Tropical Heritage Garden Diary:

July 2013:

2 July:

Collected Seeds
Crinkly hot Pepper                              large  Burmese Okra          
Images of seeds collected from the garden
Small Loofah                                  local Okra       

3 July:

Lychee and Durian battle it out....

Images of Lychee and Durian sprouting

Outside and Inside the Sauna
(seeds sown on 22 June)
Images of seeds planted in cooler and warmer
          Condensation                       No growth -too cold and wet                   Inside sprouting Cacti

Mostly pottering around today -after the rain yesterday.

Planted some Mulunguy and unknown Leguminous trees (seed pods from tree with yellow flowers found growing wild in Tagbilaren) in the area of the "fallen Banana" and a few other  places.

Tried hiding some Chicken seeds in various compost heaps under Banana and Coconut trees. But suspect the chickens will probably eat a lot of them -although some Mung Beans broadcast earlier seem to be growing.

A cocktail of almost all the tall growing plants including Asparagus, Artichoke, Cardoon, Korean Hyssop, Edible Chrysanthemum, Wild Dagga, Tomato, Eggplant, Hot and Sweet Peppers, Amaranth and the last of the Black Sesame were mixed with soil, sprayed with water to bind soil to seed so they become less visible, and then broadcast in various locations under trees.

The Mixed Cacti were taken out of their plastic bag and placed under the house to acclimatise -and a new batch prepared in a similar way in a similar plastic (Bonsai) pot. The not yet sprouted herbs (
Parsley, Kimchay and Coriander) planted 22 June had any remaining water removed from the outer pot -and moved to a sunnier, warmer, location next to the sprouting fruit tree seedlings.

5 July:

Cleaning up the "Heritage" area. Planted a mixture of 1st and 2nd generation Burmese Okra in H.1 and H.2 (after soaking for around 24 hours).

Unfortunately, the Camera is not functioning properly -so can't take any photos.....

7 July:

H.1 and H.2 now cleaned up -with drainage ditch all round -ready for Coconut chippings to be applied.

Planted some Chicken Seed in V.4C, V4D , V.4Em V2.A and H2 as a test. Perhaps some  Blue Bonnet Rice could be planted in these areas.

In the "instant garden", by the house under a Coconut Tree a mixture of Pechay, Mustard, Red Radish, etc. was sown to fill in the holes left by the previous sowing -which is now growing quite well.

After soaking all night some Bush Beans were planted in T.1A, T.1B, T.2A and T.2B to increase Nitrogen content there.

Finally, 3 Lemon Squash were planted along the edge of T.5A and T.5B -with some market squash planted in a few compost areas under Banana or Coconut Trees.

8 July:

Three plots in progress
H.1, H.2 and H.3
Images of plot preparation in progrees
Finished                                      Half way                                      To Go!

War on Weeds?

Weeds can be quite a problem. If allowed to proliferate too much, they can choke the plants -however, removing them robs the soil of moisture preserving cover and a whole load of helpers who open up the soil and transform it in various positive ways.

In our case, the worst problem seems to be the various forms of Carabao Grass which has powerful runners that spread everywhere.

The Solution?

We seem to be evolving towards a three pronged approach:

The encroachment of grass is essentially a border problem. This is helped by having a well defined border around the plot (a small Bamboo fence, drainage ditch or Coconut shell edging) which can be periodically checked for encroachment.

Secondly, Terri has started trimming the Grass growing on the areas and paths around the plots. If the grass is kept short, it will presumably spread less easily. On the other hand, it is presumably good to encourage grass to grow in uncultivated areas -as this helps with the drainage and reduces flooding from run-off.

Thirdly, Fatima has started harvesting the weeds for fermenting into chicken and pig food. By trimming the weeds, and not pulling them out, the roots will either rot down and improve the soil -or will regenerate and be harvested again. Good for the garden and good for the chickens -which seem to really like their fermented food.

A few extra Artichoke and Cardoon were planted in N.1A -as it looks as if those already planted might be germinating.

Mung Beans were broadcast for green manure in various parts of the garden (around young trees, along the hedge and opposite the chicken fence).

10 July:

Working Systems

Image of me working in the garden and a
        caterpillar eating the produce
me working in the garden.................. and a happy customer!

11 July:

The Great Bean Race (Planted June 19)

Images of beans planted on the same day
              Jose                            Penny                                Nanning

The Great Bean Test (Planted June 19)

Images of
          different types of beans sprouting
                                            Cowpea             Thai Long Bean              Asparagus Bean

From Market to Garden
Cyote, Sinkamas, Rice                                                   planted for  chickens? 
Images Sinkamas,
          Cyote and Rice
    Newly put to bed                                                            And already growing

13 July:

Sowed in H.1, H.2 and H.3 (after soaking for a few hours) a mixture of Asparagus, Artichoke, Cardoon and Bush Beans. Some Penny Rice and Blue Bonnet Rice were also sown -and Mesclun Salad Mix in H.3.

Then broadcast  a mixture of  Korean Hyssop, Edible Chrysanthemum, Wild Dagga, Marsh Mallow, Eggplant and Tomato.

Somes seeds from the only mature Amaranth plant were collected and broadcast in the same area.

Fennelgreek and home grown Burma Okra were put in soak for tomorrow.

14 July:

Bedded and Potted
       Fenugreek                           Sweet Marjoram and Shisho       Home-grown Burmese Okra
Images of newly planted seeds in ground and
        in pots
Unidentified Seedlings

Planted today:

Fenugreek in H.1,H.2 and H.3. Sweet Marjoram and Shisho in pots. Home grown Burmese Okra in V.3C.

Also three unidentified seedlings found in a pot by the fishpond were replanted in various locations in the garden.

16 July:

In the Bloom
Ampalya                                        Talinum
Images of vegetable flowers
Winged Bean                           Cowpea                        

and Going To Seed
Okra                                                             Cowpea
Images of various plants forming seeds
Unidentified Grain                          Amaranth                          

17 July:

Planted today:

Cowpea in V.4B, V.4C, V.4D and V.4E. Mung Beans and Peanuts in V.4A and V.4B.

An assortment of Sweet and Hot Peppers in the wild areas around the Coconut Tree near the chicken fence, the tree stump near the Banana patch and the Orchid area in front of the house.

H.1 -> Stir Fry Mix, Carrot, assorted Radish and the last of the Chimese Chives.

H.2 -> Mustard, Carrot, and assorted Radish.

H3 -> Shisho, Sweet Marjoram, Caraway, Italian Parsely and the last of the Coriander and Kinchay.


Burmese Okra and Cowpea -both for seeds.

Fatima harvested Winged Beans for dinner.

21 July:

Garden Vegetable Sunday Lunch
Images of garden vegetables and cooked
        Sunday lunch
Avocado with Cooked Jack Fruit and Winged Bean Salad

22 July:

Mini-garden or Garbage dump?
Front                                                                                                  Back
Images of areas
        around Banana Trees from two different angles
Back                                                                                                     Front

Ancient mini-gardens

Images of mature mini-gardens under trees

..... and New Ones

Images of the
        construction of two new mini-gardens


Today, I went out to plant some vine type climbing things in places where we have things for them to climb up. For my first stop I was intending to plant some Cowpea.and Sitaw (Beans) -both from saved seeds -under two Lanzones trees which we have inherited from the previous owner -but they have never fruited. I thought the beans and peas might add some natural fertiliser. However, as soon as I started looking for a place to plant, I realised that more work was needed.

We had piled up a few coconut husks around the base of the trunk -but further left them alone. The trees are close to the house and next to a path which goes between the main entrance to the house and one of the gates in the perimeter hedge.

Eventually, I ended up removing the husks that were not completely rotted away -and made a wider border around each tree. Then I trimmed a nearby bush -chopped up the trimmings a bit (which I then put around each tree) got some earth from a drainage ditch around one of the vegetable plots, mixed it with coconut chippings and covered the trimmings -filling the area within the coconut husk border...... Finally, I managed to plant a few beans and peas at the base of the trunks. By that time, it was already getting dark (I'd had to make several trips to get enough soil). The next step is to plant some flowers there. In most other such patches we have planted vegetables, or sometimes peppers -or a mixture of flowering veggies and normal flowers.....

During the rest periods, I took a few photos of some other, similar, mini-garden areas.

24 July:

Empty new mini-garden under Coconut Tree

Images of new empty mimni-garden under Coconut

Planted today:

Asparagus, Artichoke, Cardoon and Penny Rice planted in V.4A and V.4E.

Mandarin seedling planted just beyond the  South East corner of the house.

Mung Beans, assorted (Hot and Sweet) Peppers, Radish (Red and White) Tomato, Pechay (White and Green), Cauliflower, Onion (Red Creole and Tokyo White Bunching) , Parsley, Shisho, Caraway and Sweet Marjoram planted in empty new mini-garden under Coconut tree.


Enlarged compost area under rather tired mini-Coconut tree.

Corrected some mistakes in shape and layout of previous compost area linking Banana and Coconut trees near Southern path up to main entrance.

Improved Compost under mini-Coconut tree

Images of improved compost patch under

Corrected Compost areas

Images of
        corrected Compost areas

25 July:

Planted today:

Snake Bean (saved from garden pant), Patola (from various sources), Upo, Ampalya and Cucumber -in various locations around climbing frame area (Snake bean frame plus row H.2 and H.3).

26 July:

Went to the "Sandugan" small agricultural fair in Tagbilaren with Fatima, Penny and Terri. Bought 100 gram of (compost) Worms, plus some Decorative Plants (small light bronze Chrysanthemum, "Centipede" Cactus, Mini Pink Carnation and some "Butterfly" Mayana), a Dragon Fruit cutting (for the genetic variety) and six (free) Pineapple tops.

We'll try to multiply the plants (and the worms) so we can share them around locally.

However,. we've been planting Pineapple tops now for about three years -and still no sign of any fruit, even though some plants are getting quite large.

On return, Penny and Terri cut down two Banana trees with fruit -one of which was quite large and has been leaning dangerously towards the neighbour's electricity supply cable. Luckily, with me pulling on a rope, we managed to get it down without causing any damage.

27 July:

Planted the Pineapple tops in various locations. Left the Decoratives until Monday -so Penny and Terri can enjoy planting them.

29 July:

Its been raining a lot recently. Terri didn't come to work this morning because of the rain. By about 10:30  it was very windy and then cleared up a bit. However, when the sun shines, it is good growing weather.

When the rain stopped, I cleared up the fallen Coconuts. We have quite a large pile of windfall now. Penny cooked some Bananas in Coconut Milk for afternoon merienda.

Old and New "Instant" gardens

Images of old and new "instant" gardens
Planted 12 June                                                                           Planted 24 July

Before merienda, I transplanted some Chili seedlings growing in the first "Instant Garden" under the Coconut tree near the house. I'm trying to get the Chili plants to grow more in the "wild" areas outside the vegetable patches.

The Great Sayote and Sinkemas Race

Images of Growing Sayote and Sinkemas
Penny -Sayote planted 22 July        Trevor -Sayote planted 11 July          Sinkemas -No contest!        

Penny planted her Sayote 22 July in the old compost heap, I planted mine 11 July by the Winged Beans. Hers is much bigger. However, the Sinkamas that I also planted there has already grown quite large.

A feast of Winged Beans

Images of Winged Beans growing

The Ampalya (photographed 16 July) has not fruited -probably because there are not enough male and female flowers at the same time. The Winged Beans and the Cowpea have long been harvested (and more of both are still growing). The Talinum is also spreading nicely.

31 July:

Planted today:

Artichoke, Cardoon and Asparagus in V.1A and V.2A (edge of Winged beans climbing frame)

Herb Collection -Caraway, Sweet Marjoram, Purple Shisho, Lions Tail, Korean Hyssop, Marsh Mallow around the Chicken Fence (on both sides of the path), Some patches of grass were cleared first in some areas to encourage germination.

Herb Collection  -plus Delphiniums, Cornflower and local "Mums"  in the new areas under the Lanzones trees (where Terri has also planted some cuttings from the Decoratives bought at the Sandugan fair last Friday).

A few (new) market Squash in "compost" areas under Coconut Trees.

White (Macapuno) Maize in sunny patches in Heritage area.

Upo in various places with climbing frames.

Finally, assorted Eggplant, Red and White Radish, Carrot, Tomato (Seeds of Hope), Mesclun Salad Mix, White and Red Onions plus Cucumber in T.1A, T.1B, T.2A, T.2A, T.3A and T.3A. Before broadcasting, some ground covering weeds were removed, some were left and some were covered with chopped Coir.

Vegetable plots before re-seeding
T.3A                                                                                                            T.3B
Images of current vegetable patches before
T.1A                                                                                                            T.1B


Trevor Batten
 <trevor at tebatt dot net>
 Baclayon 2013