around the garden in May

garlic head
some of you may remember my post about garlic. I’d collected seed three years ago and every year since have been growing garlic from that seed, it started tiny, got a little bigger and this year I actually have some useable sizes, I graded them into large, medium and small,

large garlic

the large I will use as next years seed, the medium I will use in the kitchen and the tiny I will either give away for someone else to start off with or keep for emergencies…..

the flowers have been fabulous, the house is full of them and i’ve had enough to give away to people in the village, such a nice feeling.


The rhubarb has been better than most years, I’ve planted a lot of comfrey around one patch and they seem to get on well together.


When we first bought our farm there was no shade in the valley at all, we planted a lot of false acacia and it has done so well, so well, infact that we are going to have to cut some of it down, it is now creating too much shade and plants like the strawberries are now suffering, but despite their lack of sun, i am still harvesting about 1/2 kilo everyday……


The broad beans did well, despite the efforts of the mice to eat all the seed, we harvested about 6 kilos, some we just ate fresh and the rest is frozen. I didn’t have enough to keep any seed for next year, but given that the mice ate most of it, I’m not so bothered about buying it, it’s so cheap to buy.

The carrots are doing well, the parsnips not so well, I will sow one more bed of both and hope for better things. My little rows of potatoes are doing well and are just coming in to flower,  Maris Peer, Charlotte and King Edward


The onions are pathetic and I am right on the verge of giving up with them, they take up a lot of room, look messy and never produce well,


I don’t know what I am doing wrong, I have never managed to get decent onions out of the ground here. I’ve always planted from sets, so if I carry on I will just do what most of the portuguese do and plant from plugs much later on, again so cheap at the market.

The salad has been great, especially the rocket, will sow one more bed in the semi-shade and see if I’m not too late


The peas and beans are doing well, various kinds of all, mostly self collected seed, Feltham First, Hurst Greenshaft and an unidentified giant pea from some friends…


the beans in the garden are mostly cherokee trail of tears and some purple french thing and up in the potato field are some borlotti, am hoping that the shade won’t hinder their progress too much.


Uchiki Kuri and the Butternut’s are doing well, and the courgette’s are flowering


the asparagus is being left now to replenish itself, but the base makes for a good place to plant herbs and more lettuce etc.


In between all of this I’ve been harvesting the cherries, elderflowers for cordial, strimming various bit, tying in the naughty top fruit vines


and trying to get rid of my farmers tan……….

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2 Responses to around the garden in May

  1. tidzywoo says:

    HelIo:) I really like your blog, I have just moved to Central Portugal with my family although we have been visiting for a while now. I have just started a blog too, although I have no idea what I’m doing! I will keep reading, I have learned a lot about gardening and you like to make things like me, Boa Noite, Catherine x

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