Pig-necessitated and Master Gardener Plant experiments

Today it’s just little updates from the farm. January was a pretty dry month, even for the dry season; we didn’t even get half an inch. February 12 we received an inch of rain in just two hours, and sure enough, 11 days later we had a nice covering of Kona snow (white coffee blossoms) on all the trees (except the stumps). We just had four days of moderate rain, except Saturday we got 1.5 inches during the late morning to early afternoon. I wonder if we’re entering our wet season now. The dry season wasn’t all that dry, except January. I forgot to take a photo of this round of Kona snow. You could see that all the farms responded similarly.

I’ve mentioned before that all our pineapple crowns are in pots in our courtyard because the pigs had uprooted everything we had planted in the ground. They would do much better in the ground, but we still don’t have a pig safe area. One of the pots has a fruit starting now. It’s so pretty. We’ll probably have to weigh down the pot with rocks as the fruit starts getting heavier.

We also had a red plumeria in the courtyard due to pig harassment. It was special to me, because it was a large tree on the property before we had to remove the mature tree. I had saved a few branches to grow a new one. It had done fine in the ground and was about to flower, until the pigs pushed it out and around. I salvaged the top over a year ago and stuck it in a pot. It had finally developed four flowering branches, one actively flowering, and three branches still with buds. I was going to wait till it finished flowering before planting it in the fertile ground outside the courtyard.

But, I moved the pot and disturbed the roots that had wandered outside. I’m kicking myself. The flowering branch drooped after a day, and I kept chiding myself for moving it. So, we planted it in the ground outside the courtyard, with pig protection. It’s hanging in there, and the droopy flowering branch perked back up after a few days. I didn’t expect that would be possible. I thought that branch was heading one, wrong direction, even if it got planted in a better situation. It’s not even that great a plumeria since it loses its leaves and the flowers aren’t too fragrant, but I like the flower color. And I just wanted to keep it in the family. Do you have a special relationship with some of your plants, too?

I took a closer look at a pig solution that’s working for one friend. They’ve had a year free of pig problems, in any case.

On a completely other note, we had some hands-on time at Master Gardeners class last week. We planted seeds and have four little experiments going on. One of our experiments involves a native tree, ho’awa. It’s supposed to take approximately NINE MONTHS to germinate! Even Bea, who loves planting things from seed, said she wouldn’t have the patience for this. Luckily, one of our other experiments already germinated in three days, so we have some quick gratification.

For the ho’awa experiment, we planted nine seeds that were rinsed in a diluted bleach solution then soaked overnight, and we planted nine seeds that were only soaked overnight (no bleach involved). Taking care of these to germination and observing them is going to be like caring for a pet. If I go on vacation, I’m going to have to find someone to care for my pot. Will I remember to observe it and keep it moist, but not waterlogged, for *nine months*? Stay tuned. (Will YOU remember this experiment for nine months?)

4 thoughts on “Pig-necessitated and Master Gardener Plant experiments

  1. I am sorry to hear about your pig problems that you have described over time, but I can relate to them. My problem is with squirrels. My neighbor feeds them so we have a large population. Because of them we have had to replace our roof (they were chewing holes in our roof under the tiles), replaced our drip irrigation system in the back (it got chewed to pieces), and have had to protect our plants (they ripped apart one of our little trees after they discovered they liked the taste of the flowers, and will destroy our plants in planters if we do not add screens–in order to bury their nuts). I cannot find it in myself to more “permanently” remove them (plus I doubt any reduction will last long), so you just learn to live with them… Nature wins!

    1. Wow! That’s some serious squirrel mischief!! Yes, Nature wins! But maybe you can still work on your neighbor. I guess we try and protect what we care about and try to come to terms with as much as we can. Good luck to both of us.

  2. I have a special relation with a lemon tree that was once a big producer but has grown spindly and quit producing fruit. I did a “hard plume” on it yesterday, and hope that shock treatment with good fertilizing will raise its spirits as we going into spring and bud season!

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