Friday, August 22, 2014

Planting Pineapple

One of the easiest fruits to grow here in Central Florida
is pineapple.
The flavor of these homegrown beauties is unlike anything
you'll find in a can at the grocery store.
I've grown these myself, so you know it has to be easy.

This is a pineapple patch at Faye & Lynn's homestead.
They use the metal trash cans to cover the plant when it gets near pickin' time,
so that the raccoons don't get to it first.

Here is Lynn's method of assuring a healthy, productive plant.
The top of the pineapple is saved.
It can be dried for a couple of days in the shade outside,
but it's not necessary.

Lynn uses  needle nosed pliers to remove the bottom-most leaves
from the crown of the plant.
Gloves help protect hands from thorny leaves.

You can see the ones closest to the neck are the most dried out.

By just removing a small handful of leaves,
the pineapple has a better chance at becoming productive.

The small brown patch you see here is the beginning of roots.
By eliminating the outer leaves, the roots have more opportunity to attach to the soil
and thus, start growing.

See how many more roots there are now?
Lynn whittles down until a small knob is formed.
That's what gets planted.
Pineapple plants like full sun and are surprisingly drought-tolerant.
Give them space, 
because many times, they will quadruple in size.
They can also be grown in containers.

This tropical wonder loves the heat!
The plant produces one fruit at a time,
but will continue to produce,
treating the gardener to sweet, juicy pineapple over and over.

When the base of the fruit turns from green to mostly brownish-orange,
it's ready to harvest.
Simply twist at the base and it will come right off.
You're set to enjoy one of the most delectable and refreshing tidbits
that ever came across your plate.


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