MONSOON GARDENING - LET THE RAINY SEASON BEGIN ☔🌱

Here in Cambodia the monsoon or rainy season has started. Though we are still getting moderate rainfall, soon the heavy rains with flooded parts of the garden will be a harsh reality, making growing fruits and vegs a real challenge.

Though rice farmers need the water to start growing their crops, my garden would prefer it not to come all at once. Many of the veggies we like to grow during the dry season don’t like to get their feet wet.

Heavy tropical rains can saturate the soil, causing plants to stand in water for days or weeks. Root rot is a big problem in this challenging gardening season. But still, we got a few things going on.

Monsoon gardening is a real challenge but to be fair I like the rainy season. No more sweaty days, once in a while I will get to wear a sweater and socks lol…. Also, nature so loves the rain. Everything looks so fresh, green, and lush these days!

Apart from rice - which we are not growing because we actually don’t like rice - what else is growing during the rainy season?

Ever since the beginning of the year, we have been enjoying the fruits of the many mango trees we have. But with the rains, the end of the mango season is here too. At the moment we are harvesting the last mangoes to freeze for later. Since I can only share 10 pictures of the garden for the Garden Journal Challenge Early June hosted by the wonderful and inspiring @riverflows, no mango pics this time. I have shared plenty of my mango pics before lol

Luffa/loofah


One of the plants that really love the rainy season are our luffa plants. Luffa is a genus of tropical and subtropical vines of the cucumber family. Though we also grow them in the dry season to get an endless supply of sponges, they go all wild and grow serval centimeters a day in the rainy season! They just love the water! during the dry season, we have to water them every day. They love getting their feet very wet! Now, nature is taking over this task!

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This is going to be the biggest sponge we have ever grown! I think we will turn this particular one into a back-scrubbing sponge! More about luffa sponges and what to do with them in another post!

Pandan and Lemongrass


Yesterday I shared my latest tea addiction… Pandan and lemongrass tea. However yesterday we had a not-so-friendly pit viper intruder under one of the plants so I didn’t want to take pictures as this snake is highly poisonous. She has been safely relocated by a friend that knows how to handle these intruders.

Now with a heightened sense of alertness, we can go back to the garden. We never had a dangerous snake that close to our house and in our vegetable and herb growing area. Scary! But it keeps you on your toes and it’s a kind reminder that we should be a little more careful when working or harvesting fruits or veggies in our garden.

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Italian Basil


We are not sure if these love the rainy season, it’s the first time we started basil seeds in the rainy season. So it’s kind of an experiment to see what will happen. For now, they seem to be fine.

We put them in a protected area of the garden, though. One part of our veggie and herb growing garden is covered with shade cloth which protects plants from the harsh dry season sun and in the rainy season it does a great job in protecting plants from the big tropical raindrops.

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Papaya


Though we have always had some papaya in the garden, these plants are the first ones we plated ourselves from seed and are now fruiting. For the first time in Cambodia, we live in the same house for over 2 years. Before we always planted papaya seeds - among other fruits and vegetables- but we never got the reap the fruits as we kept moving around!

So for us, these papayas-to-be are extra special!

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Tomatoes


After having so many tomatoes earlier this year in the dry season we are now trying to grow some in the rainy season too. Just like the basil splants they are growing in a protected area of the garden.

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Rosemary


For long we thought this little rosemary bush was not going to start growing, but finally it did. Though we are not living in the right climate for rosemary, it seems to be happy here!

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Lemon Tree


I am not sure how long it will take before we get to harvest our own lemons but the bush is looking great!

I just love lemons and it is one of the things I miss living in Cambodia. Limes are cheap and abundant, but lemons are harder to come by. And if you find them, they are about $0.75 to $1 for one lemon.

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Curry Leaf Tree


Our little tree is still very small, but sometimes we get to harvest a few of its leaves to use in our kitchen. Nothing beats the flavor of fresh curry leaves to make Asian-inspired dishes.

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So that's what's currently happening in our early June garden. I hope you enjoyed reading and let's see what else we can start growing during the rainy season.... tips and tricks from amateur/experienced tropical rainy season growers are more than welcome!

We are still amateurs when it comes to growing in the tropics as we have been moving around so much the past 7 years.... and soon we will move again to the other side of the world. Though this might still take a while as S-America is badly hit by the pandemic. But we hope that we can start a new adventure in the Andes somewhere next year!

Happy Gardening ღ ღ ღ


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