Wednesday, December 30, 2015




Butterflies are the pretties of all the pollinators and they do a great job of improving fruit production, unless you are growing passion fruit. butterflies start out as caterpillars. Caterpillar's just love to eat leaves and passion fruit leaves taste great to the average Caterpillar. I hand pick caterpillar's of my passion fruit and introduce them to my milkweeds


Dragonflies in your yard just one of a small list of predators  you will find improving your life style in your garden. if you are lucky to have them visiting you.they eat mosquitoes and moths. Unfortunately they also eat butterflies, which are one of our more productive pollinator's. so, I guess dragonflies are both helpful and harmful if you are trying to retain pollinators.


 Bee's are the top pollinators in the world, Honey Bee's are responsible for pollinating the Almond Orchard's in California. Honey Bee's also, pollinate fruit tree's, Herb's and  flowers, beside produce all our honey. Honey Bee's which are not native to the America's and  are not only bee's here. Native to America are the Mason Bee's, which tend to be nicer to home gardener' s as the will not sting unless provoked. 


The dreaded Spider, the last thing most gardener's want to see in their yard.  People hate Spider's , yet  he is one of your best friend's. The Spider kills and eats all the other insects that you don't want in your garden without poisoning the world. It is true there are a few that are harmful, but even they help rid your garden from pest's. 


Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Gold Apple or June Plum (Spondees dulcis) is native to pacific islands where it can grow to 60 feet. I expect mine to grow to 30 or 40 feet in florida.  I planted mine and in less then 6 months it flowered and fruited. This tree with lots of fruit on it is only 2 1/2 feet tall. Can you imagine how much fruit it will hold when it is 10 or 20 feet tall. Some people eat it while still green. they just add a little salt or sugar. I'm inclined to wait until it turns yellow and ripens, at this point it can be made into  a jam or eaten out of hand. the leaves are used to season meat or chicken. I received it as a gift from my friend Du, who has a few acres not far from me in which he plants tropical fruit trees.

Golden Apple Flowering

Golden Apple with Fruit

Sunday, October 25, 2015



Plant them in a sunny place and water them twice a week. It takes about 18 month for it to produce a flower and grow fruit. Fertilize you plant at least twice a year , some people fertilize more often.  I don't, but I still get more bananas then I can eat every year. Allowing only three plants to grow from the corm at a time will produce bananas every year. when they begin to turn yellow, you can cut them off and place them in indirect light. You can either cut the stalk to the ground and dispose of it, or you can leave it, and it will continue to fertilize the new pups.

Within a week or two the will begin to ripen. Sadly they will all ripen at the same time. so, enjoy them. Regarding the flower, it is edible  but it a lot of work preparing it.

For your information there are over one hundred  different varieties of bananas, ranging  from dwarf to eighteen or twenty feet tall. Bananas themselves range from four inches to six inches long. all tasting a little different. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Photo's of Dragon Fruit


Dragon Fruit Cactus 
Growing food can be as beautiful as any plant you grow, satisfying not only your eye's, but also you stomach. For your eye's I present the Dragon Fruit, originally from Mexico, the flower opens at night.

Dragon Fruit flower starting to open

Closeup of the open flower

The open flower

Flower starting to close

Flower closing, soon to fall off
The fruit growing

The Dragon Fruit ready to cut and eat
Dragon Fruit ripe and ready to be picked

Saturday, September 19, 2015



First cut the two ends, then trim the ridges off. Next lay it down horizontal and slice. Results will look like little stars, hence star fruit.

Monday, July 13, 2015


                              DRAGON FRUIT       


List of ingredients:

Pot or commercial food bucket (must be food grade or new.
Potting soil
Pine mulch 
4 to 6 foot trellis 
Cloth ties 

If using a food bucket Drill 8 small drane holes in bottom of bucket
Fill w/potting soil to within 2 inches of top of container 
Pant cutting with needles pointing up
Add pine mulch to the top, covering all the soil to deter weeds
Insert trellis next to pot/ bucket
Water until water draines out the bottom (rain water is best)
Water once a week, if it rains that week don't water
As it grows tie plant to trellis 

Monday, March 16, 2015


 I've been experimenting with exotic tropical fruit for a few years, I'm always pushing the zone requirement of fruit that the experts say won't grow in tampa bay because it is to cool here. I believe that if you maintain control of the critical growing factors, you should be able to grow anything in this sub-tropical zone ( 9A to 9B  ). Some of the plants that is marginal is mangos, location is the prime issue with growing them. Below 40 F mangos start to go into shock and a little below that they just die. What I am trying, is planting them close to a window on the south side of the house. I expect that the heat escaping from the window should be enough to protect it from the cold.

March 8,2015
                 February 2015, the temperature in Tampa Bay dropped down into the 30's (F). My mango's had already flowered and set fruit, had the normal fruit drop. But the tree's retained a large number of fruit.

                                                            MilkWeed flowers

Milk weed flower leaves are the only food eaten by Monarch Catapillers. You need at least a half dozen flowers to insure that there is enough food for them.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Monarch Butterflies just hatched.

Monarch Butterflies

Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis

Chrysalis is the last stage of the catapiller before it transforms into a beautiful butterfly.

Monarch Catapiller

Monarch Catapiller 

Monday, March 2, 2015

What's Growing in My Yard This Month March 2015

The warm weather perked up all my plants, starting with my mango's flowering and fruiting early. Then the cold hit, we went down to 33 degree's. I though I would have lost them including the tree's. I believe I may have found a solution by planting my mango trees close to my kitchen windows they may have been saved. The heat given off by the kitchen utilities brought the temperature up enough to protect them. My Surinam cherry trees are now so full of white flowers that I can hardly see the tree, even had a few early fruit (2 or 3). A hand full of blueberries also showed up. My carambolas really kicked out a lot of fruit, been giving them away to friends and family. Loquats, they've turned yellow and are almost ready to pick. Been picking oranges for awhile. Bananas have slowed down again, but not before we were able to pick and eat some of them. Avocado tree has lots of flowers, expecting a nice crop this year. Same on my pomelo, lots of flowers and fruit.

This month I started a monarch butterfly garden, planted a dozen milkweed plants. Last week I found a monarch butterfly caterpillar. Saw it today and it has been growing well. Monarch butterflies are becoming extinct, anyone interested in gaining more information can contact me at