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Page: Aug 2015 wk 3


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Saturday 15 August 2015

Not Much Difference

Saturday certainly saw a temperature change for the month as although it was a decent sunny day the temperature didn’t manage to get above 18.4°C (65.1°F) rather cooler than we’ve been used to. Over night into Sunday saw our coldest night time temperature of the month with just 6.2°C (43.2°F).

On Saturday I finished lifting our first early potatoes Casablanca and Foremost. We grew the same number of tubers of each variety under weed control fabric and planted conventionally using our trowel and earthing up method. Comparing the yields from both methods there was little to choose between them.


kg  (lbs)


kg  (lbs)

Grown under weed control fabric

11.4  (25.1)

11.12  (24.5)

Grown conventionally

9.76  (21.5)

11.18  (24.6)

The above table shows the yield from each method. Each bed contained a 5.0m row of each variety but the ones grown conventionally were the easiest to harvest first and we’ve been lifting them as new potatoes since 04 July when they still had leafy tops and perhaps a bit more growing to do.

Conventionally grown Foremost and Casablanca 11 July 2015

Once the potatoes grown under weed control fabric were lifted the straw and manure used to hold the fabric in place were spread over the bed and then incorporated into the soil.

I’m now deciding whether or not to replace the fabric back over the bed immediately or to leave it off for a few weeks. If we have some more rain the bed would benefit from being dug over again. In any case I shall replace the weed control fabric over the bed to stop any weeds growing over autumn and into winter. This bed will be used for early brassicas next year and will only need some fertiliser incorporating in spring next year a few weeks before planting.

Sunday & Monday 16/17 August 2015

A Visit to Wharfedale

The weather on Sunday and Monday wasn’t too bad and on Monday we decided on another day out in the Yorkshire Dales National Park this time to visit Parcevall Hall Gardens located to the north of Skipton.

The house has commanding views of the millstone grit outcrops of Simon’s Seat. The walk from the car park starts by following the stream through Tarn Ghyll Wood.

We walked past some rhododendrons and certainly weren’t expecting to see any in flower in the middle of August.

This lead to the main formal gardens surrounding the house and the red border.

After exploring the formal gardens we walked uphill through Silver Wood where there's an excellent viewpoint.

Whilst we had a welcome sit down on the bench and took in the view we were watching a red kite soaring effortlessly on the lookout for its next meal.

I think we may well be visiting again when the camellias and rhododendrons are in full display.  

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Two Wet Days in a Week

August’s weather has gone into changeable mode and after a couple of nice days it was another wet day following on from last Friday. The morning was dull with some very light drizzle then it turned wet all afternoon and into the evening.

The forecast for the week ahead looks a bit mixed too. Not a brilliant forecast by any means.

In the greenhouse our tomatoes are slowing starting to ripen. It’s the cherry size tomatoes that are turning first and we’re still waiting for a ‘proper’ sized tomato to turn. There are lots of large tomatoes on the plants but they’re stubbornly refusing to turn red.

This is Wednesday morning’s picking of Sungold, Baby Boomer, Cherry Fountain and our first picking of Maskotka.

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Dangerous Picking

Wednesday didn’t live up to the lovely start to the day. Up until lunchtime it was lovely and sunny and the promise of a hot August afternoon seemed to be on the cards but in the early afternoon the clouds rolled in and by teatime it was dull and drizzly. It stayed on the mild side though.

I made a trip down to the allotment on Wednesday afternoon to make sure our plot tomatoes in the greenhouse didn’t go short of water. I thought I'd pick some raspberries, plums and apples that we're ready. Picking our Oullins Gage plums is a dangerous operation. As soon as the plums are ready their skins tend to split and this lets in the wasps for a free meal. It means you have to be very careful picking plums or you can easily grab a handful of wasp. I managed to pick a couple of punnets without annoying any wasps.

I also harvested some lettuces that haven’t hearted up yet. We've renewed our sowings in our raised bed at home so we are short of lettuces and salad leaves at the moment. It seems silly to buy some salad leaves when we have lettuces almost but not quite ready down on the plot. If I don't pick some of these lettuces before they're ready I will have a row of two dozen all ready at the same time. If that happened some will go to waste so I think it's better to pick some before now. I picked one Tom Thumb and two Little Gems which will be used in a salad tonight. The lettuces were pulled up root and all and with a drop of water in the bucket so they will keep fresh for a few days if needed.

I watered the tomatoes in the greenhouse and checked to see if any had turned red. They hadn't. A few Sungold will soon be ready but no large tomatoes are turning red yet.

Thursday 20 August 2015

Overnight High

Thursday was mild and muggy. We didn’t have a great deal of sunshine but the rain held off and it wasn’t too bad a day.

Overnight into Friday saw the muggy conditions continue to give us our warmest night of the year with the temperature only falling to 17.9°C (64.2°F).

Friday & Saturday 21/22 August 2015

Warm and Humid Weather Continues

Thursday’s muggy conditions continued into Friday and Saturday. As the sun came out on a very hot and humid Saturday afternoon we reached the highest temperature of the month at 27.0°C (80.6°F). By the middle of the afternoon thunder was rumbling away and although we had one or two heavy showers we didn’t have anything too spectacular as the day’s rainfall amounted to 6.0mm (0.24”).