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Page: May 2015 wk 2


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Friday 08 May 2015

This Wont Do for May!

Friday morning was nice and we decided to visit the plot in the afternoon to plant some mangetout and move some weed control fabric so that the uncovered beds could be dug over. Our plan didn’t go too well. I covered the chosen bed for the mangetout with some weed control fabric and cut the required slots in it. This after I’d mislaid the scissors somewhere on the plot which took about 10 minutes of searching before I found them. I carefully dug a nice shallow trench in the soil ready to sow the peas only to discover our Carouby de Maussane peas had been left at home.

We started lifting and folding up some weed control fabric but didn’t really manage to get done what we wanted do as the rain started to fall around mid afternoon forcing an early finish.

It rained heavily for the rest of the day.

May is off to a very wet start as we’ve already had more than average rainfall for the month after only the first nine days. Our total so far is 53.0mm (2.1”) and our average rainfall for the month is 46.5mm (2.1”).

A bright spot on the plot was this little Fiesta apple tree which is absolutely covered in blossom.

I’m not expecting all that blossom to develop into fruit but a dozen or so would be very nice.

Saturday & Sunday 09/10 May 2015

At Least It Stayed Dry

After Friday’s heavy rain it was good that it remained dry over the weekend to help the plot dry out a little. I’m hoping to get a little bit more cultivating done during the week as we now urgently need to get some ground dug over for this year’s sweet pea plants which are patiently waiting in the cold frame to be planted out.

Our early potatoes have pushed their tops through the ground but just in case we have any more cold nights in store I covered them over with some straw.

The straw was originally used for protecting our carrots over winter. I’ll keep using the remaining straw as a way of earthing up the potatoes planted under weed control fabric. By autumn time the straw will have decomposed enough to be dug in to help improve the condition of the soil once the potatoes are harvested .

Monday 11 May 2015

Sweet Pea Preparations

Monday turned out to be the warmest day the month with the afternoon temperature reaching 20.8°C (69.4°F). Rather surprising the highest temperature of the year occurred over a month ago now on the 10 April when the temperature reached 21.3°C (70.3°F) giving rise to thoughts of summer starting early. There was a strong breeze blowing for most of the day.

I decided to see if this year’s sweet pea and squash bed would cultivate okay. After all the rain this month I had my doubts but the ground dug really well.

Sue weeded around the cardoons whilst I cultivated the ground in between the two plants. It’s now ready for the weed control fabric to be replaced and hopefully we’ll be able to plant out our sweet peas this week. The strong winds have caused some damage to the cardoon and we might have to remove some of the bottom leaves.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Yet More Windy Weather

I’d been hoping that yesterday’s windy weather would go away so that we could get some weed control fabric down on the allotment. However that wasn’t the case as Tuesday was even windier with a maximum gust speed of 23 mph and average wind speed for the day of 5.6 mph the windiest May day I’ve recorded.

Temperature and Wind Speed Records Sunday 10 May 2015 - Tuesday 12 May 2015

For the record the maximum gust speed I’ve recorded in May was on 09 May 2014 at 28.0 mph but the average wind speed that day was 3.6mph indicating that the windy weather that day didn’t last very long whereas on Tuesday we didn’t have such a strong gust but it was windier for a much longer spell.

In the greenhouse protected from the strong winds our Lewisia is putting on a fine display.

We really do need to find it a better pot.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Starting Off With Good Intentions

Wednesday was a big improvement on the last couple of days as the strong winds finally abated. With some decent sunny spells and temperatures around normal 16.0°C (61.0°F), it was a pleasant spring afternoon.

Every year I start off with the intention of sowing successional crops such as lettuce on a regular basis. For some reason it never seems to last or a couple of crops fail and we are left with a long gap between crops. This year has started off well so far.

This module of Tom Thumb lettuces are our most advanced crop and will be planted out into the raised bed at home and a few will be planted out on the plot. Following on close behind these are some Little Gem lettuces.

We’ve some mixed salad leaves planted in trays which should be ready to pick in the next few days.

Last in the production line at the minute are some seedlings of Little Leprechaun lettuce a variety we haven’t tried before. These were only pricked out this week.

Sue sowed some more salad leaves in trays this week. Our next sowings of salad leaves will be in our raised bed at home. I should also sow some more lettuce seed but these might have to be germinated in the cold frame as it can get too warm in the greenhouse for germination to take place.

Thursday 14 May 2015

Not So Good

Thursday was cold for May as by early afternoon the the temperature eventually only struggled up to a cool 11.1°C (52.0°F). A cold easterly breeze and a complete lack of sunshine didn’t help matters.

We didn’t fancy planting out our sweet pea plants on the plot in the chilly weather so the next improvement phase to the Cold Frame Courtyard was undertaken instead. It went from looking like this before…..

…to this afterwards.

The old timber and rail fencing had been there for many years and was well past its sell by date. All the posts had rotted away at their bases and I think the whole fence only remained together due to a combination of plastic mesh fixed to it and plant stems entwined through it. The next job is to sort out a border at the base of the new fence so that we can grow some climbers along it.