It has been some time since I reported my gardening successes and failures.
As for success, as I write I am eating breakfast which includes watermelon and cantaloupe from the garden. The watermelon is a bit over ripe and quite sweet. The medium sized cantaloupe is firm and, though acceptable, is not as sweet as those I buy from Luis at El Mercado Santa Ana. I am eating and giving away tomatoes from the garden and also eating carrots which, because of the poor soil I think, are small and not very sweet. There is one habanera just about ready to pick, and others coming on even though the plants are no more than 6 inches tall.
Also on the good news front is the large amount of killer compost I’ve produced and which I have been incorporating into the soil for new plantings.
The bad news is that both the tomato and cantaloupe plants succumbed to Tomato Mosaic Virus and Downy Mildew, respectively, so I have pulled them and began anew. I am hopeful that incorporating generous amounts of compost into the soil and mulching heavily with compost will produce more resistant plants, and as a backup I have ordered seeds of resistant varieties from a company in England which ships to Mexico at very economical rates. I have also planted more watermelons in a heavily composted bed, though something, perhaps a gecko, ate the leaves off a couple as soon as they emerged.
I have constructed two rectangular raised beds, where the tomatoes had resided, incorporated lots of compost into the soil and mulched them heavily with more compost. I have started more tomato plants which I will plant into one of the beds when large enough. In the other bed I have planted more cucumbers and will plant more onions and lettuce, though the weather has become very hot and dry so the lettuce may not do well.
I have also begun transplanting papaya trees in an area behind the garden. Though the hot weather is not conducive to transplanting, I am refining my method, using lots of compost, mulching heavily, and hoping for the best. Sr. Lopez, my landlords, tells me to use all of the water I need and to not worry about the cost. Water is apparently quite inexpensive here.
My container trees are all doing well and I have an addition of a mystery tree from a seed I found and planted in the avocado container.
Additionally, I found in the last batch of vegetative waste, the next door neighbor practically begged me to take, a large, juicy bulb of some sort that had been hacked up by a machete. You Know Me, I said to myself “what the hell” and planted it. Within days flat, broad, light green leaves emerged and earlier this week a stem emerged from which blossomed four trumpet shaped white and pink flowers. I haven’t the slightest idea what it is but it is indeed a beauty. Or I should say, was a beauty, as I accidentally cut the flower stalk with my soil sifting screen while preparing spots for the papayas.
Off to prepare another papaya hole before it gets too hot. Later I’ll tell you about my amoebic banking experiences.