The Mediterranean region has its own special way of making gardening challenging for people. This region occurs in the Mediterranean Basin (Morocco, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and other countries). It also occurs in South and West Australia, Central Chile, Western South Africa, and California.
These areas have hot summer, wet winter, and the soil (either loamy or rocky). Due to the nature of the place, there are some types of plants and trees that might have issues growing in the place. This is because the climate is not favorable for their growth.
However, this doesn’t mean plants cannot be planted in those areas. You only have to carefully select the kind of plant you are planting, the season of planting, and how you will water them.
Choosing the Right Plant
1. Choose rock grown herbs
You need to select a plant that can grow in rocky areas. Herbs like oregano, thyme, lavender, and rosemary can grow well in areas that are sunny and rocky. The funny thing is that when the soil where they are planted has low nutrient, they will have a better flavor. They don’t need a lot of water and they can be grown in barren places.
- You can add gravel to the area where the plant is growing, this will help to absorb the heat and also help the plant to grow.
2. Plant native shrubs and succulents
When you want to choose a plant to grow, you can look at your surroundings for inspiration. The shrubs and succulent plant that grows naturally around you are always fresh and green. Most of these plants have very deep roots that extend far into the soil, and they also have features that make it easier for them to conserve water.
Replace the taller and green plant with those that are short and are not too green. For example, aloe and agave plants are a better option.
- The off-green coloration of these plants makes them reflect sunlight; this prevents them from getting affected by too much sunlight
- Some of these plants have the ability to shed off all their leaves during summer or rearrange them to prevent too direct sunlight.
3. Add fruit trees
Many fruits come from the Mediterranean region – fruits like pomegranate, olives, citrus, nut tree, and pistachios. Provide these plants with adequate sunlight and water and the growth will be good.
- Most of the plants in the Mediterranean region have a thin and small body; this will help them survive with a small amount of water
- Some big trees like the oak tree and pines are common in the Mediterranean areas. These trees can grow alongside other fruit plants.
4. Select climate-resistant flowers
The drought is common even in the Mediterranean Basin during summer. Many flowers that are popular in the Northern region find it difficult to survive in the Mediterranean climate.
The growth of the flower is slow and they will need a lot of water and shade to grow. Instead of choosing these types of plants, you can choose plants like rockrose, jasmine, wisteria, and climbing vine.
- Rose that can resist drought also grows in this area.
Planting Your Garden
1. Plant in fall
The Mediterranean climate has a period of time where planting is best. Winter is a good time when planting can be done, this is because of the cool temperature during those periods and the rain.
Root vegetable like the carrot and the leafy vegetable like kale and some other plants can also grow well during winter. Start planting your plants in September and the harvest time should be in the spring.
- Plants like the citruses, persimmons, and chestnuts will also have a good yield during winter
- Grow your sprout during the winter too. Some herbs should also be inside or kept near the window for good sunlight.
2. Grow warm-season crops in summer
The warm-season crops cannot grow during winter, this is because they need good sunlight for their growth. These plants include corn, tomato, watermelon, and squash. Aside from these types of plants, other plants should be grown during winter to allow them to enjoy the rainy season.
- The flower that can’t resist frost during winter should be grown during summer
- Herbs strive well during summer, and they are dormant during the winter season.
3. Control sunlight exposure
It will be helpful if you divide your garden based on the amount of sunlight received by each area. Before you start planting, you should know where you will place the plant. This is because some plants like sage and rosemary like where there is sunlight, while some other plants prefer shade.
- Your plant should be evenly spaced out, this will prevent them from shading one another
- There are some plants that need a lot of shade like spinach; these plants should be grown in smaller quantities. Whereas there are some plants that only need a little shade like lettuce.
4. Group your plants according to their water need
This act is called hydro zoning. If you are growing a large variety of plants, the practice can help you manage your water when it is limited. You should separate your plant into 3 groups, low need, medium need, and high need.
- The high need plants should be planted in low areas where water can easily drain there
- Plants that are low need or medium needs should be supported by compost and mulch, this will help them retain water.
5. Amend your soil with a layer of compost
Organic materials can be used for composting; this will help the soil retain more water by making it porous. Place some of the compost around your flower and vegetable. This will help them grow well.
- Compost supplies the soil with nitrogen that is deficient in the Mediterranean climate soil
- Make sure that your compost is water and well aerated.
6. Add mulch
Your garden soil can retain more water when you add a layer of mulch to it, such as wood chips or gravel.
- Plants that thrive well in poor soil like the herb will benefit more from mulch than they will do from organic mulch
- Also, reduce the weeding, so you don’t have to spend more time weeding.
Watering Your Garden
1. Water your plant by the hand
Watering your plant by hand is an easy process if you don’t have much water. Just water the plant based on the amount of water they need. You can use spray bottles or buckets to reduce the amount of water you use for watering. Soak the plants that need a lot of water.
- Drought-resistant plants do not need much water; when they are watered too much they don’t thrive well. This is because they have adapted to needing just a little amount of water.
2. Install drip irrigation
The drip irrigation system is a way of watering the plant slowly. This system is good for plants that are drought resistant. Attach a big hose to the faucet of a tap; attach a smaller hose to the other end of the big hose. Make holes in the small hose and turn on the tap.
3. Harvest water
During winter when rain is falling, collect water and conserve it for summer. You can use this water to water your plants when summer comes.
4. Utilize marginal water
Marginal water is the water that is not drinkable; they include run-off from shower sink, laundry, and the likes. This water can be used to water your plants later; this is a way of conserving water.
- You can test the water before using it to check if it is suitable for watering plants.
I have highlighted above some of the ways you can create your garden in the Mediterranean climate. Growing plants in such a climate might be difficult, but if these methods are used, you will be able to grow your plants easily.
Thank you so much for reading this article if you have any questions or something that you want to share please kindly leave your comment below and I’ll be happy to get back to you.