March in the Spanish Garden

By Clodagh and Dick Handscombe,
Practical holistic gardeners, authors and broadcasters who have lived and gardened in Spain for over twenty years.

At the beginning of 2008 we set out to provide month by month checklists of some of the most important things that need doing in gardens in Spain. In this article we look at March. These tasks are selected from the more detailed annual gardening calendars included in each of our last three books. Namely the trilogy Your Garden in Spain, Growing Healthy Vegetables in Spain and Growing Healthy Fruit In Spain.

  • Take and plant up spring cuttings of geraniums, echiums, margaritas, leonothus, rosemary, sage etc..
  • Start to fill gaps in the garden but wait until inland frosts are past before planting the more tender plants.
  • Start a regular programme of spraying fruit trees and bushes and vulnerable plants such as geraniums with appropriate eco-sprays.
  • Start to plant out plantlets for summer harvests and sow seeds for tender plants such as squash, courgettes, tomatoes and peppers that will not be planted out until late April and May.
  • If not already done plant seed potatoes and Jerusalem artichoke tubers.
  • When the unusually log wet period ends complete the winter cut back in the flower garden and of hedges and trees.
  • In view of the water shortages last year and the current low volumes of stored water in the reservoirs install some roof guttering and water barrels/tanks.
  • Enjoy harvesting seasonal peas, broad beans and asparagus.
  • Sieve out the ready compost in the compost heap to top up raised beds and prepare bean trenches for later planting.
  • Start to mow lawns and give a spring feed.
  • Once you have a dry day or two complete the laying of paths and terraces and the construction of water features so that plants can be planted around them for spring and summer colour.
  • Give ponds an annual clean out cutting back excessive root growth and splitting plants to enlarge groupings or give away.

© Clodagh and Dick Handscombe March 2008.