Maintaining an Idyllic Caribbean Garden

Caribbean Garden's foliage

Caribbean Garden’s foliage

So, you are living the dream with your house in the Caribbean and are loving life from a luxurious pool deck overlooking turquoise waters – well that’s the idea our friends outside of the Caribbean will always have!

However, reality can be slightly different and we do have to worry about the maintenance of our gardens, gutters, cars etc, like everyone else.  In the Caribbean whether you are an avid gardener or not, the surrounds of your home have to be kept neat and tidy otherwise it will quickly become a nightmare of vines and new species of bugs. So, here are a few ways that you can keep your garden in tip-top shape without over working and leaving ample time for enjoying the Caribbean sunshine.

Lovely Lawns
Lawn maintenance can sometimes be a complete drag. It needn’t be though. During the Caribbean’s rainy season your lawn will keep its stunning emerald shades, look luscious and require more cutting that usual therefore, mowing your lawn fortnightly will be about all you need to do to keep it in fantastic shape. The dry season poses more of a challenge. The increase in heat on the islands due to climate change and the lack of constant water can cause your lawn to loose some of its greenery, turning it slightly brown.

To prevent your lawn suffering discolorations and dry patches here are some tips to follow:

  • Mow with care:First, keep your blades sharp and never cut off more than ⅓ of the grass. Mow in the evening when it is cooler and the grass will not lose as much moisture. Another tip is to keep your lawn clippings on the grass as a mulch to feed the roots.
  • Forget about fertilizer: You may be tempted to fertilize your lawn to keep it green, but the heat coupled with the chemicals in fertilizer is more likely to kill it than add nutrients. Rather stick to mulching with the cuttings.

    Dominica Villa with stream

    Dominica Villa with stream
    Photo Credit : Caribbean Land and Property

  • Water intelligently: Your lawn will need at least an inch of water once weekly. However, you can encourage drought resistant roots by watering deeply but less frequently. Water in the evening because as per the rule of evaporation, watering during the day will not nourish your roots as well as during cooler periods when the hot, dry air doesn’t suck up all the water.

If you follow these tips you should have a stunning lawn surrounding your Caribbean dream home.

Resplendent Blooms
No Caribbean garden is complete without flowers and bright, vibrant ones in regular bloom are a must for that really enjoyable garden feel. Be aware that whilst in summer your flowers will thrive, you must prune them regularly to prevent a forest effect! Dry seasons require late evening watering for the same reason your lawn does. The real pesky thing is that humidity often brings a host of pests to your flowers and you need to protect against them.

Here is how you do it:

  • Regularly keeping your leaves clean is a great way to prevent bugs from getting to them. This means not only watering the roots, but the actual plant leaves too. Get into a weekly or bi-weekly habit of doing this and it will go a long way to ridding your pest infestation.
  • If your leaves have fungus, consider why this is the case. Maybe your sun-loving plant has too much shade? Either way, an organic insecticidal soap sprayed on your leaves can really help. Just spray it on after you have watered them in the evening and leave it to do its work.
  • Look at Pyrethrum, an organic pesticide made from chrysanthemums for bad bugs. Spray after watering in the evening, and it will solve most of your problems.

Keep leaves clean, check for good root systems before you buy any new plants and spray with an organic pesticide every two weeks and your Caribbean flowering masterpiece should stay happy and healthy.

Grenada Villa Photo Credit : Caribbean Land and Property

Grenada Villa
Photo Credit : Caribbean Land and Property

Leaf Blowers For Lessening Outdoor Maintenance

Leaf blowers can be a wonderful help in the garden and home, aside from blowing leaves.

Here are some fascinating other uses for leaf blowers:

  • Gutter Blasters: Keeping your gutter clean is an absolutely essential task. This is where a leaf blower is so handy. Use it to blow the debris out of your gutters around your home. It works faster and more efficiently than using your hands and will get the job done in a jiffy. This means more time to enjoy relaxing drinks watching the sunset.
  • Lawn Mowers: You have to clean out your lawn mower from time to time, especially during summer mowing months and doing it with your hands can create some irritation for sensitive bodies. Clean out the garden grass and dirt in a short session with your leaf blower so you can quickly get back to the enjoyable warm water of the Caribbean, at least that’s what your friends in the temperate zones will think you’re up to all day.
  • Car Dust Busters: Whilst this is not garden related, car cleaning is an almost everyday task in the Caribbean! As long as the car is being used to ferry you to and from the beach, shopping, socialising, back to the beach – it will inevitable be covered in particles. Take the hassle out of this cleaning project by blowing out the dust and dirt from your car with your leaf blower. It saves untold time compared to  regular vacuuming and will get your car fairly spotless in time for the next beach run!

If you use the tips above, you can achieve a beautiful Caribbean garden with blossoming flowers, regular visits from friendly humming birds and not forgetting the endless chirping sounds!

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