Preparing for a home vegetable garden By Cyrus Wagatsuma, Board Member, President
Gardening in Hawaii is a year-round activity, but it requires careful planning, preparation and management to grow a good garden
Soil should be well drained and fertile with a good moisture holding capacity. Root crops will do best in soil that is loose, deep and free from clumps, stones and trash.
Apply manure, compost, straw or similar carbonaceous material at a rate of 40 pounds for 10’ x 10’ or 100 square feet. (One-half this rate if it’s Chicken manure)
Calcium Carbonate (crushed coral) and Dolomite at 10 – 15 pounds per 100 square feet.
Fertilization requirements such a 10-30-10, 8-32-8, T-super (0-45-0) at the rate of 3.5 – 6.5 pounds per 100 square feet should be applied at planting.
Better results are obtained with some crops when they are fertilized every two weeks especially in heavy rain areas.
16-16-16, 14-14-14, 10-20-10,21-7-14 these are some of the fertilizers used for side dressing at the rate of one half the planting rate or 1.75 – 3.25 pounds per 100 square feet.
How to Apply Fertilizer
Fertilizer may be applied by scattering it (broadcasting) and working it into the soil at the time of preparation.
For row crops, apply in a band 2-3 inches below and 2-3 inches to the side of the seedlings.
For plants grown in hills, place the fertilizer in a circle 2-3 inches below and 3-6 inches around the hill at planting.
When applying fertilizer at 3 to 4 weeks, apply it in a shallow band 3-4 inches from the plant and cover lightly with soil.
Use of Mulch
Mulch can reduce both drought damage and the need for irrigation of the home garden. Any type of organic material can be used as mulch. The soil should be free from weed and moist before applying. Spread the material in an even layer so that it is deep enough to stay in place, prevent weed growth and conserve moisture, but not so thick that it will prevent light rains from reaching the soil.
Plants should have a steady supply of water, but do not over irrigate. The best time to irrigate is early morning, so that the plants will dry off rapidly and thus the spread of plant diseases will be prevented.
THESE ARE BASIC PRINCIPALS AND IF THESE GUIDELINES ARE FOLLOWED IT WILL ENDSURE A HEALTHY AND BOUNTIFUL CROP!