JOE'S PALM GARDEN  -  PART FOUR
Citrus Park, Florida (NW Tampa) - CFPACS Webmaster's Garden

Livistona Saribus
A Wallichia Distichia obtained at the CFPACS plant sale recently in Cocoa Beach. It came very yellow, I am hoping the 4 inches deep of manure and homemade leaf compost will improve its color. To the right is the end of a 8 ft long watermelon vine, one of a dozen planted among the palms of the front line. The surface mulching was 2 inches deep shredded oak leaf mulch, but has almost completely decomposed down to just a thin covering since it was laid down in March.
Arenga Engleri in its 3rd year of life.
With a lower frond of my Caryota Laoensis visible bottom right, this eggplant is holding a dozen developing eggplants like the black thing in the middle of the plant which is visible. Planted from seed 45 days ago this is one of a dozen eggplants growing between palms on the front line and the plant is enjoying some of the 70 bags of cow manure installed in February as a blanket mulch for the frontline palms.  While palms may be slow to show results from improved soil, the vigorous health of these plants are telling me the sweet spot for the palms is achieved and the hot and rainy summer and this abundant organic fertility should bring out strong results from the palms in coming months.  This plant incidentally is covering a copernicia macroglossa at the moment.
With a red banana upper right, eggplant upper left, a King Sago middle right, the rest is water melon just now flowering and setting fruit. I have grown nice watermelons before but these are without a doubt the most vigorous vines I have ever grown. It must be the manure mulch, or the palm tree fertilizers, or most likely the combination of both!
Can't forget the Bismarckia! Just starting to react to the heavy manure mulching this past spring. Looking at the grass its hard to believe all the winter rye grass died off in April and its been a week since its been watered on this very dry day in May. The key to high drought tolerance with St Augustine grass is lots of potassium and magnesium. Treat your grass like your palm trees and it will do just fine with once a week watering.
Teddy Bear Palm and another happy survivor of this past winter (thanks to the help of being iced over during freezes!)

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