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Monday & Tuesday 15/16 July 2013

Taking Its Toll

The hot spell of weather continued on Monday and Tuesday with temperatures approaching the 30°C mark. In this “heatwave” we’ve had four days with the temperature above 29°C but none have yet managed 30°C. The highest still remains as Tuesday 9th with 29.6°C.




This spell of excellent summer weather is starting to take its toll down on the plot. Our early potatoes Swift never seemed to put on much top growth compared with our other varieties and the hot weather of the last couple of weeks has finished them off completely.

At least there is a crop on them so I mustn’t complain too much. Whilst some of the vegetables might not be enjoying the hot weather too much our fruit is giving us a bonanza crop. Harvests like the one below are one of the main reasons for all the effort put in over the rest of the year.

Details of all our harvested crops can be found here.

Wednesday & Thursday 17/18 July 2013

Into the 30’s But Only Just

The hot sunny weather continued on Wednesday and Thursday with Thursday becoming our hottest day of the year with a high of 30.2°C or 86°F.

That’s not quite the hottest day I’ve recorded which still remains 27 June 2011 with 31.6°C.

Our rather more exotic fruit and vegetables are enjoying the heat. Our pot grown kiwi Issai growing outside in the garden has set fruit unlike its full size cousins on the allotment.

There’s obviously still a long way to go before we get anything that’s suitable for a taste test. We’ve never managed to produce a kiwi of any size or description at home or down on the plot so this would be a first for us.

In the greenhouse I’m trying to decide if this fig is about to ripen. It’s certainly starting to change colour but one or two figs have turned yellow and fallen off rather than ripening.

The plant certainly looks healthy enough so I’m hopeful of some fruit being suitable for eating.  

Friday 19 July 2013

A “Heatwave” and Broad Bean Success

Friday was another hot day although there was more cloud about but the temperature still reached 29.7°C. With Thursday’s 30.2°C and an intervening night time low of 15.6°C we met the heatwave criteria for Yorkshire and Humberside. Although there’s much in the media about the heatwave continuing and for even hotter weather next week that isn’t forecast for us as we are due some cooler weather but that much needed rain doesn’t appear to be in the forecast.

If you read our blogs on a regular basis you will know that we have been using weed control fabric on the allotment to cut down on the amount of weeding Sue has to do. Last year we’d tested this out successfully on our carrot crop and this year one of our first crops for the fabric test was our early broad beans Witkeim Manita.

Date Sown

Date Germination


Seeds Sown







Broad Beans

Witkeim Manita


2 x 15 module cells. Moved to cold frame to harden off on 29-04-2013. Planted in plot 6-05-2013

The last of the beans were picked on Friday and they have produced a good crop of without too much effort from us. We have done a little weeding around the edges of the fabric where the soil is used to hold things in place but that’s all. Perhaps because of the hot dry weather the beans haven’t cropped over a long period but as they’re good for freezing that isn’t too much of a problem.








Broad Beans

Witkeim Manita



First picking of broad beans this year


Broad Beans

Witkeim Manita



Batch picked for freezing


Broad Beans

Witkeim Manita



Completed picking all early crop for freezing.

Broad Beans Total


The harvesting details are shown above where the weight is for broad beans still in their pods as picked from the plants. If our Masterpiece Longpod and Crimson flowered varieties do as well we will have plenty of broad beans stored in the freezer.

This is the 5.84kg of beans picked on Friday.

Once all the broad beans are picked the next decision to make will be whether or not to leave the fabric in place. It may well depend on whether or not we get some rain. If we do and this bed can be dug over which I may do before replacing the fabric and using the same holes in the fabric to grow a late crop of lettuce.

Saturday & Sunday 20/21 July 2013

It’s Gone

The forecast was correct and for us the hot weather moved away and cooler conditions arrived for the weekend. The cooler weather meant that we could do a few more energetic jobs down on the plot. We needed to dig some more potatoes and as our Swift have suffered badly in the hot dry conditions and the foliage has turned brown or disappeared I decided to lift what remained of the row.  

As you can see the soils is very dry. The potato tubers planted back in April hadn’t rotted and in most cases were far larger than the potatoes I harvested. The crop weight for this 5.0m long row came to just 4.9kg which I reckon is pretty poor.

On the brighter side apart from one tuber which has some scab all the others are undamaged and the potatoes do have a good flavour. I’m hoping the other varieties with tops still in good condition will provide us with some heavier crops to last us through winter.

Now that the “heatwave” is over it’s about time we had some rain as we’ve had only 4.0mm this month. From the forecast at the moment it looks like things are about to turn much wetter this week.

A good rain would be most welcome for both the garden and allotment.