Tropical Gardening: Spring rains mean it is time to fertilize

  • Photo courtesy of Voltaire Moise Palms planted in poor rocky and shallow soil with limited irrigation, like West Hawaii, are sure to suffer in dry weather. Proper fertilization and careful pruning will minimize stress.

This weekend is the last two days of winter and Monday is officially the first day of spring. It has been a dry winter for many parts of the island, but now some areas are beginning to get a bit of spring rain. This makes it difficult to make general recommendations that apply to all. Parts of the windward side received enough precipitation to remove nutrients like nitrogen and actual topsoil as well. West Hawaii received much less but with our excessively porous rocky areas, even an inch of rain can leach important elements essential to plant growth.