Spanish and Mediterranean Spring gardening ideas



 

A spring tour

Dick is just back from a three week tour by train from the rains in Spain to the droughts of England on Salisbury Plain via France and Belgium. In fact the rain two days before he left were the last we have had and everywhere else he visited gardeners were desperate for rain. Indeed while in England a hose pipe ban was declared through to the end of December including on allotments for the first time. The next article will therefore be about reducing your water needs. In advance if you have yet to use TerraCottem soil improver to reduce the needs of all your plants including fruit trees and vegetables have a look at their website and consider buying a 5 kilo drum.

Winter frosts

Not only was water an issue but many gardens, including in Spain, were hit unusually hard with frost damage. It seems that global warming will bring icy winters with it. So do ensure that new plants planted this spring are both drought and frost resistant. The plant lists in our books include this information so check out your tentative plant buying lists before going to the garden centres. Our garden has greened up in the past two weeks and many spring plants are out. But there are a few plants that may take three months to re-sprout after heavy frost damage. So if you have the same be patient. In most cases the root ball will still be alive.

Mediterranean Vegetable Gardens

The next four weeks is the time for final sowings and plantings of summer crops. As explained in our books Growing Healthy Vegetables in Spain, Apartment Gardening Mediterranean Style and Living Well from our Mediterranean Garden it is not difficult to be able to harvest ecologically grown chemical free  crops 365 days a year.

Our Spring Mediterranean gardening talks and clinics

It is turning out to be a busy Spring for us in giving talks and problem solving clinics for gardening clubs and Spring Shows. The following is our current schedule. We hope to meet some users of our web site face to face during these events.

  • Mediterranean Garden Society Branches.
  1. Landquedoc branch, France, Thursday 12 April

A talk on ‘Vegetable Growing in a Mediterranean Climate’

2. Balearics branch, Mallorca, Saturday 19 May

A talk and workshop on ‘Making Your Garden Productive as Well as Beautiful´

  • Living on the Coast Show, Marbella, 27, 28 29 April at the Marbella Palace exhibition halls. A series of talks and clinics throughout the three days.
  • Costa Blanca Gardening Circle, Moraira, 2 May

A talk on ‘Roses and Lantanas’

  • Homes Gardens and Outdoor Living Show, San Miquel Castle, 22/23 May

A series of talks and clinics throughput the two days.

  • U3A Alfaz del Pi, Social centre, Monday 28th May

A talk on ‘Retirement Gardening for a Good Life’

  • U3A Val de Pop branch,  Jalon town hall, Thursday 7 June

A talk on ‘Living Well from Your Garden’

 

Donkey manure can be valuable -upto  1000 euros a kilo

When we first gardened in Spain there still a few working donkeys and mules around and thousands of goats and sheep so many local agricultural workers still used natural manures, Then as the number of animals reduced the quantity of natural manures reduced and many resorted to chemical fertilizers. Never did they envisage that a kilo of donkey manure have a value of a 1000 euros. Yesterday 600 people including myself invested 5 euros in one of 600 chalked parcels of the village square. At eleven am a donkey was lead into the arena and allowed to wander at ramdom over the marked out area. After just under four hours the donkey decided to deposit it’s afternoons steaming manure on one of the parcels. The lucky owner won 1000 euros plus the fresh manure.

‘The rest of the money raised went towards the costs of the next  summer fiesta week. If your gardening club needs funds how about a similar ‘CAGA DEL BURRO’