Western Isles Gardening
I cannot believe that it is already June, where did the months go?? We have not had the usual warm spurt that we often get in May and so far June has been cold and nothing like mid summer. However, the garden is beginning to fill up with cabbages, sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, onions, peas and salad. I have had the same problem with carrots and beetroot not germinating as the previous two years and I wonder whether it is to do with the weather not been warm enough or if I am doing something wrong. I thought perhaps that I had sowed them too deep last year, so I made sure they were just under the surface this time, but still it is poor germination. I shall resow this week.
The greenhouse activity is slowing down with most flowers and vegetables already sown and now it is just the successional sowing left to do.
I did not bother with aubergines this year. I have tried the last two seasons to no affect and I cannot really spare the room for something not producing.
The raised beds that I have been building over the last two winters have proved to be very good. Filling them with everything and anything I could get my hands on has given me a good depth of soil that is much better than the clay hard soil that is underneath. I have still to get the front garden soil into something more friable than the hard clay clumps that bake hard in the sun and wind. I dig in manure and compost every autumn and it is slowly making a difference but there is a long way to go yet.
I have netted over my raised beds this year to keep the cats off and the cabbage white butterfly. Last year the caterpillars decimated my greens.
Reading back over last years report I seem to be way behind, as this time last year the garden was full and coming up to bloom, where as, if I look out outside now I see small plants that have along way to go before they become flowers. I missed the usual early months of February and march because I was too ill to get into the garden or sow the the first of the seeds, and so I can only think that those early months are crucial to getting the plants off to a good start.
The two things that are growing with gusto are the grass and the weeds! It is a good time to deadhead any flowering plants so that you get another flush of blooms. I used sheep netting shaped into a circle, secured by pea sticks to give the cornflowers support. It is working really well and it will not be noticeable in another week or so. I wish you all a happy, sunny summer!
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...