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Page: Jun 2015 wk 4


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Monday 22 June 2015

Laws of Gravity and an Apricot

Monday was yet another poor day weather wise for June. It was cloudy and drizzly in the morning but started to clear up in the afternoon. The sun tried to come out and the temperature began to lift but in the middle of the afternoon we had some heavy showers. One with an intensity of 47.2mm/hr (1.86in/hr) almost matched the highest of the year of 51.4mm/hr (2.02in/hr) on 31 March 2015.

The first part of the afternoon wasn't too bad so I decided to pot up some seedlings in the greenhouse. I'd potted up some cabbages Tundra, some savoys Resolution and was concentrating on transplanting some wallflowers Tom Thumb when a little thudding noise made me look to my left.

On the top of the soil of our potted apricot Flavourcot there was one of our two precious fruits. Perhaps I should have taken a picture but I was more concerned about the state of the apricot. A quick and gentle wipe revealed that it wasn't damaged by its fall.

I thought it was best to sample the fruit straight away and headed for the house. There it was given a quick wash and had its photo taken, after all this was our first ever ripe apricot. Photos taken the apricot was carefully cut into two. At this stage I realised that it was a perfectly ripe fruit and the stone inside separated from the flesh without any difficulty.

Half each it was now down to the taste test. I know now what a ripe apricot should taste like. It was delicious. The problem is we only have one more fruit on the bush. We wondered last week how long we should wait before testing out our only two apricots. In the end this particular fruit made its and our minds up for us.

We now have to discover how to encourage our bush to produce more apricots next year.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Double and Single Tomato Flowers

After a chilly start Tuesday turned into a decent June day.

I couldn’t help but notice two very different flowers on our greenhouse tomatoes.

Tomato Ananas

Tomato Sungold

Ananas is described as a heirloom variety producing large, slightly flattened beefsteak tomatoes with distinctive yellow and orange streaked skins. It’s the first time we’ve tried this variety and it is said to produce tomatoes weighing in at around 500gms or 1.1lbs each. It’s clearly not going to produce large trusses of fruit with tomatoes that size. The flowers it is producing are what I would describe as double flowers.

Sungold is producing what I would consider normal single tomato flowers. We grew this variety last year and it produces masses of small but very sweet and juicy tomatoes with lots of tomatoes to each truss.

Wednesday & Thursday 24/25 June 2015

Blimey Look at Next Week’s Forecast

The decent weather continued on Wednesday and Thursday with the latter becoming the warmest day of the year at 24.5°C or 76.1°F.

Have you seen the forecast for next week? It looks like we’re due a scorcher in lots of places with the temperature reaching 30°C (86.0°F) or higher. Wednesday looks to be our hottest day with southern parts of England even hotter next Thursday.

To read the Met Office posting in full click here.

Still there’s all most a week to go before then so it’s quite possible that the forecast will change before then.

I had to have a quick check on my hottest and coldest summer months chart for recent years. There’s little doubt that this June has been a bit on the cool side even if it doesn’t set any records.

Looking at this chart where the red line indicates the hottest recent summer and the blue line the coldest at the end of June the averages temperatures for both years were almost the same. Once we moved into July 1995, the hottest year saw the temperatures increase considerably where as in the cold year of 1998 the temperatures through July and August did little to improve the average at the end of June.

Perhaps some hot weather at the start of July is a good omen?

Friday 26 June 2015

Another Go with Carrots

Friday was cloudy but mild. Throughout the day we had a few sprinklings of raindrops now and again. By the end of the day they’d added up to 0.2mm of rainfall.

We decided to have a third attempt at getting some carrots to grow this year. Our first sowing germinated well but was devastated by slugs. We re-sowed some seeds but these germinated poorly and the slugs seem to have hoovered up any surviving seedlings. We’ve sown a third batch in another part of the plot. We chose some quick maturing varieties Early Nantes and Amsterdam Forcing due to sowing this late in the season.

The ground is now very dry and it could do with some good steady rain to improve things. Watering with tap water never seems to have the same effect as a decent amount of rain. When sowing the carrots on Friday each drill received a can full of water before sowing then a couple of can fulls over the bed to settle the seeds in once they were sown.

Rainfall 01 May to 26 June 2015

The chart above shows the rainfall for the last couple of months. May had a little bit above average rainfall but it mostly fell in the first few days of the month. Since then we haven’t had any decent spells of rainfall and as a result the plot and garden are very dry. I’m not sure what will happen if we do have the forecast high temperatures through the middle part of next week.

These potatoes planted rather late on 30 May look like they good do with a good drink. I’m not into watering potatoes though they just have to make the most of the conditions. Who knows I might produce the exact conditions for a Smith period and blight by watering especially in warmer weather.

The Interpretation of Smith Periods.

Smith Periods for blight control are calculated from hourly temperature and relative humidity values. The weather records on which the post coded Smith Periods are based are supplied by the Met Office.

A full Smith Period has occurred if, on each of 2 consecutive days:


Saturday & Sunday 27/28 June 2015

Carrot Spotting

It was a pleasant weekend weather wise with Saturday the better of the two days with far more sunshine. Both days were mild and much better than the earlier part of the month.

On the plot I decided to make use of our carrot tent of enviromesh, where the carrots for one reason or another have disappeared, to plant some left over lettuces which weren’t planted in our raised bed at home.

I had a little investigation to to see if I could spot any carrot seedlings growing alongside the few weeds that had germinated. I did manage to find a couple of carrot seedlings along the two rows I weeded.

It certainly wasn’t going to be a problem finding space to plant out a few lettuce plants. The soil was very dry but I don’t think that was the cause of our carrot disaster. Then pulling out a few more weeds I found I’d pulled out this tiny carrot too.

I wasn’t too disappointed at pulling it up as the top had been eaten away by slugs or snails so I don’t think it was ever going to grow to be a full size carrot.

The strange thing is, sown in the same bed and at the same time as our first carrot sowing are our parsnips Gladiator and they seem completely untouched.

It will be interesting to see if the slugs or snails now munch their way through the lettuces that I’ve planted out.

Monday & Tuesday 29/30 June 2015


It took a while for June to warm up but it’s certainly finished with a hot spell as Tuesday finished up easily the hottest day of the year with the temperature soaring to 29.8°C or 85.6°F. The hottest day I’ve recorded in June is 31.6°C (88.9°F) which also happens to be the hottest day we’ve had in the last six years.

We made a planned visit to RSPB Bempton Cliffs to see the nesting sea birds. It was a super day out on the cliff tops. It was a little cooler than inland with a stiff breeze blowing.

The breeze seemed to suit the gannets just fine and these magnificent sea birds were able to take off and land into the breeze with only a few adjustments to their wings. No flapping was necessary.

Of course no visit to Bempton Cliffs at this time of year would be complete without spotting one or two puffins.