What and When To Plant in South Maui

Here are a few pieces that we’ve gotten from various sources that may help others decide what to plant and when to plant it.

This one page summary tells what to plant by elevation.  (Source: Master Gardeners)

Vegetables in South Maui Chart  – This list was prepared and presented by Susan Wyche at a South Maui Sustainability session on growing in South Maui.

A few tips for beginners:

  • One of the easiest things to grow here is basil.  It works year round, sun or shade, in a container or in the ground.  Pinch off flowers to keep sweet flavor. Plant different types for culinary delight.  Take cuttings if plant starts looking tired, put them in water and plant the “new plant with roots” in about a week.
  • Cherry tomatoes are the easiest to grow here.
  • One issue during the summer is transpiration.  With our hot winds and sandy soil a plant may wilt in just hours. With watering they may actually perk up but if you see this happening, you may have to water twice a day!  Mulching helps as does adding more compost to the soil.
  • When plants “go to seed” before they are even ripe or full grown, it is often because our soil temperatures are high.  Spread mulch thick and recognize that some things just won’t grow during our hot seasons.

Garden Tip: Treating Slugs with Coffee

Garden Tip: Treating Slugs with Coffee
For an all natural, good for your soil and plants slug treatment, use your leftover morning coffee and coffee grounds around your vegetable garden plants. While different studies have shown varying degrees of success using coffee sprays and coffee grounds to treat for slugs, we’ve had great success using coffee in the Kihei Elementary School Garden project. It really works. Read more about the University of Hawaii study on treating slugs with caffeine.

Powdery Mildew and Other Fungal Diseases

Not many gardeners have gone a season without some powdery mildew. Even in dry areas, a sprinkler gone awry can cause this fungus to seemingly creep over a garden and destroy it in days. We got this tip for keeping powdery mildew under control from the keynote speaker Tane Datta at CTAHR’s  Organic Gardening Workshop.

Remember that powdery mildew is a fungus that usually appears as a white or gray powder on tops of leaves. The first sign is usually twisting and curling of young leaves on the lower part of the plant. You usually see it on beans, cucumbers, melons, mangos and squash but we’ve seen it on tomatoes and many ornamentals too. Although it rarely kills a plant, it causes poor growth and lower yields.

Prevention is the easiest way to manage any fungi by ensuring plants are healthy, get enough sunlight and have good air circulation. If you have had problems before, choose mildew resistant varieties. Make sure not to overfeed your plants as this severely stresses them.

Fungi spreads from the spores being flown around by wind or from just growing from one plant to another. Spores can live in the soil for a long time.

Always make sure to sanitize (remove) really bad areas. Be careful to not shake the foliage as that will spread the spores. It is ok to put plants with powdery mildew in your compost pile as long as the pile gets hot. Otherwise, discard in a sealed plastic bag.

So here’s the big tip — don’t try to treat Powdery Mildew the same way each time. Mix up different types of treatments and you’ll have a lot more success! Here are a few of the organic methods people report having success with.

  • Spray liquid seaweed onto your plant’s leaves. Research has shown that this has a powerful “booster” effect to your plant’s health and it helps fight off the powdery mildew.
  • Sulphur sprays are quite effective at stopping the spread of powdery mildew. They also destroy beneficial soil fungi as well so don’t spray too much.
  • Mix 1 heaping tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of dormant oil, and ½ teaspoon of insecticidal or dish soap in one gallon of water.
  • Mix cow’s milk at a ratio of one part of milk to nine parts of water and spray weekly.
  • Pour one part of standard 3 percent-strength hydrogen peroxide with three parts water. Spray on plants daily until mildew subsides.
  • Kaligreen® is an organic solution with potassium Bicarbonate. Mix according to instructions.
  • SERENADE® is another organic product that comes in both a powder and liquid.
  • There are also fungicidal products on the garden center shelves featuring jojoba oil and neem oil.
  • Here a new one… one of the most effective measures in preventing and treating powdery mildew is to spray the foliage of your plants daily with plain water from the hose. Powdery mildew hates water! The only caveat with this method is to be sure you do it early in the day so that the foliage completely dries before cooler evening temperatures arrive, otherwise you may invite other fungal diseases, such as black spot, into your garden.

Happy Gardening
Reposted from South Maui Sustainability.org blog.

Grow Some Good w/ Kihei Community Association

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The school garden movement is thriving throughout Hawaii and creating hands-on educational programs for students of all ages. On Tuesday, March 20, Grow Some Good  gave a special presentation about programs that teach local students and their families to grow nutritious, organic fruits and vegetables – on any budget, in any community or living space.

Nio Kindla, Kathy Becklin, Kerry Wilkins and Kirk Surry – co-founders of Grow Some Good – Educational School Gardens on Maui (www.GrowSomeGood.org), were guest speakers at the Kihei Community Association meeting, sharing gardening tips and recipes, discussing the outlook for regional school and community gardens, how to start a nonprofit to fund your projects, guerilla gardening and more.

Project: Plant It! students and volunteers shared ready-to-transplant organic and heirloom garden starts and gave advice on caring for them. Attendees learned about South Maui-specific gardening tips and sampled healthy snacks made fresh from Kihei El and Lokelani school garden produce, during this student-driven outreach project to inspire more back yard and hui gardens!
Read more about the event at the Kihei Community Association blog.

New Identity, Look & Mission – Grow Some Good

Grow Some Good Educational School Gardens - Kihei Maui HawaiiJust as the caterpillars emerge as butterflies, a new season brings a new name, look and metamorphosis for our group, formerly called South Maui School Gardens Project. Grow Some Good – Educational School Gardens on Maui – speaks to the heart of our dedication to creating hands-on, outdoor learning experiences that cultivate curiosity about natural life cycles, connect students to their food sources, and inspire better nutrition choices.

Big Mahalo to Saedine Ota and her crew at Sae Design for our new logo! Sae Design has taken Grow Some Good under their wings as their new probono account, helping us to create this new identity with eye-catching designs for our outreach materials and events. So far, we’ve incorporated the new look into our website, cards, banners, organic seed packets, videos and more.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Grow Some Good carrot at community events throughout the island, where we’ll be demonstrating easy home gardening techniques and giving away seeds and starts to help you get growing.

Grow Some Good:

What’s Growing On?
> Education– We work with school administration and teachers to become an integral part of the education system, enabling garden projects as an outdoor classroom setting.  We host/teach classes tied to Hawaii public school curriculum K-5 and are starting up a new middle school program.
> Eats– Our programs directly tie food grown in the garden to what students eat. Our work with chefs give us a unique capability to have special ‘in the garden’ events featuring the chefs who change foreign looking garden ingredients into awesome healthy eats!  We look forward to sponsoring mini-grants that make similar programs available to schools island-wide. For example, we could connect a chef to a school for a recipe demo or food tasting or provide a mini-grant to provide student chef kits.

> Fundraising –  Our relationships with local chefs goes beyond teaching students; it is what has sustained us and helped us connect the hard work in garden to the delicious payoff for students and volunteers. In a variety of programs from monthly pledges to larger fundraisers, our chefs are an integral connection to raising funds that support our programs.

> Gardening – We educate students, teachers, volunteers and the community about gardening and growing food in Hawaii.  We encourage student’s natural curiosity through planting, finding worms, identifying bugs, composting and understanding plant lifecycles.

> Community – Through plant adoptions, work & learn days, and other outreach, we share the school gardens with our community to inspire backyard gardens and neighborhood gardens everywhere. We share what we’ve done and learned on our blog site, so others can grow similar programs in Hawaii and beyond. From teachers, staff, volunteers, parents and students, thousands are already touched in some way by the gardens.  In turn, they share the seeds of knowledge with an exponential network of friends and family. For example, in its first few months, Project: Plant It! students and volunteers have given away more than 400 plants and sampled recipes to hundreds of parents with YMCA… we look forward to growing this outreach and our relationships with people who care about growing our future.

> Reading – We co-sponsor grants to supply teachers and students with garden and nutrition-inspired books for curriculum, projects, classrooms and libraries.

This has been an incredible year of transformation for our gardens, students and families who are taking new steps to Grow Some Good in their neighborhoods… and having a great time while they’re at it.

We hope our work together inspires the same growth in your neighborhood!