It's been hot and humid for weeks now, mid-summer hot, although the season doesn't officially change until the solstice on June 20. This is a wonderful time of year in the tropics, with long days, warm nights and the fragrance of stephanotis, crown flower, plumeria, night blooming jasmine, pikake and the other fragrant scents drifting by on the breeze. Water in the cool dawn and dusk hours while you listen to birds sing, watch the sky change color and become familiar with the many creatures that frequent your yard. You'll be surprised at how much you can observe in those small sessions that serve as bookmarks to the day, and pleasantly startled to see yourself relaxing, letting go and
Get Organized In The Garden. Trim trees and prune shrubs during the full moon in Capricorn, which hits the day after the solstice.
Gardens That Rock. Start that rock garden you always wanted by collecting unusual pohaku (rocks) from around your own yard during the Capricorn full moon. Build the garden in shade, sun, or any area that needs full coverage. Arrange rocks in an aesthetically pleasing manner, fill in area around them with sand, soil, chipped green waste mulch or a mix of all three, and voila.
Seed Planting. Plant seeds for sun-loving okra, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, great quantities of basil, colorful zinnia, marigolds and loofah, which can be eaten when very small and tender, or dried on the vine to make the natural skin-scrubbers.
Delicious Fruit Harvest. Eat your fill of juicy, sweet, fragrant lychee; this is the height of their too-short season. Mango, papaya and banana are also abundant. Share, freeze or dry any fruit you can't use right away.
Lawn Care. Extend the length of time between mowing sessions and increase the blade height setting to avoid scalping, which causes lawns to lose water rapidly and turn brown.
Mulching Tip. Mulch around plants, shrubs and trees to retain water. Use thick layers of leaves, chipped green waste, cardboard, and grass clippings; when they start to break down, chop them up and add to compost pile.