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.
The Mediterranean Gardening Association in Portugal extends a warm invitation to those readers who wish to attend the International Spring Conference weekend in Lagos on April 22nd to 25th.
The aim for this 5th annual conference is to reveal the practical and aesthetic benefits of making beautiful and sustainable gardens with plants of the Mediterranean and dry zone flora worldwide.
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.
After all the work required in January, it is nice to realise that February is more a time of waiting and patience. Some pruning can be done now, but wait for warmer weather before cutting back any frost-damaged branches.
The main tasks in the garden – pruning deciduous trees, pruning roses, bare-root planting – are projects which should be accomplished in January and not put off to February which will be too late.
December is a low-key month when it comes to work in the garden, particularly if you have already completed all the autumn tasks.
November is the time to finish off all the autumn projects, such as planting and clearing out. If the expected rains arrive, they will provide a bit of a natural clean-up but you should be prepared by having tidied up old beds.
Shrubs and young treesIf any are growing in the wrong places, from now through to January is the best time to relocate them.