September in the Spanish Garden

By Clodagh and Dick Handscombe

Climate in Spain

From all reports the temperatures have not broken any records this summer and there have been several non seasonal days of rain in many areas. As last summer one could even make a case for global cooling rather than warming! So as one enters September the temperature early and late in the day is great for starting to carry out essential tasks and still hot enough for some serious sunbathing once the hottest hours are past. We consider below some of the important tasks for September and it’s worth starting them early in case early autumn monsoon type gota frias – heavy rain falls – occur this year.

Top ten tasks

  • Carry out a strategic garden review as detailed in chapter 1.7 of Your Garden in Spain especially in terms of the length of it’s major flowering seasons, the extent of edible produce, the extent of maintenance required during the hot summer months and the extent and location of summer shade and sheltered winter sun so that you can start to make improvements for the coming winter and next summer.
  • Finish harvesting, drying and storing almonds and likewise with peanuts once the plants start to die back.
  • Make the best of continuing good crops of tomatoes by drying, freezing, bottling, juicing and jamming surpluses to daily needs.
  • Harvest remaining squashes and store in cool dry place.
  • Harvest remaining grapes And dry to prepare raisins for snacks and the Christmas cake, bottle some in a favourite liquor ready to enhance the eating of twelve grapes as the clock strikes twelve on new years eve, juice and freeze some for unsweetened grape juice, and of course if you have sufficient make some wine.
  • Tidy up/weed vegetable plot and prepare/add to compost heaps. Turn and dampen over summered heaps.
  • Once rain or a flooding has made the soil good to work, start to sow/plant up autumn and winter crops. As outlined in our book Growing Healthy Vegetables in Spain there are many to chose from.
  • Order fruit trees and bushes for autumn plantings. Check what is suitable for your microclimate in our book Growing Healthy Fruit in Spain.
  • Keep spraying citrus fruits against pests and fungi. Natural sprays are listed in the above book.
  • Tidy up and feed all plants in pots and containers .
  • Give the garden a tidy up and cut back straggly plants to stimulate flowering through to Christmas and the New Year when the major winter cutback will commence .

These are the highlights of the work required. Other musts and options are described in each of the three books mentioned above. Click on our books on Spanish Gardening for more information re the books and where they can be purchased. For your convenience if not living near a book shop each book has a link to our publishers online bookstore.

© Clodagh and Dick Handscombe September 2008.