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Hillside planting in Puerto Rico


Cindy Adair

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To keep myself busy with below average rainfall earlier this year I started clearing multiple jungle areas of my farm.


Here I show the results of removing all the invasive plants covering a steep slope near my long driveway. 

There is a path at the bottom for looking up at palms.

1D9FE75B-7C08-4C68-A318-09B4295DF7F4.thumb.jpeg.22f602d4e9187ea40ea85596ab9eb8c7.jpeg

I had hoped to finish this months ago as having bare slopes in hurricane season is a bad idea. 

5D78F373-270A-4973-8847-3213063F2C9D.thumb.jpeg.3b905df24ece9a74fc189276c5a4edf7.jpeg

There were so many aggressive vines and bananas and Clerodendrums which send runners everywhere.  And I was busy in other areas too plus still dealing with hurricane Fiona damage a year ago.

1E1BD31B-0AF8-461F-8EED-F1BB6AB8C86B.thumb.jpeg.8a2a8a76d7b2d3afa3eae6d93b4534c2.jpeg
 

You get a hint here at the before look below the mango. There is a channel for water run off there so it will remain the wild boundary.

Below the cleared slopes there is a big nearly flat area great for more plants but probably a project for the winter.

33D50A03-C566-4C8C-85ED-CB023112A7BC.thumb.jpeg.19d98f5b216f5573de877b62538343a4.jpeg

You can see a seed grown Chambeyronia macrocarpa below and I plan to group some New Caledonia palms at least in sight of this one. 
 

Way too late to divide my farm into geographical regions.  No way am I going to dig up and move New Cal palms growing elsewhere on my farm.
 

However from now on I can try to time collecting with endemics from upcoming IPS trips. 
 

0AABF875-0C19-45E6-887B-03BEA206D2EF.thumb.jpeg.9f33559849028d6676f9cac48b1398c0.jpeg

I had also tossed tree fern fronds in this area which are heavy and slow to decompose. Great mulch for later.
 

I have trimmed my jackfruit tree and tomorrow will thin out the pictured mango tree as I have learned large fruit falling on plants below is not good! 
 

Then finally I can position a bunch of palms impatiently awaiting their turn to escape their pots.

Well I am the impatient one to see them grow better and make room in my shadehouse for more seedlings.

I have learned that planting 3 minimum of each species (if I can obtain them) gives me a better chance of having at least one to survive beetles and hurricanes here!

If you can not read the names on the labels please let me know and I will add captions.

06E5A6AD-2CBE-460C-BFBD-0F678BC12D89.thumb.jpeg.6a852c7a2aa73ccade9b6eff78e7a6bb.jpeg
 

F12C370E-D4FE-4729-8893-279544C1E472.thumb.jpeg.70b979cbf88f41c0e8f391eacafb64bb.jpeg

 

5AC39509-6A84-477D-8523-6060729830CD.thumb.jpeg.7a3e918ba3613b576014122a1d3f5590.jpeg

 

E3965E2E-4DE5-42E9-9D55-0D9BDD52892E.thumb.jpeg.b95ca8df1b816a6d28a3d2e20816ce23.jpeg

 

A3D75807-D315-421A-988B-384093DBC528.thumb.jpeg.a60008422192b52b33b5d2fa593877b6.jpeg

I will place these in their pots in tentative positions and reread information about their size and light preferences before actually planting. 
 

And if a significant storm develops while they are still in pots I will pull them up. Once planted they are totally on their own except for imidocloprid to minimize rhino beetle attacks. 
 

If you have tips for positioning any of the palms please let me know.

And photos of yours at any age would be helpful too.

E7F775DC-E195-47F6-9405-B4D308883EF3.jpeg

  • Like 12

Cindy Adair

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Wish I could fast forward 10 years (while keeping my same age of course) and see what your garden will look like. While spectacular now, it is going to be beyond spectacular.

  • Like 1

animated-volcano-image-0010.gif.71ccc48bfc1ec622a0adca187eabaaa4.gif

Kona, on The Big Island
Hawaii - Land of Volcanoes

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You have the most amazing network of paths in the steepest places with the soil you have.  It is a treat to see what new planting areas you have every time I visit!

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Thanks Dean and Mark and Las Palmas Norte for your kind remarks!
 

 I spent this morning with my once a week helper working on the flatter area at the bottom and trimming some fruit tree branches and fallen bamboo above. 
 

Ferns, episcias, aroids, gingers, calatheas, smaller palms etc. will be happy to grow between the larger palms (and help hold the dirt), but easier to plant the big plants first.

Fingers crossed to get through just a few more weeks with no super heavy rains causing landslides. 

I still need to terrace and redirect paths more before being able to climb the slopes (reasonably) safely carrying palms to plant.

My trusty shovel and I will be back at it in an hour or two if no afternoon rain!
 

  • Like 3

Cindy Adair

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My slope is not as steep as yours.  I've been slowly terracing for the past 20 odd years w/a big do nothing for years in the middle

First picture taken around 2008 the second just a few minutes ago.  Still a lot of blocks to carry and soil to fill in behind them to go.

IMGP1586.thumb.JPG.f2fb57866f9b5ed90eb4eb50e3584b0c.JPG

20230903_090240.thumb.jpg.54fbc486e15473b61cc364049ac83f25.jpg

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 1

Steve

Born in the Bronx

Raised in Brooklyn

Matured In Wai`anae

I can't be held responsible for anything I say or do....LOL

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1 hour ago, WaianaeCrider said:

My slope is not as steep as yours.  I've been slowly terracing for the past 20 odd years w/a big do nothing for years in the middle

First picture taken around 2008 the second just a few minutes ago.  Still a lot of blocks to carry and soil to fill in behind them to go.

IMGP1586.thumb.JPG.f2fb57866f9b5ed90eb4eb50e3584b0c.JPG

20230903_090240.thumb.jpg.54fbc486e15473b61cc364049ac83f25.jpg

I have been enjoying watching the results of all your work! Great job!

Cindy Adair

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Perhaps something to think about - I don't group members of the same genus together, because I want to avoid hybridization. If the plants succeed in producing seeds, I hope the seeds are genetically true to the species. This policy also means (sometimes) that I can't plant in geographic groups.

  • Upvote 1

Mike Merritt

Big Island of Hawaii, windward, rainy side, 740 feet (225 meters) elevation

165 inches (4,200 mm) of rain per year, 66 to 83 deg F (20 to 28 deg C) in summer, 62 to 80 deg F (16.7 to 26.7 Deg C) in winter.

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1 hour ago, edbrown_III said:

Heaven on earth!---love the tree ferns --- can I rent a room  from ye?

 

treeferns of PR.jpg

treeferns of PR1.jpg

treeferns of PR2.jpg

As one of my simultaneous projects I have cleared a site for a future guest house. If only I could put up a building myself! So that project is on hold. 

 When I get it done it will not be a rental, but a guesthouse and you would be welcome. 

In the meantime my neighbor, IPS member and Hawaii Biennial attendee lives adjacent to her two airBnB houses 10 minutes away or in a pinch a visitor could bunk on a futon in my small second bedroom. 
 

Thanks so much for the beautiful fern photos! A visitor found a hybrid of my two different tree fern species that I had failed to notice even though it is near my house. 
 

I love my MANY tree ferns and never cut them down. Not everybody in PR has them and my previous farm had only a very few. I also have a big assortment of beautiful smaller ferns.

Yes I am lucky!

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Cindy Adair

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2 minutes ago, mike in kurtistown said:

Perhaps something to think about - I don't group members of the same genus together, because I want to avoid hybridization. If the plants succeed in producing seeds, I hope the seeds are genetically true to the species. This policy also means (sometimes) that I can't plant in geographic groups.

Good point Mike.

I know some genera like Coccothrinax often hybridize. 
 

How far apart do you think minimizes hybridization?

Is it much of an issue with the Chambeyronia I am considering planting in the same general area but certainly have room to space different species 12 feet or more apart?

 

  • Upvote 1

Cindy Adair

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22 hours ago, Cindy Adair said:

To keep myself busy with below average rainfall earlier this year I started clearing multiple jungle areas of my farm.


Here I show the results of removing all the invasive plants covering a steep slope near my long driveway. 

There is a path at the bottom for looking up at palms.

1D9FE75B-7C08-4C68-A318-09B4295DF7F4.thumb.jpeg.22f602d4e9187ea40ea85596ab9eb8c7.jpeg

I had hoped to finish this months ago as having bare slopes in hurricane season is a bad idea. 

5D78F373-270A-4973-8847-3213063F2C9D.thumb.jpeg.3b905df24ece9a74fc189276c5a4edf7.jpeg

There were so many aggressive vines and bananas and Clerodendrums which send runners everywhere.  And I was busy in other areas too plus still dealing with hurricane Fiona damage a year ago.

1E1BD31B-0AF8-461F-8EED-F1BB6AB8C86B.thumb.jpeg.8a2a8a76d7b2d3afa3eae6d93b4534c2.jpeg
 

You get a hint here at the before look below the mango. There is a channel for water run off there so it will remain the wild boundary.

Below the cleared slopes there is a big nearly flat area great for more plants but probably a project for the winter.

33D50A03-C566-4C8C-85ED-CB023112A7BC.thumb.jpeg.19d98f5b216f5573de877b62538343a4.jpeg

You can see a seed grown Chambeyronia macrocarpa below and I plan to group some New Caledonia palms at least in sight of this one. 
 

Way too late to divide my farm into geographical regions.  No way am I going to dig up and move New Cal palms growing elsewhere on my farm.
 

However from now on I can try to time collecting with endemics from upcoming IPS trips. 
 

0AABF875-0C19-45E6-887B-03BEA206D2EF.thumb.jpeg.9f33559849028d6676f9cac48b1398c0.jpeg

I had also tossed tree fern fronds in this area which are heavy and slow to decompose. Great mulch for later.
 

I have trimmed my jackfruit tree and tomorrow will thin out the pictured mango tree as I have learned large fruit falling on plants below is not good! 
 

Then finally I can position a bunch of palms impatiently awaiting their turn to escape their pots.

Well I am the impatient one to see them grow better and make room in my shadehouse for more seedlings.

I have learned that planting 3 minimum of each species (if I can obtain them) gives me a better chance of having at least one to survive beetles and hurricanes here!

If you can not read the names on the labels please let me know and I will add captions.

06E5A6AD-2CBE-460C-BFBD-0F678BC12D89.thumb.jpeg.6a852c7a2aa73ccade9b6eff78e7a6bb.jpeg
 

F12C370E-D4FE-4729-8893-279544C1E472.thumb.jpeg.70b979cbf88f41c0e8f391eacafb64bb.jpeg

 

5AC39509-6A84-477D-8523-6060729830CD.thumb.jpeg.7a3e918ba3613b576014122a1d3f5590.jpeg

 

E3965E2E-4DE5-42E9-9D55-0D9BDD52892E.thumb.jpeg.b95ca8df1b816a6d28a3d2e20816ce23.jpeg

 

A3D75807-D315-421A-988B-384093DBC528.thumb.jpeg.a60008422192b52b33b5d2fa593877b6.jpeg

I will place these in their pots in tentative positions and reread information about their size and light preferences before actually planting. 
 

And if a significant storm develops while they are still in pots I will pull them up. Once planted they are totally on their own except for imidocloprid to minimize rhino beetle attacks. 
 

If you have tips for positioning any of the palms please let me know.

And photos of yours at any age would be helpful too.

E7F775DC-E195-47F6-9405-B4D308883EF3.jpeg

Nice a few real winners in pots there you have Cindy love the tree ferns you’re soil looks magic for palms iam not suggesting this technique for killing bananas but I have seen to my horror diesel injected into the suckers to kill them on commercial banana farms who would do that to there land and the environment I have no idea why 

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I am also interested in spacing for accidental hybrids in my garden.  It would seem that insects would carry them pollen no matter the distance in a given landscape so maybe it wouldn't matter.  Spacing farther apart may lower the chances though.

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53 minutes ago, happypalms said:

Nice a few real winners in pots there you have Cindy love the tree ferns you’re soil looks magic for palms iam not suggesting this technique for killing bananas but I have seen to my horror diesel injected into the suckers to kill them on commercial banana farms who would do that to there land and the environment I have no idea why 

Thanks happypalms. I do like my soil in most parts of my farm.

As to ways to kill really big bananas, I tried (once) with much hesitance to cut down the stalks to about 2 feet and create a little cavity in the center of each stalk. 
 

Then properly clothed and gloved I tried pure undiluted round up (the shortest acting version). 
 

It did not work.

That was the end of my attempt at a chemical use against bananas. Now after using my sawzall to shorten and tossing the tops, I go for the shovel and pick axe method.
 

 With gravity assistance I roll the big heavy stalks with their roots down the hill before planting anything below. 
 

Probably lots resprout so if I later want to plant way down there where I have never even walked, I would have to repeat the process. 
 

I did garden in Virginia and North Carolina, USA before moving to PR,  but think raised beds and greenhouse gardening! 
 

It is good that I like challenges. 

Cindy Adair

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2 hours ago, Cindy Adair said:

I have been enjoying watching the results of all your work! Great job!

Here is my soil source.   My dry stream bed.  Each winter I get new soil deposits that I can use.  So 20230903_100856.thumb.jpg.a4b1d2cc81f06604131b364c120679db.jpgfar I've removed about 10' x 5' x 8" of soil using a 2 gallon bucket this year.

Steve

Born in the Bronx

Raised in Brooklyn

Matured In Wai`anae

I can't be held responsible for anything I say or do....LOL

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10 minutes ago, WaianaeCrider said:

Here is my soil source.   My dry stream bed.  Each winter I get new soil deposits that I can use.  So 20230903_100856.thumb.jpg.a4b1d2cc81f06604131b364c120679db.jpgfar I've removed about 10' x 5' x 8" of soil using a 2 gallon bucket this year.

That’s determination!

Cindy Adair

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3 hours ago, mike in kurtistown said:

Perhaps something to think about - I don't group members of the same genus together, because I want to avoid hybridization. If the plants succeed in producing seeds, I hope the seeds are genetically true to the species. This policy also means (sometimes) that I can't plant in geographic groups.

20 years ago I started geographic groups.  Then it hit me if I get seeds they might not be true.  Now I mix um up just looking at environments.

Steve

Born in the Bronx

Raised in Brooklyn

Matured In Wai`anae

I can't be held responsible for anything I say or do....LOL

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5 hours ago, WaianaeCrider said:

Here is my soil source.   My dry stream bed.  Each winter I get new soil deposits that I can use.  So 20230903_100856.thumb.jpg.a4b1d2cc81f06604131b364c120679db.jpgfar I've removed about 10' x 5' x 8" of soil using a 2 gallon bucket this year.

Nice choice of soil i would not be able to help myself I would plant it with 20 Johannesteijsmannia making the most of the water table 

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6 hours ago, Cindy Adair said:

Thanks happypalms. I do like my soil in most parts of my farm.

As to ways to kill really big bananas, I tried (once) with much hesitance to cut down the stalks to about 2 feet and create a little cavity in the center of each stalk. 
 

Then properly clothed and gloved I tried pure undiluted round up (the shortest acting version). 
 

It did not work.

That was the end of my attempt at a chemical use against bananas. Now after using my sawzall to shorten and tossing the tops, I go for the shovel and pick axe method.
 

 With gravity assistance I roll the big heavy stalks with their roots down the hill before planting anything below. 
 

Probably lots resprout so if I later want to plant way down there where I have never even walked, I would have to repeat the process. 
 

I did garden in Virginia and North Carolina, USA before moving to PR,  but think raised beds and greenhouse gardening! 
 

It is good that I like challenges. 

Take to the banana corm with a axe I had the same situation with strelitzia nicole only there tougher I did the same with all the rocks I dug out thinking I will never plant this far away from the house iam sure you will plant there some day hindsight is a wonderful blessing 

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10 hours ago, happypalms said:

Nice a few real winners in pots there you have Cindy love the tree ferns you’re soil looks magic for palms iam not suggesting this technique for killing bananas but I have seen to my horror diesel injected into the suckers to kill them on commercial banana farms who would do that to there land and the environment I have no idea why 

Nice signs.  Where are you getting them?

Steve

Born in the Bronx

Raised in Brooklyn

Matured In Wai`anae

I can't be held responsible for anything I say or do....LOL

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2 hours ago, happypalms said:

Nice choice of soil i would not be able to help myself I would plant it with 20 Johannesteijsmannia making the most of the water table 

Not sure how far down the water table is.  My guess is pretty deep.  Even the scrub haole koa (https://www.tradewindsfruit.com/content/koa-haole.htm) will lose most of it's leafs in the summer drout

Steve

Born in the Bronx

Raised in Brooklyn

Matured In Wai`anae

I can't be held responsible for anything I say or do....LOL

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I have planted 34 palms in this area in the last couple of weeks. 

I am still improving paths (more wide and more flat) but it’s a continual process. Far less dangerous than when I began!

First a few photos of the areas surrounding this slope so you don’t get the idea that I have stripped all the jungle away.24A7CC84-BCF4-4B0E-BA0D-B352BF7B3603.thumb.jpeg.39f2e989d71ac6098f8385953647394d.jpeg

4005FEBF-053B-4A35-8FFE-DA9420A41A03.thumb.jpeg.fe4e6e7220b2111787a2f21f2866505c.jpeg

AC904E61-52B8-41C0-ABDD-80494DA995F1.thumb.jpeg.66f6e8cd72e8f23275dc6b0bab1f8464.jpeg

66A53BED-FCC5-4B3B-9AEE-B73E978B9FC2.thumb.jpeg.27db24f83a684fac1f534d2e670e0f95.jpeg

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Cindy Adair

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Finally some close ups. In most cases I planted 2-4 of each species and did not take a photo of all the newly planted species as rain began. Not complaining about the gentle showers to settle in all those roots!8C1B4422-CB8C-4BB7-B26B-6CB8F3C1B3D6.thumb.jpeg.d715d689c0f8849ce802edb70257afec.jpeg

2CC085F8-03A6-466D-83A0-A42999965A3C.thumb.jpeg.f9e6317c0b918ab5c6c4bbfbcae2ef16.jpeg 

CC179BB6-4875-4A3D-BAB7-673A27D91EC8.thumb.jpeg.2b7230027fba5b9f76303e1735ec2cad.jpeg

EBFAC606-8E97-4A0B-9CAF-F612561C8696.thumb.jpeg.2875ea757df8e6e920b6cf8de1129851.jpeg

2BD1D19B-EAA6-4DCB-820D-2D67FC9C47B6.thumb.jpeg.1d4b98b4694ea97f91324bb3e9d9074c.jpeg

84478D99-5C17-4E06-80E0-1B43381BA063.thumb.jpeg.69a8a5d968ef09e6362d8e66fc9fef5d.jpeg

0B44B058-FC51-49C5-85F4-E9EA38EF6DAF.thumb.jpeg.00d9953d4f18824658eaea972068d1b0.jpeg

A912973D-1A44-4072-8AB2-3E5694A607E2.thumb.jpeg.ded23c5912efcbc16e208c6ecb9527f8.jpeg

I also planted a few ornamentals (more to come) and left the native ferns in place but need to work fast to beat the emerging weed seeds!

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Cindy Adair

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If it rains as hard as I GUESS it rains in PR then my guess is your soil is gonna wind up washing down hill.  I'd be terracing w/stone, or cement blocks or something that won't rot.

But you know better than me about your climate.

Great selection of palms.

UnderTabebulia-20230507_130615.jpg

20210509_132900.jpg

Steve

Born in the Bronx

Raised in Brooklyn

Matured In Wai`anae

I can't be held responsible for anything I say or do....LOL

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2 hours ago, Cindy Adair said:

From above:

2CF66E87-FD3E-47C6-8E5A-607225BB1F65.thumb.jpeg.d98c4367839373946300e52d06970d96.jpeg

And on the slope:

CD7AC240-E16F-4DCC-A0CB-C299110527C5.thumb.jpeg.32d358c481f4f90c0742240976adc275.jpeg

Looking up:

4FD00B66-4256-4282-9BD7-E77288D3F67A.thumb.jpeg.27b2801263c82470016f01461a996603.jpeg
 

7B069DD2-2AFE-4F29-BFC5-EFAEF16B5828.jpeg

Hi Cindy you are planting a true legacy for the the future generations with a grand vision I can see that vision the world needs more people such as yourself 🌱🐞

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Absolutely terracing with something solid would be ideal, but happily I have had success on other slopes as long as I pay attention to how the water runs and guide it in advance to centralized areas by digging troughs. 

Of course I am counting on NO hurricanes this year so the roots of these plants (and more I want to add) will help hold the dirt. 
 

 

Cindy Adair

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Just now, happypalms said:

Hi Cindy you are planting a true legacy for the the future generations with a grand vision I can see that vision the world needs more people such as yourself 🌱🐞

Thank you!

Cindy Adair

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