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Wednesday 15 May 2013


Wednesday was our wettest day for quite some time with rain continuing from late Tuesday night through to Wednesday lunch time. It did brighten up a little bit in the afternoon. By the time it stopped raining we’d had 15.8mm in the day, more than the whole of April. The last time we’ve had over 10mm of rain in the day was 09 March 2013 so the rainfall was much needed.

It was also the coldest average daily temperature of the month with a figure of just 7.4°C

These were the tell tale reading from my weather station at lunch time. Needless to say all gardening operations were on hold.




Thursday 16 May 2013

A Big Improvement

Thursday was dry and bright and feeling much warmer in the sunshine.

There still seems to be talk of frosts on the weather forecasts. I thought I’d look back over the last couple of years for which I’ve records to see when we had our last frosts. In the end I decided to make a note of the last day in spring when the temperature fell below 0°C and 3°C. Then out of interest I found the corresponding days these temperatures occurred in the autumn and calculated the number of days between each of the dates.

Key Temperatures


Temp °C


3°C or below (spring)

04 May 2011


3°C or below (autumn)

15 September 2011




0°C or below (spring)

04 May 2011


0°C or below (autumn)

07 November 2011





3°C or below (spring)

17 May 2012


3°C or below (autumn)

09 October 2012




0°C or below (spring)

06 May 2012


0°C or below (autumn)

03 November 2012





3°C or below (spring)

02 May 2013


3°C or below (autumn)

0°C or below (spring)

07 April 2013


0°C or below (autumn)

So our latest frost date over the last two years has been May 17th so hopefully we’re now past the last date for planting out more tender plants.

The weather hasn’t stopped the grass growing. One drawback of having grass paths on the plot is that it does grow quickly and needs cutting on a regular basis. It had become rather long so I needed my trusty strimmer to bring the grass paths back under control.

Once it was cut the fruit beds by the shed looked much tidier. Having a mid afternoon coffee break it looked like spring might have arrived.

Friday 17 May 2013

Normal Service Resumed

After a better day yesterday Friday was back to more like we’ve become accustomed to. Cloudy and cool all morning with a few brighter spells in the afternoon and a little rain again into the evening.

The rain and wind has given blossom a hard time this spring so that blossom on trees and bushes hasn’t lasted very long. It’s a case of hoping that the fruit blossom has lasted long enough for the bees to have done their pollinating work. In the garden our Conference pear blossom is over but the apples are still in flower.

We’ve lots of blossom on the apple tree which we think is Peasgood Nonsuch. This is a really good cooking apple and has proved to be a good keeper.

On the other had our crab apple John Downie hasn’t got much blossom at all this year but as we often don’t use the fruit it produces this won’t be too much of a hardship.

Our medlar Nottingham may well be the last of the fruits to come into flower and will be another week or more before these flower buds open. Will we be able to decide when the fruits have bletted this year I wonder?

Saturday 18 May 2013

Same Old

Saturday was the coldest day of the month with the temperature just managing to creep into double figures at 11.2°C. The morning was drizzly clearing away in the afternoon but making absolutely no effort to brighten up.  

My weather station output at 19:00 confirms what a cold dull day it was. Gardening was on hold again but we’ve got some pea plants Meteor and Sugar Snap, as well as broad beans Masterpice Green Longpod, all sown in pots at home which really need planting out in the plot. We could do with a break in the weather to get them planted.

Judging from the state of the trays the peas and broad beans are standing in they won’t be short of water. If anything after the last few days of wet weather they will more than likely be waterlogged.

At least our marsh Marigold doesn’t mind the wet weather and is looking at its best at the moment in the shallow area of our pond.

Sunday 19 May 2013


As if by magic Sunday was a much better day allowing us to get down to the plot and plant out some broad beans, peas and plant a few more potatoes. It was mostly cloudy all day with a few short sunny breaks in the afternoon but with the temperature making it to 19°C it was very pleasant working on the plot.

Our quince Meeches Prolific is almost into flower on the plot. It’s absolutely loaded with flower buds.

If all those flowers set fruit the branches won’t be able to take the weight. It would be a lovely problem to have though.

I’ve still got one patch of green manure to dig in. It’s over wintered pretty well with just a few bare patches showing. I sowed 2 varieties Winter Tares and Phacelia. The Phacelia sown in the centre of the bed is about to come into flower, which is loved by the bees, but unfortunately for them I’m going to strim down the top growth before digging the bed over. Our runner beans and sweet corn will be planted in this bed so I need to get this task done fairly soon.

The green manure does seem to have kept any weed growth to a minimum in this bed so I think I might add this into my crop rotation. Once this year’s potatoes are lifted that bed will be sown with green manure which will be left to grow on over winter.

Monday 20 May 2013

Good and Bad This Spring

Monday continued with warm cloudy weather as the temperature only just failed to make it to 20°C again.

The last week or so of May last year was one of the best spells of summer with May 28 being the hottest day we had all year with a temperature of 82°C. The forecast this year seems for the weather to cool off over the next few days rather than warm up.

Whatever the weather is until the end of May it’s not going to improve the average temperature for the spring months of March, April and May.

The chart needs to be viewed in full size to see the detail. This can be done by clicking over the image. This spring is almost certain to finish up colder than last year but at least we’ve had a significant improvement from midway through April when we were flirting with one of the coldest springs ever recorded.

May hasn’t been too bad temperature wise and looks certain to be warmer than last year but still below what we might expect for the month.

Once again click on the chart for a full size view to see the detail. I suppose all options are still open as a warm end to this month could soon bring this spring’s value up to average or better whereas a continuation of the colder spell of weather as forecast could see the month tail off and finish up very similar to last year’s value.