Western Isles
 Western Isles of Scotland


Western Isles Gardening

March Garden

Despite the gales and the rain that bounces back off the ground, I do believe that spring has arrived in the Western Isles!


Western Isles Garden : March sow seeds under glassThe birds are gathering nest material and my greenhouse is beginning to fill up with seed trays and sprouting seedlings.

In the garden I am attempting to beat the ever present merging puddles by building raised beds. I am making them out of any wood I have to hand and filling them with the remnants of sod wall that I made for wind protection around the garden until the shrubs had grown sturdy enough to withstand the wind. Along with this I am using my precious compost, so I should have the best carrots and leeks I have ever had! Well, I shall wait and see!!

So far, I have Nemesia, alyssum, lobelia, cosmos, French marigold, sweet peas, artichokes and cabbage that have germinated well despite the slugs taking a munch here and there. Slugs are not supposed to like sand and my benches are filled with it, but still, they manage to find their way across this vast expanse of gritty desert and dine on a gastropods feast of succulent seedlings! Everyday I have to go slug hunting. Looking under all the pots and trays and evicting them, none too gently into the undergrowth, with a severe warning of dire consequences if they return, and of course in they come again, or perhaps it is there relatives??

I had poor germination with thyme, busy lizzie, ageratum and Echinacea. The slugs have totally demolished the aubergines. However I shall not give up!!

This months sowing thus far have been, cauliflower, leek, cornflowers, night scented stock, parsley, coriander, lettuce (cut and come again variety) poached egg plant (a first for me) golden acre cabbage, peas and calabrese.

Still to sow this month are more of the things already germinated for successive flowering or to replace what the slugs have eaten plus, swan river daisy (another first) rosemary, brussel sprouts, calendula and some dwarf beans for the greenhouse.

I tend to sow, plant, weed and cultivate when the mood, weather and energy permits, but I would like to have another try at sowing and planting with the moon cycles. I did have a go last year, but I didn’t keep it up; so don’t really know if it had any marked effect.

So, if you feel like giving it a go yourself here is a quick guide to moon phases.

First quarter moon, or the time from the new moon to about half full, plant annuals with above ground yields, particularly leafy plants which produce their seed outside the fruit i.e. asparagus, cabbage, celery, endive, spinach.

Second quarter planting or the time between the half full moon to the full moon. Plant annuals that have above ground yields, which are vining and produce seed inside the fruit, i.e. beans, peas, peppers, squash, eggplant and tomatoes.

Third quarter planting or from the full to the half full moon, plant biennials, perennials, bulb and root crops. Crops which are planted one season and produce yields the following year, trees and shrubs. i.e. onions, potatoes, rhubarb, berries.

Fourth quarter planting or from half full to new moon, pull weeds, cultivate, get rid of pests and turn the earth.

I found this info on http//home.hiway.net/-krcool/Astro/moon/moongrovw.htm

And there are other websites and books available on the subject.

So, if you see this woman out in the dead of night under a full moon, don’t get worried it’s just me talking to my plants and planting out my peas!!

Happy gardening to you all may all your slugs dine elsewhere, but not in my garden please!


March 2007

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