Costa Blanca News (South Edition)
Creation of a garden: More on planting
By Derek Lindley
THIS week I am taking a break from the main story of how my garden developed and introducing the reader to some of my tips for planting vegetables.
So, there are more pictures than words. I have found in Spain, with a bit of trial and error, planting can take place in most months of the year and February to April is no exception, it’s also a lot cooler to be working outside.
I have quite a big plot dedicated to vegetables, (132 m2, or, in old money 1,404 ft2), which not everyone will have, so I have included some tips for smaller gardens, patios or balconies.
Let’s start with my vegetable garden and how I plant finer seeds like carrots, beetroot, and bigger seeds like French beans and potatoes.
A simple tip for planting fine seeds is to get the depth right. Over the years I have found using a rake, or some other long handle tool, as in the picture, is the best option. (Be careful not to tread too hard on the handle, I have broken a couple in the past!).
Using a line, I gently press in the handle, which results in a small trench and then it is a simple job to spread the seeds. You will also see I use my own ‘duck board’, which helps when the ground is soft and stops me from sinking into the soil. It also helps in keeping my boots free of soil. A simple tip, but it does work.
Similarly, with my potatoes I use a line, dig about half a spade depth, and lay the potatoes about 18 inches apart and then earth up.
This year I planted five kilos, which should give me a harvest of around 50 kilos. Last year I sowed 10 kilos, harvested 100 kilos, which was a bit too much for the two of us, and whilst they do keep, I wasted a lot! (First picture planting in February, second picture growth at the end of March, and yes this year)
Now if you want to grow any vegetables in a confined space you can use pots, here I have demonstrated strawberries, potatoes and runner beans.
For the strawberries. I used a 12-inch pot half filled with fine soil, added some slow-release fertiliser and added the plant with some fresh compost. I did the same with potatoes but used a bigger 16inch pot and the same size pot for the runner beans, but with these, I also used canes because they can grow to 2-4 metres in height.
You can really plant anything in pots, or if you have enough space, create a raised seedbed, which is not too difficult.
Next time: A new patio and a shed.
COSTA NEWS, April 9-15, 2021