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Wild Costa Rica


Good olí Mother Nature in Costa Rica

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Published on Friday, May 31, 2024

By Victoria Torley

Farming is (I canít say that in print) and gardening is just about as bad. After all, look at what we are up against. Good olí Mother Nature in all her various moods and all her various children.


Letís talk sun and rain. If you have ever lived in an agricultural area, you know about sun and rain. Too much or too little of either and you are up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle.


Of course, we gardeners can hose things down if it gets too dry and most of us in Costa Rica know, absolutely know when itís going to be wet.


This ďknowingĒ did not stop me from planting lima beans and soybeans a few weeks ago. The funny thing is the green beans, planted the same day, came up while the lima beans and soy rotted in the ground. 


Gardening is funny that way. The peas have also come up but they are under green shade cloth. Maybe I need more shade cloth?


Then there are the things I lovingly planted in paper egg containers. The lettuce came up but only two of the dozen squash. I am still waiting for the rest of the seeds to sprout.

Which brings me to the temperature. Maybe my seeds donít like our current temperature or at least donít like the temperature where they are.


I would love to keep them at a nice steady 70F but how? I thought a greenhouse would be good but it turns out a greenhouse in the tropics takes temperatures into three digits. Hmm. Nothing like burning your seeds to death. Maybe I should open a new ďdoorĒ in the greenhouse, cover the door with screen, and let the breeze flow through?

If I am going to dream about it, why not dream big? Why not a greenhouse with a sprinkler system? Now thereís an idea. A nice warm greenhouse with big barrels of water in it.

The water gathers the sunís heat (when the sun is shining or if) during the day and radiates the heat out to keep the greenhouse warm at night.

Maybe I could install a small heater for the days when it just pours down rain? Then overhead sprinklers so that I donít have to walk to and from the plants to water them four times a day (bad for my hip). Then all I need to do is inspect things once a day and pull any weeds that dare show their leaves through the soil.

Doesnít that sound like a plan? Do you think I will get Metric Man to agree to a sprinkler system, and a heated space, and a... NAH!

Plant of the week. A few weeks ago, I met a lovely man who is into hoyas, or wax plants, in a big way.

 are low maintenance plants of the genus Asclepiad and produce a cluster of five-pointed flowers with a secondary corona of flowers of a different color.

Flowers have a waxy appearance and can grow in a tight cluster or a very loose one. The plants need support as they climb.

Find more amazing stories about gardening in Costa Rica on the Costa Rica Garden website. Regarding questions on this article, Ms. Victoria Torley, gardener columnist, can be reached by emailing

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