Slow Start to Gardening in Majuro
October 2, 2011
It has been exactly one month since I arrived in the Marshall Islands and so far, my home gardening experiment has met with mixed success. Some items are thriving - especially from the seedlings I received from the government. But I have had several issues with the seeds that I purchased from the local hardware store. I am not sure if the seeds were bad or I am doing something wrong but most of the seeds I planted did not germinate even after a couple weeks. And this is my second batch. Still nothing is happening.
After three weeks, two Jalapeno seeds germinated from my first batch.
I purchased a bunch of plastic planters but most of them are still empty and waiting for some sprouts to come out from my seed starter. I have replanted some of the other sprouts that were successful into larger containers, and I have made a trellis for the cucumber and squash with wood sticks.
I put my garden on the east side of our porch which is covered by a roof overhang. Majuro experiences bouts of very heavy rain and I want to protect my young plants from the pounding. This location is not perfect because it gets sun only in the morning but the sun is very strong here so it may actually be better. I am considering installing some wheels on my earthbox and other larger pots so that I can move them to sunnier spots occasionally - it will also help me to keep the floor clean.
Cucumber and squash in the earthbox
Cucumber : it's growing fast
I found this basil on our porch. It was almost dying but as soon as I replanted, it perked up nicely
Chinese cabbage. They grow up very slowly.
Lima beans. This one germinated super fast in two days after I seeded. The other lima beans did not germinate.
I got this at the R&D (Ministry of Research and Development).
They said it is radish but I am not so sure... it does not look at all like radish.
The Ministry of Research and Development ("R&D") has a small program to promote small-scale agricultural development in the Marshall Islands. This program cultivates seedlings to give to Marshallese citizens interested in self-sufficient gardening, and educates people on gardening techniques appropriate to the Marshall Islands. I visited their small greenhouse area one of the first weeks I was here and picked up a few of my initial plants.
I hope to find some other kinds of seeds and seedlings soon. It is hard to find much of a variety here but I have made some good contacts and may have some new things coming up soon.