My personal diary.
Over the next year I will be keeping a monthly diary of all the fruit and vegetables I grow in my urban garden here in the Algarve. Gardening is one of my passions, and although my efforts are not always successful my tenacity makes up for what I lack in knowledge. I’m always open to suggestions (or encouragement) so please feel free to leave a note in the comments section below. December was the first entry in my diary.
When I look back at December’s entry and study the pictures – Wow what a difference. My vegetable seedlings have grown beyond my wildest expectations! Yes, I know, I’m easily pleased.
This is my first bowl of winter home-grown salad: Rosso and green lettuce, baby spinach leaves and chives from my herb garden.
Herb “garden” is a very loose description as I no longer try to grow herbs in “twee” little rows. I allow them to self-seed and grow where they are most happy.
CONTAINER GROWN FRUIT & VEGETABLES
Due to lack of space in my urban garden I grow several fruit and vegetables in containers. Some more successfully than others!
The radish sown in November are unfortunately struggling due to lack of sunlight. While the pot is in full sun during the summer months, the sun is lower in the winter so the pot remains in shade for most of the day.
Mental note: do not use this pot in winter! Use for Zucchini or cucumber in summer. Discard radish and use pot for to recycle “green” waste during the winter months.
I scattered radish seeds between a row of leeks in my raised vegetable plot on the 1st of January. There is no sign of growth as yet.
Some of my strawberry plants continue to give monster strawberries. They are absolutely delicious!
To do: repot any strawberry runners from these plants and label. “Monster” strawberries
Baby strawberry plants planted late November are now in flower.
I planted seeds from Physilis fruit in late October. The seedlings are still alive.
Other container grown fruit and vegetables
Chili: The mature chili plants continue to bear fruit, but the seedlings are less than enthusiastic and are fighting for life.
Lettuce We ate our first “feast” of organic home-grown lettuce last week.
Rhubarb This appears to be dormant. Friends tell me repeatedly “You can’t grow Rhubarb in Portugal” I disagree (I’m an optimist) and firmly believe “Where there is a will there is a way!” I may have to admit I’m wrong, but at least I tried! Hey I’m a Capricorn and Capricorns are stubborn right?
RAISED VEGETABLE BED
Raised bed as at 4th December
(Cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and carrots)
Today! Look how much they’ve grown in only a few weeks!
Raised bed as at 4th December
(Leeks, red cabbages, rosso and green lettuce)
…and on the 14th January
I talk to my vegetables every day!
I’ve never grown vegetables during the winter months in Portugal before so I am astounded by the results. Daily temperatures have been as high as 22C and night temperatures falling to about 4C.
Over the last month the sun has shone almost everyday and rainfall almost non-existent. (Rained yesterday and last night the first time for ages)
Plants for free! It amazes me that I can spend weeks trying to grow seedlings in seedtrays or pots with limited success. Why bother?
I found several self-seeded tomato plants growing between the spinach and rosso and red cabbage, plus rosso seedlings growing in the gravel and it’s only January!
The Portugal News (A weekly free newspaper in English) now have a bi-weekly gardening section which relates to Portugal! Yay!
Any gardeners out there? Anyone growing leeks – I need some advice please…
Related posts: Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in December