We have seen the shortest day and the first day of winter and after 400 years some of us might well have seen Jupiter and Venus together in the night sky. Not that any of this has anything to do with gardening in Mallorca but old time farmers still look to the phases of the moon for planting and pruning trees or cutting firewood so lets follow their guidance when they tell us its time to prune the Roses. You might still have the odd bloom showing but the old saying goes that ‘should you want to see your Roses in bloom again for Saint Georges day and his flower is the Rose then they must be pruned before Sant Antonio’. This falls in just three weeks time, although there will probably not be any Saint Anthony fiestas this coming year at least that date is still on the calender for getting on with the gardening jobs.
Believe it or not, we are still encouraged to be planting up all the spring vegetables like peas and beans if you have not already planted them or even plant up a further row for a later crop. Tomatoes can be planted now along with Peppers and Aubergines. Plant these in seed trays or individual plant pots that can be keept under cover should there be a really cold spell, well, cold for Mallorca. The sun always seems to shine at some time or other which is what encourages everything in the gaden to romp ahead, weeds and all!
Leaves are still falling from the deciduous trees that just eventually blow into an untidy corner and encourage slugs and snails to hide away under them. The fallen leaves can be burnt or binned or added to the compost heap. Some do seem to take longer to decompose and there are those gardeners who like to put fallen leaves in a bin bag, damp them down and leave the content of the sack to decompose on its own. I am told it takes ages so admit not to have tried it out myself. I just want to see them all swept up and not swirling all around the garden on a windy day. I mention burning because all through the winter months we are permitted to burn rubbish on an open bonfire assuming one is a little cautious and of course not on a windy day or ever leaving the bonfire unattended. There is little fear of wildfires during the winter months but one must still be very vigilant, one of the biggest wildfires ever in Puerto Pollensa was in January a few years ago so one must always be careful when lighting a bonfire.
Now we are well into the Orange and Grapefruit family harvesting season. Naturally one should know if ones trees are early or late for harvesting but there are several varieties, especially the Manderine and Tarangine that are early cropping and ready for picking now... So are the Bitter or Seville Oranges that are really flavoursome for making orange marmalade which only we British seem to be addicted to for our breakfast toast. The Bitter Orange root stock is in fact the Citrus tree that all others are grafted onto, but that is a science all of its own.
Our very next gardening page will be next year 2021 so I will take this oportunity to wish everyone A HAPPY NEW YEAR from the gardening page.