A sunny Spanish autumn continues
What an amazing autumn we are having with midday temperatures still to hot to walk or toil. Gardens are wonderfully colourful and it’s a good time to take cuttings from perennials. Amazingly stews still cook on the solar cooking in a few hours and salads harvested by grazing around the garden still contain twenty five types of edible leaves and flowers. Some shrubs have taken off unusually fast after the little September rain we had and have had to be trimmed to walk along a couple of pats. With luck any autumn storms will be few and short so that we can look forward to an exceptionally colourful Christmas and year end garden before starting the annual winter cutback. Jungle Seeds included some semi-temperate/sub tropical varieties of ginger plants in their autumn sale. Had advice today that they are at the post office to collect tomorrow. Some will overwintered on a covered terrace and others in the greenhouse.
Vegetables germinate and plantlets put down roots fast
Early November sowings have been up in a couple of days and seedlings have got off to a good start with a watering every two days. Received some Canary Island potato tubers from a gardening contact. Unfortunately they took two months to arrive but they were healthy and strong shoots had formed. I case we get a frost this year , none last year, they are now planted in a potato barrel in a cool green house. Using the mini area vegetable growing chapter of Growing Healthy Vegetables in Spain we have coached several new enthusiasts in recent months to start the productive growing of ecological vegetables in small spaces including apartment terraces.
Salvia forest a success
With no frost last winter salvias continue to flower through the winter and spring untill the hot weather. So as an experiment we did no winter cutback and just let them grow to see if we could create a salvia forest in the semi shade of an almond tree. It worked and plants are now up to three and a half metres, Heavy flowering only started a fortnight ago but the forest is now a real jewel. Cuttings are now planted up to create a new generation of plants in case we lose some during the coming winter.
Palm weevils continue to spread
A neighbour proudly reported that his new palm weevil trap had caught 200 weevils in the first fortnight. Unfortunately I had to comment that this may be saving a few trees for the time being but if 200 had been caught there were probably at least twice that number still around his area. Sure enough another neighbour telephoned tonight to report that his tree was showing signs of an attack and to ask what treatment to use. Sadly recent national newspaper reports suggest that there is really no successful inexpensive or expensive treatment and that early felling and burning of infected trees is recommended.
www.gardenspain.com comes home
Out of the blue our long lost high-jacked www.gardenspain.com website reappeared the other week. Fortunately we were able to prove copy-rite and buy the domain name back . So you can now access this site using both www.gardenspain.com and www.gardenspain.com.
A pair of new Mediterranean lifestyle books in the next ten days
With such good weather writing only happens before sunrise and after dinner as today. However a Spanish translation of my book ‘Authentic Valencian Paellas titled AUTENTICA PAELLAS VALENCIANA and at last the 350 page travel story based on our 950 km 52 day trek across the Spanish Pyrenees from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea titled ADVENTURE ALONG THE SPANISH PYRENEES will both be on sale by Amazon Books within a week to ten days. Both make good armchair reading as well as the basis for possible personal action.
Will the rains come soon?
At present that is anyone’s guess every where along the Mediterranean coast. So far rain has been patchy and short lived although inland Spain has had a fair amount of rain. But for sure it will eventually come so for now an hour a day dosing in the sun to top up tans and vitamin D is a priority.
(c) Dick Handscombe November 2013