and some that a farmer friend gave me). I do have one winged bean plant that is doing well, but they don't produce until the weather is cooler, so we'll see.
-Tomatoes have been hit and miss (CTAHR, others, a cherry plant bought at the farmers' market).

I do have a pigeon pea plant that looks awesome. I have just recently planted malobar spinach, edible hibiscus, Brazilian spinach, pipinola, and opo. So far all these plants look like they are doing well (even the hibiscus that got quite disrupted by pigs one night).

rainyjim - Yes, I have a couple of papaya volunteers that I let live in the raised beds they sprouted in. One is producing in abundance.

Terracore - I'll give the CTAHR seeds another go. I'm in lower HPP so get around 80" of liquid sunshine a year. I fertilize once a month, but have thought about rescheduling to once every three weeks.
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Kenney
Kamaaina

USA
919 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2017 :  18:39:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In our experience, things grow yearlong here, but really "kick in" in the Spring.
We used to grow vegis every year. Sometime's I'd jump the gun and plant seeds in January or February but they didn't really grow much til March. Although it seems warm and beautiful here almost all the time, we've had the best results after February.
Locally raised (UH) seeds are best suited for Hawaii.

Congrats on your tomato harvest! Tomatoes are really hard to grow here (in my experience) without a greenhouse, unless you grow the one bite size ones.. They volunteer yearlong outside. The white fly is hard to control out in the open.

Even the Turmeric dies back in the winter and raises it's leaves magically in the Spring.
Happy gardening!
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dayna
Kamaaina

USA
915 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2017 :  10:44:43  Show Profile  Visit dayna's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I am growing so much stuff. Terracore tends to use the UH seeds, I tend to buy from Baker Creek. He has his projects, I have mine. haha Mine feed us a lot more because thats my main job, his corn does a lot better than mine though!

I am currently growing, outside, not under cover, in containers:

3 types of eggplant. Long purple, long green, and a purple ball kind
10 types of peppers, sweet and hot
8 types of tomatoes. From tiny bush type to large cherokee purples
Purple tree collards, Tree Kale, Merrit Tree collards, regular kale and regular collards
Rapini, Katuk, celery
Onions, green onions, chives, shallots, and garlic
Blueberries, blackberries, poha, and strawberries
3 types of cucumbers
2 types of squash
2 kinds of peas
2 kinds of okra
Basil, cilantro, oregano, thyme, Ginger, tumeric
Contender beans, dragon tongue beans, red swan bush beans, blue coco beans, chinese red noodle beans, christmas lima
white potatoes, red skinned gold potatoes, blue blue potatoes, 3 kinds of sweet potato

Probably other stuff, but thats all I can think of off hand. This is all in containers, 800 feet in orchidland. Almost totally using animal manures for fert (goose, goat, rabbit, donkey), and compost.




Dayna

www.E-Z-Caps.com
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terracore
Punatic

4149 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2017 :  16:43:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"I fertilize once a month, but have thought about rescheduling to once every three weeks."

Depending on what you are fertilizing with, you may need to consider feeding more frequently than that. And if your pH is off, some plants won't be able to use the fertilizer regardless of how much you give them.

I'm currently experimenting with UH Corn supersweet #9 YELLOW. The silver was a bust (maize mosaic virus). The 3-way hybrid I previously had good success with looks like it has the stunting and striping of the virus, but too early yet to see how it will effect yield. (Princess Leia "UH Corn #9 Yellow, you're our only hope"). UH lists it as "highly resistant" to the virus.
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SoCal_to_Hawaii
Da Kine

USA
133 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2017 :  09:13:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dayna - That is quite a list! You make me look downright slovenly. I'll have to step up my game.

terracore - Thanks for the fertilizer advice and the recommendation on corn.
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