Spring is Sprung – New Life in the Huerto

Spring is sprung,
De grass is riz,
I wonder where dem birdies is?
De little birds is on de wing,
Ain’t dat absurd?
De little wing is on de bird!

Apologies, but I do enjoy nonsense and nursery rhymes! Yesterday at 6.14am, Spring officially began here in Spain.  Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the weather and the warm temperatures we have been experiencing dropped overnight.

No matter, we have been putting some early plants into our veggie patch, but Big Man has been creating mini polytunnels to protect them on cold days and nights.

In about a week we´ll be eating our first broad beans, and the onions are also coming on nicely.

We planted a totally ridiculous 280 cloves of garlic, and are now planting lettuce between the rows.  Big Man will cover them with netting or the little sparrows will think they´ve been invited to a Michelin starred restaurant.

We planted a first “wave” of tomatoes, peppers and chard.

The tomatoes are already producing flowers.

The chard is almost ready to start picking.

But helpers are thin on the ground here. Better to sleep in the warm sun room.

Luna says "Just five more minutes and then I´ll come and help"

Maybe I´ll get up and help.

Did someone mention digging?!

Maybe not, I´ll just put my head down and no one will notice I´m here.

Think I´ll just stay here and wait until my fur grows back after the home haircut Mum & Dad gave me...

And a final piece of “newness”.  John From the Bartolini Kitchens, very kindly sent me a fantastic tutorial on how to insert the Flag Counter I now have right at the very bottom of my blog page. If you scroll down, down, down you will see that it is now starting collect flags from the countries that have visited my blog. Very interesting and a lot of fun to check up on. Maybe one day I´ll get to visit more of them.  Thanks John, my brilliant long lost Italian cousin!

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77 thoughts on “Spring is Sprung – New Life in the Huerto

    1. We planted the broad beans on Christmas Eve! Well, Big Man and my dad did…a bit of a tradition round here. The other half of the huerto is still not dug over though, so don´t be jealous 😉

      1. Oops – yes the beans were from seeds! Well, dried beans which we soaked in water overnight then planted. This helps to get them germinating more quickly.

  1. Hi T, Wow, your veggies are growing well. I know I have said it before but those few degrees make all the difference. Our tomatoes, although growing nicely, are still in little pots in the greenhouse. Hasn’t Luna grown! Fab photos. TFS.
    Regards Florence x

    1. Yes, always a couple of degrees warmer here a little but further down the mountain, and more noticeable in the cooler months. Yes, Luna is two now so full grown…she was rather stretched out in that photo which was rare as she normally runs when she sees the camera…very odd dog!

  2. Your huerto looks wonderful – those mini polytunnels have worked so well! Everything much more advanced than here, except that we are picking chard that has overwintered. It’s such an exciting time of year, isn’t it?

    1. We are pleased with our experiment – it´s the first time we´ve done this. We have been eating chard that overwintered too but eventually dug it up about 2 weeks ago when we saw that the new chard was taking off. It´s such a tough (not to eat though 😉 ) little veggie, we love it!

  3. Your garden looks incredible!!! I am quite sorry I did not plant anything – I didn’t because we are still waiting to find out if we are doing a contract in Namibia, which has taken 6 months longer than expected!
    I think you did a stellar job with pups haircut – don’t think I would brave doing that.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. It´s unsettling if you don´t know where you are going to be. My you do have interesting lives! The haircut was hysterical with the two of us doing it (he usually goes to a professional but she´s expensive and miles away and he´s such a roughty toughty country boy, we thought we´d give him the shaggy haircut look!). Alfi was so patient and just sat there looking at us as if to say “you´ve never done this before have you”?!

    1. He´s a bit of a mongrel but the vet thinks he has a touch of Spanish Water Dog with some sort of terrier – he was a stray who turned up on my neighbours´doorstep and we took him in for 3 weeks while they were away and they were then going to take him to the animal shelter. That was nearly two years ago – he´s now the Little Man of the house!

  4. Looking good. I can’t grow veg in my very dark, north facing garden but I do my best with pots of herbs wherever there is a patch of sun. Sadly, that would block them for your doggies. Well done with the haircut!

    1. North facing is tougher, but pots of herbs always make a big difference to any garden and any dish! I didn´t really grow much apart from weeds in London 😦 Thanks for the kind words about the haircut – we may go into doggy grooming if times get tough 😉

  5. The veggie garden is coming on a treat, looking very smart. I was thinking along very similar lines with planting some lettuce between the garlic, so I think I will give it a try. And how much garlic? I thought I grew a lot but you guys win hands down!!

    1. Yes, we did get a bit carried away but we use an awful lot. I think visitors will be going back with garlic in their cases this year 😉 The lettuce in between the garlic works well, and as Big Man says “no need to add garlic to the dressing” 😉

  6. Lettuce in thegarlic? What a great idea! With the garlic moved out of the main garden into a bed of it’s own, that would free-up even more space for ….peppers? Melons?
    I have to think on this!

    1. It seems to work well, and we should be able to harvest some soon, then when the garlic comes up in a couple of months, we´ll have a bed for some late beans or who knows what!

  7. Love the flag thing! And your garden of course…. and the super awesome tiles displayed behind Luna… any updates on them grape leaves? I think dad stopped bothering with his, he’s focusing on our lemon tree, it’s given us some really good lemons so far, any tips for that one? Some of the lemons are really hard, like almost a rock-hard hardness… I think it’s 1st year of being a tree in our yard is over, only noting it because I’ve read before that the1st year for lemon trees isn’t very good…..

    1. I remember you liking my tiles before – I love that Little sun room and use it so much, especially in the colder months. The vines were cut right, right back in January and Big Man cut my parent´s vine right back in London last week. It´s already beginning to sprout so we should have a growth spurt soon.

      Our lemons were also hard the first year, you´re right, Year 1 is generally not good. Don´t prune it too much, maybe just the tips if it´s getting “branchy”, lots of water and then try and ignore it!

  8. Yours is one very impressive garden, Tanya! Wonderful to see how much further along your plants are than those in this area. (My tomato seeds just germinated last week!) And I love that you opened your home to a stray dog. Rescue dogs are the best — even Max! You are very kind to mention what little I did to help you install the Flag Counter. You surely would have figured it out on your own. I only provided a short cut and was more than happy to do so. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much John, but we did take shortcuts in not germinating our own seeds 😉 I agree about the dogs – both of them are rescue dogs, there are so many strays here as a lot (not all, but a lot) of folk here don´t get their animals neutered. Bad news. Anyway, we got lucky and have two mostly well behaved but very good natured “chuchos” (mutts)! And the flag counter has been a big hit – you may be getting requests for a tutorial I think! Thanks again for your help with it…

  9. That’s a fantastic vegetable garden – I bet I could eat your entire crop of garlic! I just had to stop myself eating an entire chorizo and large piece of delicious manchego with pan con tomate 😉

      1. I stopped – it should last for a couple of days – thanks 😉
        I bought some tonic to go with the lemons tonight …and some gin!

  10. Look at your garden…how great. How far apart do you plant your tomatoes…they look closer than when I plant mine. I love the protection that Big Man has made. It must give them extra warmth. We went to Maine this weekend to check on the cottage and we still have 6 inches of snow and ice up there. I just have to wait patiently…at least it is better than last year where there was still 3 feet on the ground.

    1. Good question – have just run out with my tape measure (it was to hand as I am dressmaking!). They are 33cm apart (in line with the watering system in that part of the veggie garden. Normally though (so Big Man tells me) they are in another part where they would be 40cm apart and some people plant them 60cm apart! I just told him about your apple orchard and he´s a big fan of “proper” cider, so his eyes lit up 😉 Hope that snow soon melts for you…

      1. Thank you for measuring…that was so nice. I plant mine at 60cm and my husband thinks they are too close. I wish you and Big Man were our neighbors…I’d trade garlic for hard cider.

  11. Wow, your garden is so organized and professional! Mine would look like….well, I’m not too sure, haha. But holy cow, 280 cloves of garlic!? That’s insane. Yay for spring!

    1. All credit to Big Man for the organisation – mind you, once it was all laid out 3 years ago with the watering system, what followed was easier! Yes 280 cloves so hopefully 280 bulbs. A little over the top but at least we´re safe from vampires 😉

  12. I bet *your* dogs would never steal a loaf of bread… 😉 Love this gardening season! Mmmm and love the photos – thanks for sharing!

  13. Oh dear Chica, this post sounds so exciting, Good Luck for your Spring garden, but you can guess what fascinated me much more, they are so lovely so lovely, Blessing them all. Thank you, with my love, nia

  14. Hi T.
    Well I’m going to enjoy your garden from now on, as we are going into winter. I’ve never had any luck with growing garlic so my envy knows no bounds. Your lettuces are well organised too. My heritage lettuces are self seeded and just come up all over the place – even on the gravel parking space.
    Cheers
    D

  15. That is an impressive veggie garden and I sure that isn’t much garlic when one lives in Spain. Hmmm now I want a flag counter!

  16. I just adore your garden.. are those watering pipes in the bed, or are they marking the different plants and veggies? I have to say I adore your pups.. I feel just the same this morning.. we have snow (why now?? it’s spring?? where are da birdies??) and I want to bury my head back under the covers…

    1. Yes, they´re watering pipes and we have them set up on a timer for the summer to water at night when it´s cooler. The pups are a delight, always keep us entertained. Do hope Spring starts to show its face for you soon!

  17. T you and Big Man have been busy! The garden is lovely and I am sure to bring you lots of delicious fresh food… I want a dog so bad! Yours are so cute, I love the hair cut! I too want a map, that would be so fun to watch and see where all the people who have come to visit… It is amazing!

  18. Your garden is amazing. Your pups are adorable. The Husband has promised me he’ll build me raised vegetable beds at the back of the garage this year. Next yeat we’ll have a little crop too. I can’t wait!

      1. That’s what I thought…and it’s a wasted space at the moment so it will put it to good use.

  19. Beautiful garden! Spring makes me want to get some plants too, but it’s going to have to be indoor plants for now. I love the nonsensical nursery rhyme. 🙂

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