Friday, September 12, 2008


Sometimes it is easy to forget that we have really done some things here. We've been here since October 25th and have made some good progress in the yard. Here is some vetiver I planted in March maybe? Note the eroding soil.

Here is the same vetiver keeping things from eroding further. It has reached its full height at about 5 feet or so. I will probably cut it back so it looks like a mini hedge pretty soon. It is a nice looking grass that stays as a nice line so far.

This was what the top area looked like when we moved here - a big tangle of "bad" trees, vines and more vines. Vines on stumps, vines in trees, vines overtaking bushes. You can kind of see the big mango on the right.

Jeff did some weed whacking and we cut some small trees and bushes and let the horses in.

Then we pulled vines and cut trees and removed sticks and stuff and booted the horses out. I left some trees for shade while I started better things under them.
I took this photo today! Freshly weed whacked the area is a lot more uniform without sticks and stumps and fallen trees and bad trees. The tree on the left is a canistel, to the left of the red bush is a pomegranate, to the right of the red bush is the ylang ylang and the agave has grown. Everything I plant is around 6 -12 inches or from seed. Any fruit that I purchase and eat (canistel, mamey, papayas, rambutans) I plant the seed. In general grafted fruit trees will fruit much sooner, but in the case of rambutans the ones you purchase are from seed so what the is 7 years if I buy one and 7 if I plant the seeds and seeds are free and fun! We bought a mamey de pais (country mamey - smaller fruit and supposedly not the "quality" of the sapote) but I planted a couple mamey sapote from seed. It is really fun to watch them sprout. Some seeds take months to germinate so you have to be patient. I was surprised to have the rambutans and some mango seeds germinate.
Here's a different view that shows my vision of an arboretum kind of happening! Most things are planted at 20 foot centers so there should be plenty of space so things don't compete. Some things like the peanut butter bush, cashew, pomegranate and coffee bushes are 12 feet apart because they are much smaller shrubs. Now I need to work on the paths - a nice flat trail would be wonderful to walk on! I've started trails below in papaya/banana land and really need to do some up top but it is a lot of work. I try to make them after it rains when the soil is soft. Much easier. So that's how things are progressing. Now I am motivated to go out and do more!


Fran and Steve said...

Where do you guys get the energy? It must be gratifying to see your hard work paying off. Your property is looking beautiful. I enjoy the updates and am especially following the progress of the vetiver. Fran

Anonymous said...

Thanks! The photos make the property look a lot more flat and pasture-like than it is. The hill is really about a 30 -40 percent incline. Vetiver seems to do best in full sun. I am disappointed with its performance in mostly shade/dappled sunlight - we really need something in that area. We've decided on having a bamboo forest in that part of the gully. Bamboo has a great root system, makes good swishy sounds and will be a different habitat. We'll see how that goes! I'll post some photos of the whimpy vetiver and the stuff that is going strong. katrina

Fran and Steve said...

Our property in Maunabo is a jungle. We will probably clear a little and leave the rest au naturele. By clear, I mean hire someone to clear! There are some areas of erosion that will need mitigation. We had talked about bamboo, but I was concerned about its invasiveness. And the clumping variety would defeat the purpose. I was rootin' for the vetiver. Fran

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping to have a little vetiver factory in a few years - if it grows and grows I may have some to share! katrina