Page 39 - visit-andalucia_jan19_flipbook
P. 39

not need a particularly good ground; they are just not used to it.
        The gravelly, sandy clay found on the Costa del Sol is normal to
        them. The exceptions are bay and oregano. Both produce
        healthier plants if they are in well-composted soil. All without
        exception need good drainage, and all can be grown in pots.
        These shrubby herbs, all being well, will be with you for
        many years, so spacing is important. Sage, once established,
        spreads rapidly and vigorously, allow 1 metre all around.
        Thyme spreads more slowly so allow 0.5 metres, the same
        for bay and rosemary. Marjoram develops into a neat bush
        whilst oregano tends to sprawl out across the ground.
        The lavenders mature to all sizes. I have one, a number
        of years old now, that is 2 metres high and over 3
        metres in diameter. I really should have cut it back
        earlier and now I cannot bring myself to do so because
        it is such a handsome plant and the bees love it.
        Prepare the ground by digging it over and removing
        all perennial weed roots.
        Bay, lavender, rosemary and sage are the tallest plants
        so plant them at the back or in the middle of the prepared ground.
        Marjoram will reach 0.5 metres in height, thyme perhaps 0.25 metres
        depending on variety and oregano the same. One of each plant is plenty
        If you intend to grow tarragon, then purchase a root cutting of French
        tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) rather than the altogether differently
        flavoured Russian tarragon (Artemisia dracunculoides). French Tarragon is an
        essential ingredient in a classic Bearnaise Sauce. This herb can only be
        grown from root cuttings. Once established it will continue to spread into a
        0.5 high metre green carpet until it is restricted or chopped back. Every year
        the plant dies back in January. I cover it with compost and spend an anxious
        three months waiting for it to re-emerge. So far it has not let me down.
        To cater for the soft-leaved perennial herbs that we will look at next month,
        and the annual herbs we will sow in March, you should dig plenty of compost
        in now. If you intend to grow the herbs fennel or lovage leave plenty of room
        for them, they grow to well over 2 metres high.

                                        January 2019                           39
   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44