Kitchen Gardening Resources in Barbados

Here’s a brief list of resources for everything from constructing raised beds to planting seedlings, for those of you abroad please note that prices, where indicated, are in Barbados Dollars:

Raised Beds: the wood for my beds was purchased at Carter’s in Wildey (431.1500); the most cost effective, untreated wood is called Deal (I have always know this as Knotty Pine), presently a 1″ X 12″ X 12′-0″ piece of Deal is $42.34. For a nominal fee of .97 cents, per cut, Carter’s will cut the lengths to your specifications. Carter’s also carries the nails that we used to assemble the beds, but any 2″ to 2 1/2″ nail suitable for wood will suffice.

A brief addendum to this portion of the post: One of my comentors, “peltdownman” has indicated that in his area of Barbados Deal or Knotty Pine, or for that matter any wood is particularly attractive to Wood Ants. As I am attempting to kitchen garden “sans pesticides” I did a bit of research online into some organic alternatves:

  • Sprinkle Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Cinnamon, Black Pepper or Curry Powder all over the beds.
  • Sprinkle Corn Meal (if you don’t have  a nice dish of CouCou planned for dinner), or Semolina Flour around the beds. The ants will carry the granules back to the Queen Ant, who is supposed to eat it and explode, thereby reducing the ants significantly.
  • Plant mint, the smell of which repels ants.
  • Spray the a mixture of 50% white distilled vinegar and 50% water around the beds, the smell will repel the ants.

–GreenBB 041207

WeedBlock: in an effort to knock out the crabgrass under the beds I have installed sheets of WeedBlock which cover the bottom of the bed in it’s entirety and as well extend approximately 6″ up the sides. WeedBlock does what it says while at the same time permitting adequate drainage of the soil in your bed. WeedBlock can be purchased at NatureCare in the Sheraton Centre (437.2019) by the linear foot in 6′-0″ width at a rate of $1.90 per foot. Depending on where you place your bed or beds, WeedBlock may not be necessary.

Soil: once you have a good idea of the size of your bed or beds you can calculate how much soil mix you you will need and place an order. I purchased my soil mix from Seawell Industries, which I believe is also known as Island Soil, (428.1710) they sell soil by the cubic meter with a 2 cubic meter minimum, and deliver within a day or so. For a 3′-0″ X 3′-0″ X 12″ bed determining how many cubic meters of soil would be required is calculated as follows:

  • First calculate the cubic feet by multiplying the Length*Width*Height of the box: 3′-0″*3′-0″*1-0″= 9 Cubic Feet.
  • Next calculate cubic meters by dividing the cubic feet by 34.96 as there are 34.96 cubic feet in every cubic meter: 9 Cubic Feet/ 34.96 = .25 Cubic Meters

For cubic yards, repeat step one and:

  • Next calculate cubic yards by dividing the cubic feet by 27 as there are 27 cubic feet in every cubic yard: 9 Cubic Feet/27 = .33 Cubic Yards

Seeds and Seedlings: I will be the first to admit that I am not at all patient with cultivating seeds; at present the only items that I have grown from seed are Mesclun Lettuce, Garlic (from it’s clove) and Dill Weed, although they are all doing well I prefer to purchase seedlings. All of my seedlings have been purchased from Seed Burst Nurseries in Gibbon’s Bogg’s (428.1938), they have a wide selection of herbs and vegetables and a friendly and knowledgeable staff. If you want to try your hand at cultivating seeds Carter’s has a wide array of seeds available.

Tools and Accessories: I would suggest the following simple list of tools to get started: light weight gardening gloves, a hand held garden claw, a small spade, scissors, twine, small copper nails or brads, a large bucket and a smaller yogurt or ice cream container for hand watering.

I would welcome any additions to this list of references…

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