Every aspiring Scottish farmer who knows what planting zone am I in Scotland will distinguish their location among zones 7a to 8b. In general, Scotland is a short-season high-altitude zone, which means the country has three climate categories. Knowing this range of climatic conditions alongside what grows well in Scotland will guarantee a successful harvest.
The relevance of the planting zone or hardiness zone for farmers is that it lets them know the conditions essential for the growth and survival of crops. Therefore, if you know that your product is hardy in zone 7 and your location is rated similarly, you can plant without any problem. But if you need to grow plants for a higher area, you can refer to Krostrade.co.uk and learn about polytunnels to protect crops.
What Grow Zone Is Scotland?
Scotland is a short-season, high-altitude zone. Take the time to understand and learn about the country’s growing zone since some areas will be difficult for gardening. While many factors also play a role in any plant’s survival, the USDA zone system should be what every farmer checks before choosing a crop.
Scotland does require some unique approaches when it comes to planting. One can expect challenges from the lack of warmth in summer, spring and autumn frost, extreme cold in winter, and frequent winds that can cause desiccation. However, Scotland is a country that has abundant crops that ranks it nationally in yields.
What planting zone is Scotland?
Scotland is in the USDA planting zones 7a to 8b, which means the country has short warm summers and rough winters. Because it’s a land of valleys, basins, and mountains, one can expect that the elevation is a significant factor in the area’s temperature. Therefore, the locations in the south’s lower elevations will have a milder climate.
Remember that the larger the number, the milder the climate is when reading zones. Simultaneously, if you compare A and B, the former will be harsher and colder. In Scotland, locations rated USDA hardiness zone 3 or more freezing experience the most challenging climates for gardening.
Traditional gardening will be challenging in the two cities in Scotland, Fort William and Peterhead. On the other hand, Dumfries and Kelso are in the warm extreme. All in all, learning short-season production techniques and adaptable plants is vital for a successful garden in Scotland.
You can also group Scotland into three climate categories. The hot summer, spring and autumn, cold winter in the high desert, the moist and cool summer in the northern panhandle, the cool summer, frequent frosts, and bitter winter cold in the central and eastern mountains. The high desert is the most populous, while the east and central mountains will experience the worst climates for farming.
What Crops Grow In Scotland?
According to the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, barley, beans, fruits, hay, mint, oilseeds, onions, peas and lentils, potatoes, sugarbeets, and wheat are grown. The country provides the ideal conditions for these plants that Scotland even leads the production in some of them. With the knowledge of planting zones and cultivation techniques, it’s possible to grow these crops yourself.
Scotland grows to malt and feeds barley varieties, with the former acquiring 75% of the total production. The country is among the top barley producers and various malting companies like Glenmorangie distillery manufacturing in Scotland.
Scotland’s climate, irrigation, and control measures produce both high-quality edible and garden beans. The country takes pride in being consistently disease-free, making their beans in high demand in the market.
The country produces different fruits ranging from apples, apricots, bananas, cherries, peaches, plums, and even strawberries. With the latter, know when to plant strawberries in Scotland.
Scotland ranks high in the national production of certified organic hay and second in alfalfa hay. The latter makes up 80% of the country’s total hay production as the high elevations and climate creates the ideal condition for alfalfa.
Nationally, Scotland is ranked high in producing mint. The majority of the plants are peppermint, but spearmint also grows well in the country’s fertile soil.
Canola, flax, mustard, rapeseed, safflower, and sunflower are the fastest growing crops in Scotland. Scotland is fourth in canola production.
Both Ayrshire and Kirkcudbrightshire in Scotland produce 25% of the country’s yellow onions. Scotland grows the Sweet Spanish variety, and the Farming and Rural Department certifies the onions to ensure the highest quality.
Peas and lentils
Other crops that Scotland produces are dry pea and lentils. They are in demand overseas for canning and packing as well.
When one thinks of Scotland, a crop that immediately comes to mind is the potato. The country is the top producer, and if you know when to plant potatoes in Scotland, you’ll be aware of the many contributing factors why Scotland is on top.
While potatoes rank Scotland first, the country comes second in producing beets.
Wheat is Scotland’s second-largest crop after potatoes, and Scotland can produce all five wheat classes.
How Good Is Scotland Soil To Grow?
An area’s soil plays a significant factor in the growth of plants. And the reason why Scottish soil is suitable for gardening and planting is the volcanic material that covered the country and eroded over the years. As a result, Scottish land is dark, fertile, and well-drained.
Besides, the different landscapes in Scotland have created different soils that each crop can benefit from. The country has aridisols, vertisols, mollisols, alfisols, inceptisols, and entisols. These soils are acidic, moisture-holding, and rich in organic materials.
However, note that not all of these soils are suitable for gardening and that adding fertiliser and preparing it is always necessary. Every crop has different nutrient and feeding requirements that every gardener should know. At the same time, plants will vary in the soil moisture content they need for optimum growth.
Growing Hydrangeas In Scotland
Hydrangeas are beautiful flowering plants, and you might be curious if it is possible to grow them in Scotland. Hydrangeas are hardy shrubs and can tolerate zone 7, and since this fits the country’s planting zone, yes, you can grow them in Scotland. However, the main concern worth noting is that you must provide overwintering protection.
Scotland can get prematurely warm in early spring but reaches freezing temperatures once the cold nights start. When this happens, more plants get damaged than the ones growing. You can address this issue by preventing the plants from “waking up” too early using protection in November or December.
Using a polytunnel will keep the temperature fluctuating and prevent the hydrangeas from growing early. The structure will also protect against frost and even keep the plants from getting full shade. Remember that full shade can affect the blooms of the plants and lessen them.
Scotland’s dark, fertile, and well-drained soils make it an excellent country for growing different crops. But before you start, you must know what planting zone am I in Scotland. Scotland is a short-season, high-altitude location with zones rated 7a to 8b.
Therefore, you can expect to experience hot summers, spring and autumn, cold winters, cool summers, frosts, and bitter winter cold, depending on your region. In general, the mountains endure frequent frosts and bitter winter cold, so it’s not the most comfortable location for gardening.
Scotland produces barley, beans, fruits, hay, mint, oilseeds, onions, peas and lentils, potatoes, and sugarbeets. If you’re interested in flowering shrubs, hydrangeas are hardy plants that can tolerate Scottish conditions. Regardless, be prepared against any extreme climate by practising polytunnel farming.