Monday, 31 May 2010


Note for Sunday 30th
There were some sunny periods today but it was windy rather spoiling the day. We also must have had more light rain overnight. Every drop helps at the moment.
From 02 Weather 2010
In the garden our medlar is on flower, which must be one of the last fruit crops to flower. More details on medlars can be found here. We are still waiting to see if our Kiwi will flower on the plot. Our fig plant is only just coming into leaf and so must still have to flower. I’m not sure about figs; I think the fig itself is some sort of flower.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Saturday 29th
Light rain
It was cloudy all day today with spells of light rain on and off throughout the day. At the moment any rain is welcome for the garden and plot but 5.5mm was a bit disappointing after such a dull and cloudy day.
Our plan of having some salad leaves, radish and spring onions at home rather than on the plot paid off today. We harvested salad leaves and radish from the greenhouse. The poor weather put us off visiting the plot.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Friday 28th
A drop of rain
We had a drop of rain overnight. It was only 2.1mm, not a great deal and not the watering the plot and garden needs.
We planted out winter cabbage on the plot. Each cabbage plant planting hole filled with water before planting to give it a fighting chance in the dry conditions. The forecast is for heavy rain tomorrow so we resisted the temptation to water any other plants
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Thursday 27th
Cooling down
The temperature is on a steady decline after the highs of last week. I think the heat of last weeks makes us feel the cool even more.
In the greenhouse things are now growing very quickly. The temperature in the greenhouse remains good for growing even over night. At this time of year plants get more than 16 hours of daylight each day. The cold frame is full of plants getting accustomed to outdoor life, and more waiting to take their turn. So some planting out in the plot is needed cold weather or not. It is almost June and I’m worrying about cold overnight temperatures!

In the greenhouse our grapes look like having a good crop.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Wednesday 26th
It was a disappointingly cloudy day today. The clouds were thick enough by late afternoon to give some very light drizzle which was not enough to record on my rain gauge. It’s the fourth occasion this month that just light drizzle has fallen but in insufficient amounts to be recorded. It’s certainly not enough to have any effect on our very dry garden and plot. Temperatures are now back to average for late May.

Note for Tuesday 25th
Was that summer?
It was much cooler today with temperatures 10°C below those of recent days. It was cloudy too making it feel even cooler after the warmth of the last week. It’s 20 days now without rain although showers are forecast over the next few days. It’s also a Bank Holiday weekend coming up so I’m sure rain must be on its way.
We’ve got lots of vegetables and flowers in the cold frame ready for planting out on the plot. It would be so much easier after some rain avoiding the necessity to keep the young plants watered.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Monday 24th
It was another very pleasant May day with lots of sunshine especially in the afternoon. It wasn’t a repeat of the previous couple of days of exceptionally high temperatures and by late afternoon some of the clouds were dark and threatening rain. It never arrived and the dry spells continues. It’s now 19 days since we had any measurable rain and that was only 0.7mm making up the total rainfall for May.
We visited the RSPB reserve at Fairburn Ings in the afternoon. We seemed to be the only visitors who didn’t spot the kingfishers.
From 02 Weather 2010


Monday, 24 May 2010

Crazy month

Note for Sunday 23rd
It was another scorcher today. A week or so ago the problem was frosty nights some of which were the coldest recorded May nights for 40 years as highlighted on Paul Hudson’s blog .
From 02 Weather 2010
That’s all changed now and we are getting some of, if not the highest average temperatures recorded in May over the last 230 years. I recorded an average temperature of 22.2°C for 23rd May against the highest May average I can find of 21.2°C for the 29th May 1780. So there it is from one of the coldest nights to hottest days in just over a couple of weeks.

Data from the Met Office Hadley Centre.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Saturday 22nd
It was another scorcher today with cloudless skies. The last 3 days have resulted in the warmest averages temperatures of the year all above 19.0°C. Locally our expected daily average for July is 18°C so it's possibly we may not better these values through summer.

Despite the dry weather the grass paths on the plot continue to grow and need regular mowing. It was hot work yesterday.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Friday 21st
Today was a scorcher. If we’re lucky enough to get plenty of days like this through the next 3 summer months we will have had a good summer. Perhaps we’ll be looking back in September remembering we had some hot days at the end of May – let’s hope not. It goes without saying that it was the hottest day of the year with a high of 25.4°C.

When we last left the plot we broke some leaves over our cauliflowers curds to protect against any hot sunshine. It’s a good job we did. Hopefully our cauliflowers will be ready for the weekend.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Thursday 20th
Summer time
It might be mid May but it could have been mid summer today. It was warm first thing in the morning. The morning was a bit cloudy but by mid-day it was mostly sunny and very warm in the afternoon. It was the warmest day of the year with an afternoon temperature of 23.9°C.

It was the first time this year that it felt safe to water my greenhouse plants in the evening with the prospect of a mild night rather than a frosty one.

The potatoes frosted last week are making a recovery pushing through new green leaves amongst the blackened frosted ones. I’m hoping they’ll remain frost free now!!

Note for Wednesday 19th
Cloudy and warm
It was much cloudier today with only a few sunny intervals throughout the day. It was warm all day. The overnight temperature remained in double figure. This should help plants on the plot to start their summer burst of growth. I’m never happy as we could do with a drop of rain. So far we have had no significant rainfall in May, following on from a dry April. I will probably regret this statement over the coming summer months!

At last plants in the greenhouse are growing well. My squash plants are now ready for hardening off in the cold frame before planting out on the plot in the next few weeks.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Tuesday 18th
Continuing warm
The good start to the week continued. The sparkling morning sunshine was replaced by some cloud at lunchtime but there were plenty of sunny intervals in the afternoon and evening.

We were planting out a variety of brassicas on the plot and I couldn’t help thinking how nice it would be if that was all that had to be done. But it’s not that easy. Immediately after planting our brassicas have to be protected from ravenous Wood Pigeons which can devastate a crop over night reducing carefully nurtured plants to skeletons. It’s like frost damage; plants eventually recover and produce a worthwhile crop but so much later. So I cover them from the start to prevent this. Click here for more details.
From 02 Weather 2010
As the plot’s really dry at the moment I’m hoping slugs and snails won’t be an immediate threat to the plants as the top of the soil resembles a desert more than an allotment plot.

Note for Monday 17th
Sunny and warm
It was a good start to the week. We had some decent spells of sunshine and it was pleasantly warm after the cold start to the month. Some forecasts are for the fine weather to last for around a week. We are now moving into the longest dry spell of the year with no recorded rainfall for the last 11 days.

On the plot our comfrey is growing well and it’s time I was starting the “comfrey still” again to produce some liquid fertiliser. Some comfrey will be left to grow as bees love the flowers.
From 02 Weather 2010


Monday, 17 May 2010

More sunny spells

Note for Sunday 16th
The improvement in the weather continued today. Plants in the greenhouse needed a good watering today as temperatures soared into the high 20’s°C after what seems like days in the high teens. I’ve been careful with watering with night time temperatures in the greenhouse as low as 4°C. I’ve moved plants into the cold frame to harden off as it’s the done thing. I’m going to risk planting out my lettuce this week.
From 02 Weather 2010
I’m hoping temperatures outside won’t fall to 4°C now we’re in the second half of May. It’s not too late to have snow though! The times reports blizzards on 17th May 1955. Click here for more.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Saturday 15th
Sunny spells
Today started of sunny but soon the clouds rolled up and stayed until the middle of the afternoon when they broke up and left us with a sunny end to the day.

On the plot our kiwi has been hit by the frost earlier in the week, just when we were looking forward  to lots of flowers and hopefully the prospect of a kiwi or two. A few clusters of leaves and buds look to have survived intact so hope of a fruit still remains. A fig tree on the plot was just coming into leaf has suffered from frost damage too. It really is a slow and difficult start to the growing season.
From 02 Weather 2010
On the plot I dug part of the ground where our dahlias will be planted and the ground is now quite dry. We only had 50% of our expected rainfall in April and so far no measurable rain at all in May.
Note for Friday 14th
A bit of warmth
It was dull and cloudy all day today but despite the lack of sun it wasn’t as cold as of late.
Our tree fern is now growing rapidly. It does get a regular watering to help it through the current dry spell.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Thursday 13th
Frosty records!
It was frosty early morning again today. Some parts of Yorkshire recording their lowest May temperatures for 40 years. Click here for more information. It’s unlikely to be colder than 1996 and that doesn’t seem so long ago but that year May was one of the coldest on records ranking 8th coldest since 1772 based on Central England Temperatures. The forecast is for the weather to warm up and to be back to normal next week so fingers crossed we’re not going to set any records this May.
As gardening is on hold for a few days as we await the temperature to warm up we had a day out visiting Rievaulx Terrace and Temples owned by the National Trust.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Wednesday 12th
Continuing cold
Wednesday was slightly milder but still not what is expected for almost the middle of May. Once again the day started with brilliant sunshine and an almost cloudless sky but it wasn’t long before cloud built up to spoil the sunshine.

The unseasonably cold weather has been reported in several newspapers. Click here to read article from The Times online. It seems it should be milder by the middle of next week.
Whilst our potatoes have suffered from frost this week our cauliflowers look really well and about ready to cauliflower.
From 02 Weather 2010
Note for Tuesday 11th
Frost Damage
The bright sunny morning became much cloudier by lunch time but we still had some more good sunny periods in the afternoon. During the early evening we had some light rain but still not enough to be recorded on the rain gauge.
A visit to the plot showed the damage from the over night frost. Young potato shoots which had emerged despite my best efforts to keep soil pull over them were badly frosted. The max/min thermometer on the plot had gone down to minus 3°C.
From 02 Weather 2010
The potato with no signs of frost damage is a “volunteer” growing in the next bed to my main crop potatoes. How does the frost choose which plants to attack?

Note for Tuesday 11th (Morning)
Overnight the outside temperature was down to 0.8°C but plants in the cold greenhouse look to have survived. The low in the greenhouse was 4.9°C. At least today has started beautifully sunny rather than the dull grey cloud of yesterday.

Note for Monday 10th
Getting colder
It’s getting on towards the middle of May and it should be getting warmer not colder. That’s not the case however as today our maximum temperature under dark grey skies was just 9.6°C. Throughout the day we had spells of light rain but not enough for the rain gauge to measure.
On the plot the permanent fruit bushes and trees are looking well but I am delaying the sowing of main crop vegetables such as French and runner beans for a few more days. I’m just hoping tender courgette, melon and tomato plants survive any frosty nights in my cold greenhouse.
From 02 Weather 2010

Monday, 10 May 2010

Cold nights forecast

Note for Sunday 9th
There was plenty of sunshine today but temperatures remained stubbornly on the cool side. It remains particularly cold over night, slowing the growing of plants in the greenhouse. I’ve delay sowing French beans for a week or so until the weather warms a little.
From 02 Weather 2010
Click here for full article.

From 02 Weather 2010

I’ve noticed a few predictions for summer. If you care to check them out you can find them from the following links to the Daily Express and AccuWeather.

Note for Saturday 8th
Continuing cold
Today was cold and cloudy with a brisk breeze from the north east.
The first 8 days of May have been on the cold side. I’ve added a chart to the blog showing the average temperature after 8 days of the month from warmest to coldest Mays. We are much nearer the coldest recorded May temperatures and around 2°C below the first 8 day of May last year.
From 02 Weather 2010
I read last week that the RHS gardens at Harlow Carr which is quite close to us lost all their tree ferns over winter. They recorded a low of minus 11°C compared with our minus 6.5°C. (Click here to read article) Our tree fern has survived and has started to unfurl its new fronds. It did have fleece in the crown to protect it over winter.

From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Friday 7th
Cold wind
The wind remained in a cold north or easterly direction today making it feel rather cold. The forecast for the weekend and into the early part of next week is for night time temperatures down to 0°C. I’m hoping some fleece will be enough to protect tender plants growing in the greenhouse.
The cucumber plants I thought had suffered from cold night time temperatures in the greenhouse a few nights ago appear to have made a full recovery and have been potted on.
From 02 Weather 2010
Note for Thursday 6th
A cloudy day today with drizzle or light rain in the morning but clearing by lunchtime.
Our banana tree (musa basjoo) is just pushing through its winter protection of straw. I’ll leave the straw in place for a week or so as the night time temperatures are still quite low.
From 02 Weather 2010
Note for Wednesday 5th
Temperatures returned to normal today. There wasn’t a lot of sunshine but with very light winds it felt milder than of late.
Our water hawthorn in the pond has produced its first flower of the year.
From 02 Weather 2010
Note for Tuesday 4th
A bit more like it
The temperature was up a little today. The average temperature for the previous 2 days was only 7°C, low for early May. The day still had a cool feel especially out of the sunshine but the average did creep up to 8.8°C, still a couple of degrees below expected.
My cucumber seedlings didn’t look too happy. I think it might have been the cold overnight temperature down to 5.8°C in the greenhouse. I’m hopeful that they will recover so I’ll wait a few days to see what happens before re-sowing.
From 02 Weather 2010

April Weather summary

I’ve added a summary of the weather data recorded for April to our web site. Click here for more details.

Note for Monday 3rd
Remaining cold
The week is continuing on a bit of a cold theme. The last two weeks of April felt like summer was on its way so it’s a bit disappointing to have temperatures so cold at the beginning of May. I suppose we cannot expect an improvement until the wind moves out of the cold north or easterly direction it’s in. The pie chart below shows the wind direction for the first 3 days of May.
From 02 Weather 2010
It is amazing how quickly the garden transforms from the days of mid winter into late spring. Just compare the photos below. The upper photo taken on 2nd May 2010 compared with 14th January 2010
From 02 Weather 2010


Monday, 3 May 2010

Single figures only

Note for Sunday 2nd
It certainly turned cooler today. The temperature didn’t make it into double figures as the maximum temperature only managed 9.4°C. Whilst the south of the country had plenty of rain over Bank Holiday Sunday it remained dry here.
From 02 Weather 2010
The wind was generally from the north which made it feel cold.
From 02 Weather 2010
All the seedlings in the greenhouse were covered with fleece to give them extra protection for a cold night with the possibility of an overnight frost.

Our pansies which managed to produce a few flowers even in the depths of winter are still giving us a really good show.
From 02 Weather 2010
Note for Saturday 1st
Cooler feel
Today the wind direction moved out of the south into a more north, north easterly direction and certainly gave the day a cooler feel as we moved into May.
From 02 Weather 2010
The morning was fairly sunny but it turned cloudier in the afternoon with the threat of showers but they didn’t materialise.
From 02 Weather 2010
Note for Friday 30th
Sunny spells
The weather produced a mixture today. We had some cloudy spells, a few sunny spells and in the late afternoon the cloud returned to give some light drizzle. The temperature was as expected for the last day of April.
Note for Thursday 29th
I should have known that mentioning April had been dry would bring some rain. It did but not much only 4.8mm, so April remains a dry month. Yesterday's temperature couldn’t last and today was cloudy and cooler but still a bit above average for the time of year.
Our new quince - Meeches Prolific is just coming into blossom.
Note for Wednesday 28th
Is this summer?
Wednesday was the warmest day of the year so far. It remained mild throughout the night. The forecast with a Bank Holiday weekend coming up is for much cooler weather over the weekend. April could turn out very dry if it doesn’t rain in the next couple of days.
Some of our rhubarb is beginning to flower. The flower spikes will be removed, hopefully to produce better stems for pulling.
Note for Tuesday 27th
Early summer feel
The warm spell continued and we took advantage of the excellent weather to visit the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs on the Yorkshire coast to see the nesting sea bird colonies. It was pleasantly warm on the North Sea coast too even though it clouded over in the afternoon.
Back home another warm and dry day. The last few days has increased the average April temperature quite markedly.
Note for Monday 26th
Warm spell continues
It continued very mild for April. Another very nice day with plenty of sunshine in the afternoon after a cloudy morning which threatened rain that never arrived.
In the greenhouse plants are now growing quickly with the welcome rise in temperature.
Squash - Crown Prince