Gardening in Bodrum

Thursday 10 February 14:00 Gardening in Bodrum.

A question and answer session led by Gülnar Önay.

Cafe Wiener 3M Migros Bodrum Gülnar Önay is a keen amateur gardener and has written and published several books.  In her introduction to our discussion she emphasised that any garden is an extension of the local environment.  Also we shouldn’t forget that our Mediterranean climate is closer to a desert climate than a tropical one and each garden in Bodrum has its own micro climate. Gülnar opened the discussion with a comprehensive description on how to prune bougainvillea (begonvil). Using a branch of Çiriş, she demonstrated where to cut shoots, branches, buds and flowers not only to restrain the plant but to transform the shape.  Other points on pruning included:

  • Any tree that produces fruit should be pruned after the fruit has been picked
  • Use açi macunu to cover bare pruned area
  • Only prune unhealthy branches
  • If you want vines to produce grapes, prune shoots after the third node.

Gülnar then went on to answer many of our questions and the key points in her answers included:

  • Although we have had a milder winter than usual it would not be wise to ‘do the things we normally do later in the year’ until after the middle of February.  Until then frost is likely and any major planting should be postponed until after the danger is over;  vegetables, however, can be planted at any time
  • Pests in fruit trees include insects and fungi.  To deter insects, spray soapy water onto the leaves.  Mix 1 spoonful of Arap Sabunu and 1 capful of oil with two litres of water.  This solution can be used on all plants including cacti and roses.  To prevent fungus infections spray with a solution of copper sulphate (bordo bulamaçi) in the late autumn or early winter.  Apply a mixture of lime (kireç) and a little milk to the trunks of fruit trees.  Sulphur is another natural remedy.  To deter birds, tie strips of aluminium foil among the branches
  • Overwatering can cause fruit to rot and bacteria can kill trees
  • The soil in Bodrum is alkaline so use formic acid to adjust it
  • Use organic manure (gubre) or compost.  Containers for making compost can be found at places that sell firewood.  Tea leaves and coffee grounds make good compost for pelargoniums – dig it into the soil
  • Aloe Vera is a succulent and can be grown here.  It needs shade
  • When turning soil don’t go further down than ten centimetres
  • Don’t plant hortensias or camellias in Bodrum – the climate is too hot and dry.

And finally Gülnar pointed out something we can all relate too – parts of gardens sometimes thrive through neglect.  This could be because watering can have a negative effective if we over-water or if the quality of the water is not good. Our thanks to Gülnar Önay and the Cafe Wiener for an excellent event. Christine Davies 11 February 2011

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