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Free or Low Cost Garden Plants, Fruit Trees, Palms


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#1 CheekyMonkey

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 08:01 PM

I am new to the island and wondering where the best places are to get plants to do a garden as well as for food. I also want to grow from seeds but the selection is limited in the Mega and Chedraui. Thanks in advance for your feedback and ideas.
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#2 Coz2wonder

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 08:39 AM

I have had good luck at the garden center on Transversal Road, right off of 65. First garden center on your right hand side a few yards from the corner.

(There is another Garden center, a few miles up the Transversal on your left hand side. I haven't been for a while, so not sure if he has veggie and fruits available).

The first garden center have/had a good selection of all kinds of fruit trees. I did not see (when I went) starter veggie plants.

I grow my own veggies from seeds I collect such as green/red/yellow peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins,watermelon and parsley*(*seeds available at Mega) most come from veggies, and fruit that I purchased. I just dry the seeds.

Also, tomatoes grow well here. I have grown them with the upside down method in buckets, and am growing them now in a raised garden. Cherry tomatoes grown like weeds...

Growing Mango, and Papaya from seeds can be done (I have about 6 I have started) but it will take a number of years before they produce fruit.

Mint grows well here, and that can be started from clippings. Also, a great veggie to grow is chives, which only takes a few starter plants to fill a pot.

I have found that people on the island are happy to share clippings. I have had some great luck with herbs that people grown here, and where happy to share.

If you find something interesting at the garden centers, please post.
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#3 Charles

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 08:57 AM

The soil is going to be a real challenge of growing vegetables, especially from seed. Your best bet might be to manufacture your own soil and try to put together some kind of mix of potting soil, gravel and sand. You could try raised beds or can culture growing, but if you tested the soil here, it might be off the charts, far from the proper PH and nutrients required. Mega has more fertilizer and gardening supplies than I have seen here before.

For foliage plants there are a number of nurseries and you can always try trading for various cuttings. Much of what you see grows well here and what you don't see, isn't adapted to the climate or soil.

Native fruit trees are a big plus, but do take some time to bring rewards. Besides citrus and those mentioned, don't forget bananas and mamay.
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#4 Coz2wonder

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 09:38 AM

Charles is correct, the soil is devoid of much nutrients. I found the "potting soils" sold in the stores is not much better then what you can dig up.

Check in the garden centers, and see what their soil looks like.

I mix my soil with wood shaving that you can purchase for 10p's a jumbo garbage bag (take your own bag) from Maderas on 65 (left side, going south).

Of course, a compose pile helps, but that takes quite a while to get going.

I have also been known to add those little Styrofoam balls that come in beanbag chairs for soil air ration.

You can purchase something similar to Miracle Grow which will provide nutrients that are need. Check at the garden centers, I found it to work well for my stuff.

One additional thing. I collect and use only rainwater to water my plants. I use a water tank to collect it in. You don't want any open containers for mosquitoes to breed in.

Forgot to mention, you can grow potatoes here. If you have an old potato(s) that gets an "eye" that's it root, plant about 1 inch below the soil and it should grow.
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#5 nauticab

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 05:11 PM

dont forget chaya, our version of a tree'd spinach. cut off a piece and stick it in the ground. very very hearty, almost can't kill it! but it has it's ways....
if you have a chaya plant, you must ask it for permission to cut the leaves. yes, i'm serious. i ask and thank it for the nutrients it is about to provide me. the leaves and stems have nasty micro spines. use clippers and grab the leaf from the underside. like spinach, a lot goes a LITTLE way. i cut back 4 huge grocery bags the other day and just kept one. then we moved it to the back of the lot.
anyway, after cutting, the leaves are NOT ready to be used. you must soak the leaves in water for several hours, then cook like spinach. at that point there are no harmful spines.
i cooked up caldo de pollo to boil, threw in a bag of tortellinis, and when done, a big handful of raw chaya til welted. delish!!!!
the nutritional value of chaya is amazing. mix with scrambled eggs, cook (like above), i make chaya bread which is really good, liquados, etc.

my suegros have started a great huerta (garden) with cilantro, radish, corn, papaya, local lettuce, with great success. all from seeds. depends on your soil....
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#6 guitarist

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 06:32 AM

hi Paula where did you get the chive plants and do you have problems with bugs getting into the tomatoes do you grow the cherry toms from seeds bought here or from plants sorry I have a new computer and cant get the question marks to work the Boys send their regards ..
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#7 Coz2wonder

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 11:58 AM

Hola to my boys...licks (FYI, the "boys" are dogs)

The original chive plant I had been given. I have made many pots full of chives from those couple of plants. Willing to share some starters with you.

They grow so well, and nothing bothers them.

The tomato plants are from seeds that we smuggled down here. They are Big Boy tomatoes.

I am growing some from seeds that I dried from veggies I purchased at Mega. They are growing!

What we do, once the fruit starts to turn red is put stakes around the plant and use window screen to keep iguana out.

As for the Cherry tomato's, you can find the seeds at Ched's. I just buy a package of the little gems and collect the seeds.

Today at Ched's they had Romain Lettuce seeds, which I am going to give a try...but I think I will be feeding the iguanas with that. I can always use the screen, once they get started.
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#8 guitarist

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 01:30 PM

thanks Paula when is it convenient to call to get a chive plant when I bake I will return the favour with some gingerbread
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#9 guitarist

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:18 AM

paula sorry I was not there when you called thank you for the plants and the parsley it was very kind of you to drop them off , at the moment I have a bit of a health problem so my garden is a haven making me slow down and enjoy the flowers and have some quiet time . The gingerbread will find you shortly love from P at
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#10 guitarist

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 08:12 AM

hope you found the gingerbread,paula
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#11 divadiver

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 01:15 PM

I am new to the island and wondering where the best places are to get plants to do a garden as well as for food. I also want to grow from seeds but the selection is limited in the Mega and Chedraui. Thanks in advance for your feedback and ideas.


I've got some plants you can have for free, sorry no fruits or veggies. I've got some MX firebrush that the hummingbirds love and some red ginger starts. I might be able to give you a coconut, too.
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#12 Coz2wonder

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 01:35 PM

Red Ginger? will trade...

You can always plant pineapples...Easy to grow.

Cut the tops off with a little of the flesh, root in water for about 2 weeks, and plant. Takes about 12 months get the Pina, but makes a great plant in either a garden or pot.
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#13 guitarist

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 09:27 AM

anyone know where I can get a lemon tree plenty of limes but cant find a lemon tree
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