Growing Vegetables

Love4Gardening(11 HI)February 22, 2009

Hello- I have just recently started some vegetable seeds to try and start my own vegetable garden. You know with the economy and all I'm thinking that I should try and grow my own since fresh produce can be very pricey. I've planted some eggplant, tomatoes, green onion, hawaiian chili peppers, Sweet Bell Pepper, Pak Choy, Chinese Cabbage, chives, basil and zucchini. I'm interested to find out what fellow islanders are growing in their veggie gardens. Please share.. Mahalo

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Currently growing okra, okinawan & malabar spinach, jicama, green onion, various herbs (thyme, oregano, chives, sage, bay laurel, nasturium (which I didn't care for its cullinary use, although it does produce nice flowers), potato (for the greens), portuguese cabbage, collard, cucumber, and have eggplant, lablab beans and sweet pepper seedlings. Also have two papaya trees, a patch of strawberry plants that is bearing fruits, calamansi and mexican lime, as well as tangerine tree laden with fruits.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 7:17AM
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Love4Gardening(11 HI)

randg - Are you growing sweet potatoes for the greens? Do you have any leafminer problems growing your veggies. I am having some problems with my cabbage.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:25PM
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I don't know what kind of potato it is. The type of potato I grow was, I think, bred just for the greens. It's not my favorite greens to eat, but my mom likes it. I usually see the potato greens being sold in some of the grocery in the Asian section for more than a dollar--which is cheap, but it's basically free once you planted it. It keeps producing new edible leaves and can handle drought.

The portuguese cabbage does not form a head. It's similar to collard greens. Instead of growing head cabbage (if that is what you are growing), try growing portuguese cabbage. To me, the are easy to grow and I don't have to wait for the head to form. All the leaves are used, too. I usually take the oldest leaves to use, never letting any of the leaves to turn yellow. It taste like, or should I say better, than head cabbage. I didn't notice any of leaf miner on the leaves. Although, some of the problem I have growing this green is the pest, mainly caterpillar, but that is just minor problem--a lot of brown anole lizards in the garden usually takes care of that problem.

However, with my Okinawan spinach, I'm also having problems with leaf miners. Since I don't use any pesticide spray in the garden, the only way I can do is get rid of the leaves that has been damaged and has leaf miner on it. I don't put the leaves in compost, it goes straight to trash.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 2:32AM
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Hi Randg,
I've never heard of Portugese cabbage. Where did you get your seeds? and does it grow well in the summer (in heat)?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 2:15AM
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I didn't it grow it from seed. I got it from Oahu Urban Garden Center few months ago. I bought just one pot, but there were two plants which I separated it when I planted it in the garden. I bought it just to try it, and a month a later there were an article in Honolulu Advertiser about it:

"Taking An Evening Stroll In My Brother's Ka'a'awa Neighborhood A Few Years Back, I Peeked Over A Fence And Cried, 'Look! Portuguese Cabbage!"[...]

I emailed her, and she said that Portuguese cabbage last for two years and could be propagated. As for the summer heat, I'm sure it would be fine.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 3:42PM
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love4gardening-i'm growing most of what you are except for the zucchini. Last time i tried i got a few at the beginning but then every one after that got stung by fruit flies! So far the only thing that hasn't worked out well AT ALL for me is spinach. Luckily chard is easy to grow and if you pick the outer leaves when they still small and tender it makes a superiour substitute-according to me anyway-YMMV.
Sugar peas are great to grow because they taste good and are VERY expensive to buy. They make tasty sprouts, too. Green beans have done well and i have a few wing beans and gandule beans going. Planning to try long beans as the weather warms up as well as corn, asian melon and kabocha. The melon and squash might get stung but i'm going to set some traps out this time and see if it helps. This cool weather has been great for lettuce. I have some edible amaranth to try once the heat comes back and i'm putting in a row of asparagus next week. Oh and try those little japanese salad turnips-easy, fast and delicious. Is this your first veggie garden? The best advice i got was start small and grow what you like and it has worked well for me : )

Randg- Thanks for the Portugese Cabbage info, i've bookmarked the link. Is lablab similiar to hyacinth bean? Tell me about it, if you don't mind?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 8:46PM
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It's actually the same species of plant (Lablab purpureus, Dolichos lablab). My dad grab a couple of dry pods containing the seeds on the ground from Oahu Urban Garden Center because at the time of our visit to the garden the vines were dying back and the pods are mostly dried up. You could see here how it look like when all the foliage is all green. The lablab plant is in the huge pyramid-like trellis:

There are conflicting information about the hyacinth bean; it's listed as poisonous and as food source. My dad confirmed that he ate the young pods before with none of any side effects. However, "Dry seeds are poisonous due to high concentrations of cyanogenic glucosides, and can only be eaten after prolonged boiling." according to wikipedia and other sources. We would probably just be using the young pods, not the dry beans. The cooking method for the dry beans seems a lot of work.

With my dad's request to plant it, I placed each seeds on a couple six-cell tray planters. Couple weeks later or so, it sprouted, waited for few leaves to form, and I transplanted it in a location where the soil has no amendments. Some died because it does not get regularly watered, but the others that survive is rapidly growing and starting to produce beans.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 3:00PM
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Thanks for da scoops on Portuguese cabbage! I'll look for some.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:26PM
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Wow, thanks for the great answer Randg!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 7:14PM
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steiconi(12a-Big Island, HI)

Has anyone used the seeds from UH? I'm trying a variety, including tomatoes, peppers and beans.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 6:32PM
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Yes, the UH seeds are great. Selected for adaptation to local growing conditions. I'd like to try that long green eggplant one day but right now i'm growing, i think, eight different types. Maybe next year ; )

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 1:25PM
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Love4Gardening(11 HI)

@steiconi- I am currently growing these seeds from the Aina Ola Seed Co. which are the ones also on the UH website....

Manoa Wonder Pole Bean- fast grower, seems like I had beans within a month and a half.

Tatsoi Rosette Pak Choi- this grew fine for me, I did have occasional leaf miners, but was able to just pinch off the few affected leaves.

UH Kewalo Tomato- This is just starting to fruit for me now. It's a very beautiful plant and I haven't had any problems with it and am very surprised and pleased. I had tried growing Early Girl Tomatoes, I did get fruit, however the plants were very sickly looking and I always had to pick off yellow leaves. I think the humidity and moist conditions weren't something these plants were bred for. The Kewalo is doing great though.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 2:56PM
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steiconi(12a-Big Island, HI)

thanks about the UH seeds. I ordered everything that was in stock, and some plants (Manoa Wonder beans, Yam beans) are doing great, others (tomatoes, eggplants) not so much

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 7:45PM
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I'm also trying UH seeds that I bought last month from Oahu Urban Garden Center. I bought Kewalo tomato and Kai Choy: Waianae Strain. The seeds were excellent quality because a lot of it sprouted from that $1.00 packet of seeds.

Next Saturday (June 13, 2009), there is going to be an another event at Oahu Urban Garden Center called, "University of Hawaii Vegetable Seeds". So I'm sure there will be more variety of seeds I called buy. A special presentation by UH Seed Lab Director, Desmond Ogata, will be there, so I will attend that presentation to learn more about the disease resistant varieties of UH Vegetable Seeds.

If anyone is looking for banana plant, there is a BBT virus-free bananas available during that event: 'Ice CreamÂ, ÂLady Finger (also known as True Apple/Amorosa/ Monzano), and ÂWilliams are available for purchase.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oahu Urban Garden Center

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 3:20PM
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Hi Everyone!
I live in Costa Rica and need to find a vegetable seeds supply in the US.
I have heard that Hawaii climate is pretty much the same as here, the seeds wouldn't have to acclimate as if they were from a colder climate.
I'd like to ask if anyone knows a company that can sell and ship here.
Thank you in advance,

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 11:13AM
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steiconi(12a-Big Island, HI)

here's the link to the University of Hawaii seed program. You'll have to ask them if they ship internationally.

Their seed selection varies by time of year, so check back every now and then, or ask them when specific seeds are available.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 11:15PM
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i live in the kahala area of Oahu and am having a tough time growing vegetables. after i put in seed it only takes a matter of days for the seeds to spout. after a couple of weeks of growth then the plant is almost dormant. growth is slow to non existent. i am watering every day so don't know what else to do. any suggestions, thank you

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:29AM
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In regard to Franco4454. How many times I have had plants spring up, start growing well, then begin a slow decline. They look like they need water, but watering doesn't help. Then leaves will yellow, branches will die. Sometimes they revive briefly, only to die back again. These are all symptoms of root-knot nematodes. Many vegetables are susceptible. Pineapple cultivation would be impossible without strong fumigants to sterilize the soil for these pests. Once you know you have this problem, and almost all soils in the tropics have them, you have to either sterilize the soil, or plant in pots of sterile soil. I have learned the hard way, perhaps I can save others the trouble.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 2:22AM
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I was ready to give up. Something was just eating everything. I tried Soaps and Insecticides, Nothing really seemed to help. I came across SeaCide on Burpee's web site. The plants actually seem to like it and it seems to have stopped what ever was eating them. Last night I was able to pick some string beans. I have a couple of pepper plants that were almost decimated and still look very straggly but they are making peppers. SeaCide is 94% fish oil 3% Cottenseed oil and 3% Lecithin. I am still wondering why it works and I hope it keeps on working.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 3:36AM
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