My SoS (Six on Saturday) for this week is a bit of a mixed bag. I’ve been more active in the garden and we are more or less back on track planting vegetables, clearing weeds etc. I’ve yet to scratch the itch of walking around a garden centre so perhaps we can add that to the agenda for the coming week. I should explain that garden centres in the Algarve are nothing like the garden centres in the UK. The garden centres I frequent just sell plants, pots and sundry items. They don’t have coffee shops, pensioner lunch deals of the day, kiddies playgrounds or a Santa’s grotto.
1. Planting Garlic
We went to the local hardware-cum-garden-supply shop looking for iceberg lettuce seeds but no luck. Apparently, while iceberg lettuce are sold in the supermarkets (imported from Spain) there is no equivalent grown in Portugal.
However, we did stumble across some seed garlic heads which I’ve been searching for for some time. We planted these the next day as the guy in the shop advised us we were right at the end of the planting season. I will also plant some supermarket garlic to see if we get different results
We planted twelve fleshy cloves in a crate and another 20 or so in the old herb garden.
According to the internet you plant them a thumb deep and a hand width apart.
This was my attempt a few years ago. Yes, that is a cherry tomato and the garlic heads are not much bigger!
2. New Lime Tree, New Challenge
….. As we were leaving the shop, clutching our bag of seed garlic heads, I spotted a baby lime tree. Yes! It had a good shape, healthy leaves and priced at only €7.50 I made a snap decision and bought it. A bargain!
Our intention is to plant in a sunny, sheltered corner of the garden in a large container. For now it will acclimatize in a sheltered spot for a week before planting. We also need to get some decent compost.
3. A Strawberry in February
Okay, I am easily pleased.
My job for next week is to weed all the strawberry containers, clear dead leaves, feed and add cloche covers for extra protection. I should have had more than one strawberry by now, but I have neglected them so we reap the effort we sow.
5. Rhubarb – Timperley Early
I am relieved to see the rhubarb I planted last year has reappeared! I was rather concerned a few months ago when the leaves rotted and died off.
We can’t buy rhubarb in the supermarkets here, so if want a rhubarb crumble we need to grow our own rhubarb.
Did you know you should never put rhubarb leaves on your compost heap because they are poisonous? No, neither did I.
A couple of months ago I planted some Physalis fruit in little pots and left to seed. I meant to cover the fruit with soil. Distracted I forgot. Result, the birds enjoyed a free lunch leaving me the empty pots. This week I found another fruit which I planted in the container where it will remain. This time I covered the fruit with soil. Actually, writing this, I will leave nothing to chance and also cover with a plastic container. The blackbirds like to dig with their beaks.
That’s it for this week. Please check out The Propagators Blog to see what’s been happening in other gardens around the world.