A Bulletin reader writes this week that I have forgotten one plant not easy to find in Majorca but one that no self respecting English garden would be without... rhubarb.
Now I am told it is not like all the shrubs I wrote about last week that don’t like the soil, rhubarb will grow in any soil, its just that it doesn’t adjust to our climate or something. But, this reader tells me of a friend who lives in the La Puebla area who is growing his rhubarb in a wheelbarrow quite isolated from the rest of his garden, so, where there is a will there is a way. First we have to find a crown of rhubarb to be able to plant one. It needs very well manured soil and will need watering from time to time in this climate. It also needs to be covered with a nice big mound of straw to avoid weeds growing up all over the place before the rhubarb starts to show signs of growing. Then supposedly you shouldn’t pick any the first year. In the mean time you will just have to buy it from the Olivar market in Palma. So now you know what to do with your old wheel barrow.
Now we are in the month of March we think of the old saying “March winds shall blow” well we don’t need to wait for the month of March to suffer those awful gales that can sweep this island. As I have frequently said, it is growing time almost all year round but spring is not always just spring, winter winds can ruin any tender new growth so do protect young seedlings. Once again quoting from the little almanac gardening section, the very new moon of this month is the ideal time to plant melons, cucumbers, and marrow seeds. The finest sliver of the new moon was viable last Thursday night so there are still a couple of weeks of the waxing moon if you really want to garden according to the local tradition. To look on the practical side, gardening is never ending and repetitious, weeds overtake everything even the lawn, trees and shrubs can still be cut back to help keep them tidy and believe it or not we may even need to water the garden if it still doesn’t rain although that is supposed to happen this month and next.
Other green vegetables I have seen in the Co-op are some very healthy seedlings of the cabbage family, green and red cabbages, cauliflower and of course the salad greens. Strawberry plants were all looking very healthy as well, all an indication that it is time to plant up the garden. Whatever is on sale in the farmers markets is because it is the right time of year to plant them.