With the dry winter turning into a dry spring, the wildflower displays have been even more welcome to provide colour and interest, even if not quite as prolific as usual. We have had some ´botanical´ visitors who have loved the Algarve spring and thoroughly enjoyed their encounter with the plants and landscapes of Portugal.
The young professional garden trainees from The Professional Gardeners Guild in particular were surprised to see such diversity, and managed to find 8 species of orchids during their limited time with us.
May is the time to finalise all the spring planting, as the increased heat boosts all plants to really take off.
From now until November one key to success is to water deeply but appropriately for each plant.
With the devastation of olive trees in southern Italy, European agricultural experts are gathering in Brussels to develop an action plan to save the continent’s olive trees.
The meeting was called after leaf scorch (xylella fastidiosa) was found in four ornamental coffee bushes at Rungis, an international food market on the outskirts of Paris, a fortnight ago.
Italians in the southern region of Puglia reacted with anger when officials began to cut down olive trees there.
The trees, some centuries old, were sacrificed in an attempt to stop a deadly bacterium, xylella fastidiosa, which appears to have infected as many as one million olive trees in the region and could hit other parts of Italy and the Mediterranean.
Of course, the Algarve boasts colour year round, but April has the strongest punch of colour of any month. March was the first spring planting month, but if you did not get it all done, there is time to catch up in April. April can bring heavy rain interspersed with warm sunny days, speeding growth. Pests also benefit from the increased warmth, so one should pay attention to early control to avoid wreaking infestation later.
This month is a good time to plant most summer annuals and perennials, lawns from seeds, many vegetables, and most trees, shrubs, ground covers and vines. For tropical plants, however, it is better to wait until April or May as they will take off better when warmer.
The deadly bacterium which is wiping out olive trees in Italy has now claimed up to a million trees just in the southern region of Puglia alone.
Warnings are being sounded that Portugal’s olives could be endangered.