Volunteer Master Gardeners and the CTAHR agents who coordinate and guide them are encouraging local residents to grow their own food! They contributed to an article in Honolulu magazine’s Family section that helps those with little to no gardening experience start their own gardens. As the piece points out, since Hawai‘i’s beautiful weather enables us to start growing at any time of year, there’s no need to wait until the spring!
The article gives tips on easy-to-grow plants such as kale, herbs, and sweet potatoes. The Master Gardeners provide detailed explanations of how to prevent contamination of the plants, how to harvest them, and how much light they need. Extension agent Kalani Matsumura, the Master Gardener coordinator at the Urban Garden Center, notes that plants such as dill, cilantro, and fennel flowers will attract ladybugs, who will help keep plants safe from pests.
Cynthia Nazario-Leary, the statewide Master Gardener coordinator, explains that while growing plants on the lanai is a good option for those without a backyard, it can be a bit tricky because of hot concrete, sunlight, and city dust. Fortunately, she offers helpful tips on how to overcome these challenges—even for big plants like avocado trees!
The article also notes that CTAHR’s Seed Lab provides seeds for plants that are disease resistant and well suited to Hawai‘i’s growing conditions. As the article makes clear, new—and established!—gardeners have a better time of it because of CTAHR.