- Getting a bigger allotment, a full sized one
- I got a proper shed
- Getting given a cedar wood greenhouse for free
- Getting a proper polycarbonate greenhouse for free
- Getting a bumper crop of tomatoes and cucumbers
- Getting an excellent sweetcorn harvest
- Extreme weather (annoying at times but interesting)
- Excellent potato harvest
- I got more fruit trees and 2 established ones (apples)
- I won several prizes at the annual show
Weather: A warm year, really?
After the very cold December of 2010 (thanks to the very negative Arctic Oscillation Index) we got an average Jan but then a very warm and very dry Spring (lots of drought problems). This was not so great for the crops and overall we got the 2nd warmest UK annual temp on record (since 1910), only 2006 was warmer.
Warm Spring and Autumn
This year's warmth was really confined to the Spring and Autumn months, in particular March, April and May (MAM) which was the warmest on record and September, October and November (SON) which was the 2nd warmest on record.
April was the warmest on record and November the 2nd warmest!
Cold Winter and Summer
We had a cold Winter in December, January and February (DJF) mainly thanks to the cold Dec 2010 which came in as the 2nd coldest on record . So overall the winter was112th out of 353 months.
The Summer months of June, July and August (JJA) stood out as the 102nd coldest summer on record, equalling 1986, 1963. 1948, 1851, 1810, 1802 and 1702. Only 1987 and 1988 were colder, coming in at 92nd and 93rd.
2012: the year ahead
- Well this year I have 99 seed varieties to sow and grow, so my plot will be a lot of fun to manage and enjoy.
- The Arctic Oscillation Index is currently very positive, so it looks like we will get a warm start to the year. Will this mean an early spring and a warm and wet summer?
- I am using the crop rotation system this year - so let's see how productive I am next year!
Whatever happens, hope everyone has fun on the allotment in 2012!
Here are some photos that exemplify this year's fun:
|De-constructing my old plot|
|Moving into my new plot - with a shed|
|Constructing a new greenhouse|
|Enjoying my new greenhouse|
|Getting loads of wildlife|
|Me surveying my new plot|
|A bumper potato harvest|
|My first cauliflower|
|Bumper squash harvest|
|The plot ready for 2012|