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Monday 08 April 2013

Why I Need To Keep Records

After a couple of lovely sunny days is was much more cloudy today with any sun we did get being very hazy. As a result the temperature was a little lower  failing to make double figures.

Now as I remember last spring March was glorious, then come April things cooled down a lot and newly sown seeds and small seedlings didn’t appreciate the conditions and refused to grow for a few weeks. Now this year seems to be the other way around and after a bitterly cold March temperatures have lifted in the first week of April. How do the first two weeks compare?

It doesn’t look any better in picture format either.




Fortunately when we removed the pigeon protection netting off our winter brassicas these spring cabbages “Flowers of Spring” didn’t get uncovered. This means they’ve survived the marauding wood pigeon attacks and should provide us with some useful greens in a few weeks time. I might give them a boost with some liquid seaweed food the next time we visit the plot.

So despite it feeling milder now April has arrived seeds and seedlings may well struggle to grow with temperatures still lower than last year.

Tuesday 09 April 2013

Breaking for Home

Tuesday was another cool day with, even with some late afternoon sunshine, the temperature didn’t make it into double figures. The forecast for the weekend and beyond is for temperatures to lift although this might be at the expense of some rainfall.

Looking back through my sowing records for last year I don’t think I’m too far behind where I was last year. Our tomatoes, peppers and aubergines were all sown last year by now and so was some early cabbage. Our potatoes went into the ground about now. I’m not sure then that there’s any need to panic and there’s plenty of time to get everything sown and planted in time to produce a decent crop providing the temperatures do start to pick up as forecast for next weekend.

Anticipating that this change is going to take place I planted our tomatoes, peppers and aubergines today. They are now all under our indoor growlight. My plan is by the time these have germinated and are ready for transplanting it will be warm enough for them in the cold greenhouse. Along with these some Dahlias and Mimosa were sown and have joined the others under the growlight.

This is a full list of today's sowings and varieties.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

True Survivors

Wednesday was the best day we’ve had for ages with some long sunny spells and just a gentle breeze it felt almost warm. The temperature managed to reach 12.2°C making it the mildest day of the month.

I visited my friend Graham in the afternoon. He too grows some of his own vegetables and last year he grew some Winston potatoes. Unfortunately he hadn’t been able to harvest all his Winston’s last autumn and a few roots had been left in the ground all winter. With an improvement in the weather this week Graham decided to clear away last year’s crop but much to his surprise the potatoes hadn’t rotted away despite all the rain and snow.

Some potatoes had suffered from slug damage so were discarded but he was left this these potatoes from the couple of roots he dug up.

The potatoes scrubbed up really well and looked as good if not better than the ones on sale in the local supermarket. Graham reckoned that they tasted better too.

As Winston seed potatoes are sold as a first early variety I think it’s amazing that they’ve stood up to all that this winter has had to offer. It’s also interesting to note that the tubers haven’t made any new shoots yet even after being left in the ground to their own devices. This might well indicate that here in Yorkshire at least there won’t have been much benefit in planting potatoes before now as they’ve probably made no effort to grow in the cold ground.

Thursday 11 April 2013

A New Pet

After a much better day on Wednesday, Thursday was back to the more typical style for this year, cold and cloudy. Late in the afternoon we had a little light rainfall, the first precipitation of the month. We’re certainly being made to wait for some spring weather and a lift in the temperature.

I’ve been watching Paul Hollywood’s series on bread making and the last episode, making sourdough bread, convinced me to have a go. So our new pet was born yesterday and is starting to grow. We haven’t decided on a name yet but I’m sure we’ll come up with something suitable. Its first feed will be late this afternoon.

Just in case you’re wondering and didn’t see the programme Paul Hollywood suggested thinking of a sourdough start as a pet that needs regular feeding and looking after and goes on to produce starter dough - well forever.

Friday 12 April 2013

It’s Growing

Friday turned out to be a pretty awful day, cold and cloudy with some heavy rain shower in the evening.

In the autumn last year we received a new apple tree - Baya Marissa - from Spalding Bulbs which was potted up and left in the greenhouse over winter. The pot was wrapped in bubble wrap to protect the roots from frost. I’ve been concerned that the tree had shown no signs of coming into live but at last the buds are starting to swell showing that the little tree has survived through winter.

Saturday & Sunday 13/14 April 2013

An End To Winter?

At last it turned much milder over the weekend and we got rid of the cold easterly winds which have persisted for the last couple of months. Lets hope spring has sprung at long last. Sunday turned out to be easily the warmest day of the year so far with a temperature of 18.2°C.

Our new pet “Trig” some sour dough starter is growing well after a few days of feeding. I reckon the process is going well as bubbles have formed in the starter now each time feeding takes place.

There was going to be a picture here but due to unforeseen circumstances all the pictures have been deleted from the camera.