Permaculturing in Portugal

One family's attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way

Raising beds, trees and vegetables

With Spring now on a pogo stick, the clocks sprung forward, and the weather getting warmer by the day, work in the garden is now a dawn-to-dusk priority. It’s become a race to get trees planted and raised beds built before the season overtakes us.

Top terrace raised beds

Phase 2 – the top terrace – is now nearly complete with another 4 beds constructed since my last post and already partially planted. While the old woman is in no imminent danger of succumbing to osteoporosis after lugging something approaching three quarters of a metric tonne of compost and manure up 4 terraces and down 2 on her back she’s kind of glad she won’t have to do it again: future additions to the beds will be from compost made on the terrace.

All that remains to be constructed now is a small triangular bed once the present occupants of the site, the cabbages, have come to the end of their useful life.

Top terrace raised beds

Top terrace raised beds

Small bed at the head of the terrace nearest the barroco. Now planted with melons, radishes and amaranth.

Top terrace raised beds

Top terrace raised beds

Next down, the asparagus bed, is already greening up with its green mulch of clover. Also planted in this bed are beef tomatoes, basil, parsley, oregano, both types of marigolds, Tagetes minuta and Calendula officinalis, and asparagus seeds to come up between the 6 3-year old crowns which we’re presently harvesting from.

Top terrace raised beds

The small triangular bed being constructed in the last post. Now containing sweet peppers and basil and sown with marigolds round the edges.

Top terrace raised beds

Top terrace raised beds

Long bed containing peppers, beef and wild tomatoes, chives, onions, basil and marigolds. Also sown with a green mulch of clover

Top terrace raised beds

Long bed which at the moment contains 15 piri-piri chillis (we want way more chilli jam and sauce this year!), lemongrass, and a curry plant. It’s waiting for aubergines to fill in the gaps.

Top terrace raised beds

Another angle and a closer view of the curry plant and lemongrass.

Most of the seedlings have been bought at market. At an average of 1€ for 5 seedlings, it’s still economical to give the garden a good start this way until such time as we’ve built the passive solar greenhouse for raising our own seedlings. I haven’t bought Brassicas at market though – neighbours have found market seedlings tend to have a much higher incidence of club root than seedlings they’ve grown themselves.

The slope by the house cleared of pine last year is being replanted with olives.

New olive plantings

We’ve also planted 5 hazels, 2 apricots, a Granny Smith apple tree, a nectarine, a pomegranate, and several redcurrants, raspberries and blueberries.

And lastly, the potatoes in the potato bin are away!

Potato bin with emerging haulms

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1 Comment

  1. michelle April 4, 2011

    What can I say?I am so impressed old lady.Doing well and its looking lush x

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