28 April 2013

Cool but sun is warm..things getting going (finally)


Plum Tomatoes



Spring Plot

Pear Blossom

Pear Blossom

All ready for Summer

20 April 2013

Spring has finally arrived

Cauli/Cabbage bed (left) / Strawberry bed (right)

Flower nursery

New plot design

Swede, Parsnip, Carrot & Beet bed

Empty greenhouse

New greenhouse arrangement

Spinach, Lettuce, Radish, Rocket, Spring Onion and Pak Choi bed


Sweetcorn, Tomatoes and Cucumber

Refurbished greenhouses (free)


Broad bean bed 
Herb & Artichoke bed

Fruit fence

Strawberry bed

Sweetcorn and Squashes bed

Potatoes (Wilja)

Fruit bushes and flowers

Cool greenhouse

Long plot shot

Potatoes / Raspberries at back of shot

Kiwi fruit (in crocks)

5 April 2013

Wow! March turned out to be colder than the winter!

Well March 2013 came out as being, on average, colder than the winter months.  It has been rather snowy and below freezing for much of the month. So no, I haven't done much on the plot!!


Top 15 coldest since 1659 and the coldest March since 1892. So what does this mean for allotment gardening? Sadly it means the growing season is further delayed, the soil is not warming up and plants are waiting for a break in the weather to bud.
 To put all this into context:

  • Winter 2013 Average = 3.83°C 
  • March 2013 Average = 2.7°C 
  • Typical March Average = 5.6°C 

More stats from:

In short, these low temperatures mean you will need to hold off sowing your seeds directly into the soil, planting your potatoes and consider indoors sowing or using a heated propagator. In respect to a longer term view, a short delay in sowing does not create major problems as plants quickly catch up, if and when it finally warms up. How long will this cold spell last though? Long range forecasts are predicting the cold weather will continue for up to 1 more week with something more ‘normal’ following.

Negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) to blame for cold weather

In simple terms, pressure changes in the Arctic has caused colder drier High pressure to build over Europe and block warmer wetter Low pressure systems from getting to us from the Atlantic. This is a 'negative' phase to the AO, and although rare, caused the extreme cold weather of December 2010. Whilst the High pressure sits over Europe and Scandinavia you will see the Jet Stream is positioned much more south than usual, moving warmer and wetter weather into southern Europe.

More information on theArctic Oscillation:

Daily AO Reading:

March 2012: what a difference a year makes!

What makes this so unusual is that March 2012 was in the top 4 warmest March's on record (since 1659).
Compare the two years - yes a difference of 5.6°C !! :

  • March 2013 Average = 2.7°C (14th Coldest)
  • March 2012 Average = 8.3°C (4th Warmest)

Let's hope that Spring and the Summer and better for growing crops!!!