Travel Adventures

Malawi Monday #4–Plant life

We are currently living in Lilongwe, Malawi. This is part of a series in which I share our experience about life here. If there is anything that you would like to know about Malawi, please feel free to post your question in the comments. We would love to do the research on your behalf. Please keep it family friendly.

We are amazed at the beautiful surroundings. As you can guess plant and animal life are amazing. As I’ve mentioned before some plants that is very sensitive pot plants in South Africa, grow wildly in the gardens and surroundings.

clip_image002 ‘Gwaf’ tree

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After the seasonal rains every seed sprouts and bushes and grass explode into lush and overgrown beasts! According to the locals, the same lush greenery turns into dry brown in the dry season. For now we enjoy the beautiful green life all around and are blown away by the variety and beauty that abounds.

A common sight here is the worked land all around. Maize patches are planted on every available property, sidewalks or wasted area in a backyard. Due to the high rainfall the nutritional levels of the land is low and is constant fertilizing of the essence to ensure healthy growth alongside a good harvest. A local said that growth is great, but substance is poor and in our backyard we saw this to be true.


Our night guard (yes, we have 24hr security!) planted 2 fields of maize on wasted land in our backyard. He had sufficient fertilizer for only one of the lands. Both started sprouting at more or less the same time but after a few weeks of growth the difference is quite visible. Whereas the fertilized field is healthy, sturdy and green. The other field however is quite weak. We planted strawberries and carrots and although they are growing fine, it’s not healthy plants.

Other than organic compost for sale at a local nursery, chemical fertilizer is the preferred fertilizer. the quicker I try to establish a compost heap of some sort from the kitchen scraps, the quicker it’s removed and added to the garbage bags! Yes, I’ve tried to explain but as Adventurer 2 remarked before, the locals are sweep and clean crazy! They sweep everything. Lawns, flowerbeds, driveways, and multiple times a day. Back to fertilizer though: if I understand correctly, tobacco leaves are referred to as manure which is commonly used in the rural areas as fertilizer. I would say this could be what I know to be compost but I have not seen this in action and will share the facts as and when I learn more. Don’t take this paragraph as fact yet!!!

Back to the plant life though. We have a garden with about 40 trees of varying sizes and species. Among them are about 8 papaya trees. After seeing the papaya fruits in a local wholesaler, I’m wondering if the fruit on the trees are not ripe and ready to harvest. Maybe this will be our nature study for the week coming.


That’s it for now. I’ll try to post a snippet every Monday for a while about this new adventure we’ve embarked on. Once more, if there is anything you would like to know about Malawi and life here, please feel free to ask your question in the comments below. We would love to do the research on your behalf as long as it’s family friendly!

Thanks for visiting until next time!

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