Western Isles Gardening
Happy New Year!
Another year of gardening delights stretches ahead of us. I can feel my fingers itching to get at the seed packets, so despite the weather I shall begin my January indoor sowing.
This year I have carnations (giant chaubald double mixed) and aubergine. I only have one south facing window but from now on it will be jam-packed full of seed trays. I don’t put all my eggs in one basket, or should I say all my seeds in one tray, germination may not happen, so I leave enough seed for subsequent sowings for February and March. Oh, for a heated greenhouse!
The garden is very wet but the daffodils, crocus and snowdrops are still managing to push there way upwards. Isn’t nature wonderful?
If you can get out into the garden and the you can plant deciduous trees and shrubs. Prune deciduous summer flowering shrubs such as clematis, buddleia, potentilla and hardy fuchsia. Prune winter flowering shrubs once blooms are over, mulch and apply any well-rotted compost. Cut suckers from the base of trees.
If good weather persists then you can divide lupins, michelmas daisies, delphiniums and any other hardy border plants. If the ground is really soggy put a plank down for walking on so as not to compact the soil.
You can prune any raspberry, gooseberry, red and white currants.
If you have your vegetable garden prepared you can place cloches or fleece down to warm up the soil ready for sowing, but remember to secure them as the gales will be with us for a while longer yet!
So, with the Western Isles weather keeping us in mostly indoors and dreaming of sunny days, there is still time to plan your garden and rotate your veggie plot, and perhaps you would like to consider companion planting this year. It helps the plants thrive by nourishing the soil, encouraging the insects and discouraging pests.
Beans improve the soil with nitrogen. I have had success with broad beans outside but any other needs a greenhouse.
Beans like, celery, carrots, cucumber, leeks, cabbage, strawberries and early potatoes.
Like, peas, rosemary, sage, chives, leeks, beans and onions.
Alternate rows of carrots and onions deter carrot fly, when harvesting, pull carrots and immediately after onions, this masks the scent of the carrots and deters the carrot fly.
Likes, roses, potatoes, tomatoes.
Dislikes, peas and beans.
Like, beans, cabbage, peas, horseradish, nasturtiums and marigolds.
Like celery, carrots and beans
Like, potatoes, tomatoes, chamomile, sage, rosemary, mint, thyme, beans, celery and beetroot.
Like, carrots, beans, potatoes, radish, and turnips.
Like spinach, beans, thyme and lettuce.
Like beats, chamomile, lettuce and carrots
Dislikes, peas and beans
Other things you can sow this month indoors are, broad beans, leeks and onions for autumn harvesting.
Any good garden weather, repair the greenhouse, shed or any other structures that have sustained any damage. On sunny days, air your greenhouse or cold frames. Pot up any plants in the greenhouse, trimming any dead leaves away.
Wash any flowerpots still lurking under the benches and spray lavender or tea tree oil around the greenhouse to deter any bugs hiding in crevices.
Local horticultural groups or gardener's clubs can add details of meetings etc to the garden page - email webmaster.
Peaches, grapes, tomatoes and other salad crops are
grown on The Poly Croft on the Isle of Lewis
Visit the web site for growing tips and location details of the most North Westerly vineyard in the UK...