Saturday, January 31, 2009

Buy small and let them grow

This picture was taken November 7 2007.
I made the outline with the garden hose, used roundup to kill the grass inside, then waited about two weeks for the grass to die. Over a period of weeks, I filled the interior with grass clippings until I had covered the whole bed.

I bought all these plants at a local garden center, these are all "Florida Friendly" plants, plants that require little or no additional watering, which is essential since we basically only have 2 seasons, wet and dry. From June until November we receive the majority of our rainfall, the remaining 6 months are generally very dry with an occasional chance shower.

I took this picture on Jan 15 2009, just before our first cold snap. Most of the original plants had grown large and beautiful. During tropical storm Fay, some of the plants were badly damaged and I had to remove the Cuban buttercup. I also removed the Cogon grass as it is listed as an invasive species here in Florida - plus little volunteer seedlings were sprouting up all over the place. I replaced it with lemon grass.

The papaya trees in the before image, were also removed, they were seedlings from a solo variety I bought at our local warehouse. They never produced any fruit of value, the fruit that managed to mature were all infested with papaya fruit fly larvae. So I removed them. I have since grown some Caribbean Red papayas from seeds and have already had 4 papayas from it. They were stung by fruit flies but none seemed to develop to larvae. The two papayas are both still full of maturing fruit that I will harvest in the next couple of weeks.


  1. Caribbean Red papayas...sounds yummy. Are they different from the Mexican papaya? I've been reluctant to plant them because of how tall they get, does the Caribbean Red grow as tall? Nice blog! I'm down here in S. Florida too. Have you seen the "Myedibleyard" blog? It's a local blog all about growing edibles.

    Happy day~

  2. The Caribbean Red Papayas are just over a year old now and they must be about 10 feet tall. I'm sure they can grow taller, but my experience with papayas is that its best to plant new plants every year, they are so disease prone, there are various viruses that attack them, plus in our sandy soil, nematodes are a very big problem. The other problem with papayas is that if the fruit ripens during the winter, they are often insipid.

    Myedibleyard is awesome, thanks for telling me.