Saturday, January 29, 2011

January garden in Spain

Or at least, coastal Andalucia in January. When the UK is frozen solid or at least under blankets of snow, here in sunny Spain we have daytime temperatures in the late teens and early 20s in winter.

This means with mild temperatures and rain - gardening!! Not just tidying up and waiting for snowdrops and crocuses, but planting veg and salad crops. Our fallow season is summer when it is just too hot and arid for crops.

Come autumn, the fields around us are suddenly ploughed over again and busy field workers are out there putting in tiny plants by hand. When I see their beautiful lettuces planted out, I suddenly realise it is time for me to plant some too. Except I am too tight to buy plantlets, so put seeds in. And I actually like growing things from seed - when they germinate.

Not sure I will buy seeds from Eroski again, Chase Organics, this is what I really need, and where I used to source my seeds in the UK. Of course, the fact that half of mine haven't germinated could be a) due to the fact that I planted them too late and b) they got washed away as it chucked it down not long after I sowed the seeds. Nor is it very helpful when there is a chart on the back telling you when to plant things out - but doesn't talk about where in Spain. The climate in the north might as well be the UK - there is a huge difference between Galicia, Asturias, Pais Vasco/Euskadi, and Cantabria in the north, and Andalucia in the far south.

Anyways, so far I seem to have acquired a few cos lettuces, some reddish ones, and hopefully some rocket. There is an irritating weed in Spain that looks like rocket - but it doesn't normally grow in straight lines, or does it? We shall see. I stuck some more seeds in this weekend for the hell of it. Oh, and I have a couple of onions coming too. And the robust chilli plant is still flowering and producing the odd green chilli.

Rocket? maybe? some lettuce- hopefully? and chilli plants

Red lettuce

Lots of baby spinach/acelgas/Swiss chard (and lots of weeds)

A nice looking green lettuce here, hope they grow

Onto flowers. Well, the summer jasmine is still gracing the terrace in the depths of January, and the winter jasmine is about to come into bloom. Normally they don't overlap. They have some complicit agreement whereby the one agrees to suddenly stop flowering exactly as the other one comes out. The plumbago continues to flower, although I've pruned it well back, and the marguerites are tough as old boots and are blooming yet again. I must have chucked out hundreds of mini-plants that had germinated from seeds. Ojalá the lettuces germinated as well as the marguerites did.

The money tree - will we get lots this year perhaps?

The weeds, I mean marguerites

Faded summer jasmine

And budding winter jasmine


Dina ... UK said...

I am looking forward to setting a few lettuce again this year.

It has been a long winter here and a bit of colour in the gardens will be very welcome....
Those seedlings are looking good.:)

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

I wish we could start growing things from seed now, but it is too early.
We are going this next week to get some seeds ready for setting though, oh and we might get our seed potatoes for the early growing ones on the allotement.

I like growing things from seed, years ago...before my garden had so many evergreens in. I used to grow all sorts from seed. In a little greenhouse, lots of different annual plants. Loved it but I ran out of room to actually plant any more. So I stopped.

It is all veggies for me now

Green Jeannie said...

oh how much I appreciate these photos and words.

I can't wait to start up with the allotment again. Of course far far too early, though the snow has gone, it could still come back. Hateful stuff.

So agree about planting from seed, the only thing I didn't grow from seed last year was the peas, and I just didn't feel the same about them.

Everything else I had worked hard at, and the pleasure of seeing stuff growing from seed into beautiful and productive vegetables was just wonderful.

Money Plant, I have one, which fell over rather dramatically, three months ago now, it has resided in the side corridor here, with half a pot of compost, but it still flourishes well.

Sorry this comment has become as long as a blog post, thank you for sharing your lovely pics, and well, just thank you.

J x

Ashleigh said...

Looks like you are off to a great start!!