25 February 2012

Spring has sprung

It has been a lovely sunny and warm day at around 12°C. Been busy sorting out my water butts, moving them about and creating feeds from one barrel to another. My biggest project was to construct a water collection area over my new green waste bin. This I did using some old corrugated plastic I had knocking about. I  constructed a gutter and a pipe feed using an old pop bottle.

In respect to the amount of water I can collect now, I would guess it is around 1,500 litres. However, I could always do with more so am on the hunt for more water butts.

Did some sowing, sowed carrots, radish and spinach. For the carrots I also erected a fleece wall around the carrot bin, I really really hope that I do not get carrot fly this year.

Here are some photos!

Greenhouse lettuce

Greenhouse lettuce



New water butt siphon

Water collection area

New water storage

Lettuce outside under a cloche
Sowed Radish

Carrot bin fleece

Carrot bin

11 February 2012

There's a rat in my greenhouse what am I gonna do?

It has been quite a long freeze this, got to -5°C last night. The plot is pretty solid and covered in icy snow so not much to be done there. However, the greenhouses are getting to toasty +12°C during the day so sowing stuff is going to plan.

Got to the plot today and found some vermin had managed to tunnel into one of my greenhouses and run amok digging up pots looking for tasty seeds. The little sods managed to dispatch a few healthy pea and cauliflower plants I had going, but totally wiped out the broad beans I had sown. I have now resow the broad beans!!! This has happened before, so I just find the hole block it off with some heavy bricks and should be ok....fingers crossed

Also put new onion sets in seed trays..not much else!!!

Bloody pea killing vermin!!!!

Rats dug up my healthy peas

All broad beans dug up

Lost a few cauliflowers

Warm 12°C in the greenhouse

Resown everything lost

Vermin proofed the plants

Ice solid allotment

Frozen solid water butts

7 February 2012

Frozen Britain

Well we have had a really cold spell recently with overnight lows of -8°C. Saturday we got a really big dump of snow and I got snowed in my street!

We are expecting more over night lows this week of -8°C so I am half-expecting my outdoor Broad beans and Peas to be killed off. Also, hope the plants in my greenhouse will be ok!

Will update with photos later in the week!

4 February 2012

Snowy and cold day..so I burnt stuff!

Been down to lotty, twice, once to burn stuff and once to see the snow!

Afternoon snow

Frozen solid

Wilted Chard

Frozen 'pond'

Suffering Herbs

Frost breaking down the soil

Afternoon snow

-2°C at 2 p.m.

Return of the extreme cold

-5°C on lotty at 8 a.m.
Just as you thought we were getting an early spring (it has been a very mild winter so far) the weather has turned extremely cold.

There has been record lows in Europe over the last week and we have now got this cold air mass. All of this can be blamed on a low Arctic Oscillation (AO) index. The AO has been very positive for most of the winter (hence warmth till now) but the drop in the AO index around the end of Jan was indicating this would happen.

Overnight lows this week have been down to -7 °C. No record but very cold!

Here is a link to weather records: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/extremes/monthly_temperature_country.html

Here is a link to the AO Index monitoring site:  http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao_index.html

We are due some snow this weekend as warm rainy weather moves in from the west, probably this Sat afternoon.

 Will post snow photos if it happens.

On the plus side, the Tomato Alicante seeds I had sown indoors are up!. Just waiting for the Ceyenne Peppers now!
Tomato Alicante