Western Isles
 Western Isles of Scotland


Western Isles Gardening


The Western Isles garden at the start of March this year is covered with snow.


The tree buds are starting to burst, so the sap is begining to rise, if you have willow growing in your garden which you intend to use, cut it as soon as you possibly can then store it dry. (Once the sap is properly risen willow breaks rather than bends)


This cold snap will be breaking down the garden soil into a friable tilth, if you were well enough ahead to leave it rough-dug over winter. If your garden is still undug, then during March and April you may be getting fitter!


If your garden is already dug over I recommend not putting an organic mulch on until it is well warmed by the sun - a while on yet. Plastic or fleece ground cover does help warm the ground giving an early start for spring sowings.


Have you got your potatoes chitted?


Your onion sets in hand?


As well as bursting buds here in our Western Isles gardens, despite the snow cover there are signs of spring all around us, the green swords of the Yellow Flag Iris are already several inches above the ground, the Gorse is flowering more abundantly, (traditionally signyfying kissing is in season!), the daffodil's buds are filling, the season of yellow flowers and blue skies filled with the song of the skylark begins.

Incidentally two or more skylarks are very appropiately called an exaltation!


Remember that the growing season in the Western Isles is different to the rest of Britain and do direct sowings in the garden later.


Try to aim to have good strong plants coming on for planting out in the garden later in the spring. Initially sow seed thinly in the seed tray and once the seedlings have their first seed leaves, transplant them to individual pots, leaving the plants in their pots until they have a good root system.

On the mainland you might transplant several seedlings into the same pot together. However plants can grow tall and leggy with poor root growth like that, and here in the Western Isles the success of our gardens is more challenged, and the stronger the plant is when you put it out, the better developed the root system, the more chance the plant has of establishing itself in the garden soil quickly so that it can feed through it's roots and grow healthy and strong.

Remember to harden your plants off before planting into the garden, and try not to plant out until all signs of frost is gone, usually in late April.

Prepare the ground...



March 2005

Local horticultural groups or gardener's clubs can add details of meetings etc to the garden page - email webmaster.

New Western Isles
Web Site

Stornoway Farmer's Market

Farmer's Market

Fresh Fruit & Vegetables from
Local growers


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...



The wildflowers in your
Western Isles garden
can indicate what plants
like your soil, will grow well

Western Isles Wild Flowers


If you have any
garden tips or
experience you would
like to share
Email the Webmaster

The Callanish Stones
were the inspiration
for an enormous
willow sculpture


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