Monday, April 4, 2016


Spring continues to be rainy and brisk in Galicia.  There is the occasional sunny day, which I used to cut some grass for eventual mulch, but mostly it´s cloudy with rainbursts every 30 minutes or so, or raining all bloody day and night.

Still plugging holes in the hedge. I need to collect all the trimmings from the surround and burn them, but since they´re continually rained on, it´s hard to schedule.  I´ve applied online for 3 burn permits and not used  a single one so far.

Bulbs coming up.  For some reason a set of tulips leaped ahead of everything else and bloomed alongside the garlic.  They´re next to the wall, which may have created a micro climate.  I appreciate the blooms, now that the hyacinths are finished.

I tried turning over some of the new veg plot, but there´s standing water at the low end, so I abandoned the effort for the time being.   Used the traditional lasagna method layering cardboard, grass cuttings, compost, manure, etc to kill the pasture weeds and grass.  That actually worked pretty well, but there´s still a layer of matted weed roots which I´m not sure whether to compost, discard or turn over.    I believe they´re mostly nettles, of which there are many in other spots on the property, with the occasional wild blackberry.  And of course the rocks 3 or 4 inches down. On the positive side, there are earthworms!  Lots and lots and some are huge.  When I dug out the first plot last year I didn´t find any.

There´s another section where I´m trying silage plastic to kill the pasture weeds.  I need to move it over to start on the next section, but I´m afraid that with sun and rain, it will all just re-sprout unless I can cultivate, weed and plant.  A dilemma, since although it´s the highest elevation on or property, it´s got standing water a couple of inches deep.  Some trenching is in order so the water can escape down the slope to the pasture on the other side of the barn, hopefully to be absorbed there.  I´d like to take advantage of the tractor ruts that are already there from the clearing years ago.  We´ll see.

So until the weather gives me a dry spell, I´ll be on the lookout for seed potatoes and onion starts and seed starting substrate for tomatoes and beans.  In the meantime, the flowers are enjoying the damp.  I planted several mixed batches of crocus, but have only seen the yellow ones.  The roses are all leafing out.  The azaleas are flowering ahead of schedule and the camelia keeps putting out blooms.


  1. We just moved back to Santiago city, after two years in semi-rural Boiro, and I really admire your work with the land! I wasn't able to deal with it, really...

  2. I love the description "brisk"...that just about sums it up here in Scotland!
    Nettles I've used for making liquid feed,roots and leaves..the roots just take longer soaking, but there is a load of nutrition in them.

  3. I swear every time I rip something out I think this will turn out to be either endangered or highly valuable for something. It´s exhausting. I´ve been meaning to try nettle soup, or tea, or pasta or something. Hadn´t thought of using it for fertilizer though. Of course we don´t really need more of anything in liquid form at this point. :)

  4. Hi Coco,

    I reckon that wet years are much harder to grow things than dry years (when you've got water to spare on the garden). Lots of plants just don't like the water logging, so I really felt for you when I saw the water moving across the surface in those photos. Please send some of that rain down here! Please! Today was quite warm at 29'C (84.2'F) which is not unusual, but on the warmer end of things.

    Your place looks beautiful and I love the stone work (and what looks suspiciously like a beautiful old stone ruin). By the way, is that a newly planted Iris in the garden with the log on one side and the rocks on the other? Those plants are stunning and flower for weeks on end. The tulips are looking good too.

    Nice work.



  5. Garden is looking good, how strange that you have only yellow crocus from mixed crocus, we are the reverse, lots of purple and the odd white but no sign of the yellow ones yet I have planted yellow as well as mixed corms!.

  6. I can´t remember exactly where I planted all the crocus, but just as you would expect, I really prefer the purple.

    Well spotted Chris - I ordered some bearded iris and then bought some minis at a big box store so I threw them in too. Unfortunately, that´s a hugel, and between the dog tearing through it and the critters, they aren´t doing as well as I´d like.

    I found seed potatoes at a little ag store in Oza on the way to La Coruña. Yippee! I like it because they seem like nice people and everything is reasonably priced (they have worm castings for 8€ a bag). They sell chickens too!