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Wednesday 01 May 2013

Excellent Start

Wednesday got May off to an excellent start with some long sunny periods and feeling mild in the sunshine.

With the facts and figures from April it was rather a strange month with the first half dominated by bitterly cold easterly winds before a sudden switch in the middle of the month to westerly winds bringing milder weather. So the average temperature for the month was below average but not record breakingly so.

Those strong winds throughout the month meant that it was high on the list of windiest months I’ve recorded with the strongest gust of the year recorded on 18 April.

It was also a dry month with just 12.6mm of rainfall which isn’t the driest as that record is still held by April 2011 with only 2.4mm.

What will May bring? The forecast for the start of the month looks quite promising, certainly through the day, but some milder nights would be most welcome with gardening in mind as tender plants are being hardened off.

I hardly dare say it but a drop of rain wouldn’t come amiss especially if it fell during the night.

Thursday & Friday 02/03 May 2013

A Trip to the Moors

The weather on Thursday and Friday continued the much improved theme of the last few days.

On Friday we decided on a trip to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway who are holding a gala to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of the heritage line. This is NER design class J72 0-6-0T locomotive number 69023 “Joem” coupled with the single NER Saloon No 1 coach which featured as the “Old Gentleman’s Coach” in the film “The Railway Children”. This little locomotive looks like it’s just been lifted off a model railway set and looks absolutely fantastic in the setting of the heritage line.

It’s nice to see that at last the trees are at last starting to show signs of greening up after a long winter and cold start to spring. We started our visit to the gala at Pickering before moving on in the afternoon to Levisham station which is only tiny and isolated in a valley on the moors.

On the way to Levisham over the moors where the sheep are just left to roam it was good to see that at least some lambs had survived the bitterly cold start to the spring.

This young lamb wasn’t going to let us pulling up at the roadside stop him getting a meal. There was still a cool gusty wind blowing up on the moors and as you can see by the middle of the afternoon the sun had disappeared too.

Saturday 04 May 2013

Greenhouse Fruit

I was a little disappointed with Saturday as it didn’t live up to its forecast. Not that it was a bad day but we had lots of cloud and a stiff cool breeze.

Sue posted on her blog about our fruit on the allotment. I thought I’d just mention the fruit we have in our home greenhouse. Our Brown Turkey fig which is growing in a large pot in the greenhouse is looking as well as I can remember and if all goes well we might have a nice crop of figs.

At the moment our thoughts are that the fig may spend all summer in the greenhouse. Whilst this will protect it from any bad weather it will be prone to attack from that dreaded greenhouse pest red spider mite. We will need to keep a careful watch for the slightest sign of this pest.

Our grape vine Himrod is now growing quickly and already showing the first signs of producing flower trusses.

The root of the vine is planted in the greenhouse but where it is able to spread its roots outside for moisture. This seems to have worked very well in the past and it finds all the water it needs without any help from me. Fortunately it normally seems to remain pest clear until the grapes are ripe when our blackbirds will risk all venturing into the greenhouse for a tasty grape.

Sunday 05 May 2013

Three Generations

Sunday just got better as the day progressed. A dull cloudy start in the morning turned into a lovely mild sunny afternoon. It finished up as our warmest day of the year with the temperature making it to 19.6°C at 17:27

You may well have noticed that yesterday we both blogged about our Brown Turkey fig tree that is growing in a large pot in the greenhouse. I hadn’t noticed before that it is now producing a new smaller set of figlets and now has three generations of fruit on the same tree.

Near the top of this picture and a little out of focus is one of the larger figs that has over wintered. Towards the bottom is a smaller darker green fig. This generation started to appear a few weeks ago and then yesterday I noticed a new smaller set of figs appearing. There’s another 3 very small figs on this branch alone. We could be heading for fig heaven or a big disappointment.

Monday 06 May 2013


Monday was the best day we’ve had in a long time with plenty of sunshine, just a gentle breeze and the warmest day of the year at 23°C.

Our resident blackbirds are really ungrateful for the food and water we supply or that they’re super opportunists is probably a more apt description.

I’d just popped into the greenhouse to do some watering and forgot to put up our wire mesh door as the main door is left open on nice sunny days to keep the greenhouse cooler. Half an hour later I returned to the greenhouse and the blackbirds had been busy uprooting my brassica seedlings.

Fortunately not too much damage had been done the only downside is it wasn’t exactly clear which seedlings had been moved where so I don’t know my Hispi’s from my Crispus’s.  

These broad beans Witkeim Manita are at the opposite end of the protection scale. Sue transplanted these into the plot and the only protection they have is some weed control fabric




So far our experiment of using weed control membrane has been successful. This bed had been growing spring cabbage which just ran to seed rather than producing any useful cabbages. They had been grown under the fabric and once the seeded cabbages were disposed of to the compost heap the ground under the fabric was weed free. That’s a real bonus down on the plot. The bed was dug over and replanted. It’s now all over to the broad beans.

Tuesday 07 May 2013

Another Glorious Day

Tuesday continued the few days of fine warm weather we’ve been having and we just did a bit of messing about in the garden.