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gardening in the humid tropics of the Philippines.
charkee Views: 2,164
Published: 6 years ago

gardening in the humid tropics of the Philippines.

I have gardened in California, Missouri, Iowa, the sandy soils of the central American tropical rain forests. The soils have ranged from loamy sand to clays.

Currently I am gardening in the Philippines on the island of Luzon. This is the worst soil I have ever worked with. It is a sandy loam with gravel of volcanic cinders and chunks of hardened ash. The drainage is excellent.

However disease is a real problem. Early blight wipes the tomatoes out, crown blight killed all of the papayas. Root knot nematodes destroyed the eggplants, okra and carrots. Bugs chewed the chinese cabbage to smithereens and white flies got everything else.

Beans all died from some unidentified illness that wiped them all out in a matter of 4 days.

Corn and sorghum seem to do well. Taro looks great.

It is difficult here to find garden supplies. You can get tools, but no handles. Can't find handles anywhere. I ended up using tree branches for hoes and luckily I found the last shovel with a handle in an Ace hardware south of Manila.

Buying a garden hose is a real challenge. I finally found one that was better than terrible and the couplings don't fit any faucets here. I had to cut of the couplings and put on native ones only do discover they is no way to clamp them to the hose. so I used bailing wire and twisted it tight around the couplings to keep them from leaking.

The only source I can find for OM is coconut lumber sawdust. It composts quickly in this humid tropical climate. I'm trying to build up the OM and am thinking of mono cropping corn to starve out the nematodes and get the double benefit of additional OM from their stalks.

I have added some char to the soil along with wood ashes as I assume the soils are acidic. N levels seem okay, there are no soil tests available, so I gotta hope its in the OM I can obtain.


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