Thursday, 8 December 2016

Almost Another Record

Wednesday was an unusual sort of a day. The milder weather that had been forecast arrived over the space of a few hours with the temperature rocketing upwards so to speak.
As I posted on Wednesday morning it looked like the highest temperature I've recorded in December was under threat. In the end it fell fractions of a degree short of the record set on 19 December 2015 when the temperature reached 15.8°C (60.4°F). Wednesday’s temperature fell just 0.2°C short reaching 15.6°C or 60.1°F.
It certainly made a nice change from the cold weather of the last week or so.

The garden now has a very sorry wintry look about it.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Another Look at Our Potato Crop

Tuesday was another cold, damp and misty day. It wasn't as cold as Monday and the temperature was on the increase throughout the day and night into Wednesday morning.
The temperature has risen very quickly on Wednesday morning. The highest temperature I've recorded in December is 15.8°C (60.4°F) last year. Is it in danger?

As it was damp and miserable on Tuesday I was messing about with a little bit of video. The video itself was taken in May 2016 when last year's potato crops were growing. I've added onto the video the weights of the potatoes harvested from the plants shown.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Coldest Day in 2016

Monday remained cold and foggy all day.
It gave us our coldest average daily temperature of 2016 with only 0.2°C (32.4°F) taking over the record set last Tuesday 29 November when the average temperature was 0.6°C or 33.1°F.
For the record the highest temperature for the day was 2.4°C (36.3°F) with a low of -1.7°C or 28.9°F.

The good news is the weather is set to get milder!

Monday, 5 December 2016

Milder Weather to Arrive?

We've had about a week of milder weather with temperatures around or a little above average. We seemed to be in the minority on Sunday as we started the day mildish missing out on the keen overnight frost that affected most of the UK.
Temperature & Rainfall 29 November to 05 December 2016
Monday morning brought back the frost and mist as the low temperature fell to -1.7°C or 28.9°F.
The forecast is for milder weather to return by Wednesday and at the moment it looks like milder conditions might hang around for a while. We'll see.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Parsnip Surprise

I suppose Saturday was a fairly typical December day. It remained cloudy all day with the temperature a fraction below what we might expect in early December reaching a high of 6.5°C or 43.7°F.

In May when our parsnip seeds Gladiator were germinating we thought we were going to have a bad parsnip year. The germination was so poor and patchy that Sue sowed a few extra seeds in the big gaps hoping that we might at least get a few smaller parsnips from a late sowing.
Parsnips - Gladiator on 21 May 2016
Through summer and into autumn the parsnips that had germinated grew well and developed lots of lovely green leaves. I've been caught out before when parsnips with lots of lovely green tops have been very disappointing when lifted. Late in November when it came round to testing a few roots our parsnip bed looked like this.
Parsnips - Gladiator on 28 November 2016
We've lifted a few roots so far and I've been pleasantly surprised by the quality. Only one root has had a little bit of canker damage around the crown but as it was a large root there was still plenty of usable parsnip once the damaged part had been cut away.
Parsnips - Gladiator  Harvested on 02 December 2016
These three roots weighed in at 1.7kg or 3.7 lbs. If the rest of the crop are as good as this we should be okay for parsnips well into early spring when any roots left in the ground will be starting to grow again.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Allotment Black Gold

I'm not sure I remember seeing the forecast that suggested the first couple of days of December would be milder nor can I remember seeing the forecast that said it would rain on Friday.

We were in need of a few fresh root vegetables so we decided on a visit to the plot. I was a little bit concerned that the keen frost last week might have damaged our carrot crop which we leave in the ground over winter. It was very cloudy when we arrived and it was trying to rain. It seemed a good ides to dig up some vegetables first just in case the rain got heavier.
Carrots - Flyaway
Our carrots appear to have survived the frost. A few have split and allowed easy picking for slugs and other pests but most of the carrots are still in good condition even if some are a little bit misshapen. When I'd finished harvesting the vegetables it was still trying to rain but not really enough to put us off carrying on with a few jobs. One job that I needed to do was start emptying one of our compost bins. I'll admit that I'm rubbish at making compost but now and again I must do something right and I get some good stuff. This particular compost bin worked pretty well.
It's got a few twiggy bits in it that haven't completely broken down and the largest of them were removed and added to a compost heap in the making. I've managed to get four barrowfulls of good friable compost and am using it to mulch around our fruit bushes.
That was all I had time to do as it started to rain somewhat heavier and we decided to call it a day. I think I'll get another four barrowfulls of compost out of this bin which should be enough to finish mulching around our fruit trees and bushes.

I wish I was better at this compost making lark.

Friday, 2 December 2016

A December Visit to Clumber Park

December is the beginning of meteorological winter but to be honest it feels like winter started a few weeks ago. Thursday though wasn't a bad start to December and compared to recently it was milder. The average  monthly temperature for this November ranked sixth coldest out of the seven Novembers I've records for.
We had a visit to the National Trust's property Clumber Park on Thursday to have a walk around the lake and see what wildlife we could spot.
We even had a little bit of afternoon sunshine as we walked along the edge of the lake watching the ducks and geese making the most of the sunshine just like us.
Sue remembered to take some seed and peanuts and as we walked back to the visitor centre through the trees the birds and the squirrels were happy to take advantage of some extra food.
All I've to do now is sort out the best images out of a few hundred taken.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

End of Meteorological Autumn

The thermometer suggests that Wednesday wasn't as cold as Tuesday but with a stiff breeze it didn't feel any warmer outside. I couldn't resist this snap of one of our local cats looking for some rays of sunshine and warmth as it sat precariously on the top of the fence.
It's now got to the time of year when our garden gets very little sunshine. The sun's track is so low in the sky that house, trees and fences mean that the sun never shines on the ground.
As you can see from this morning shot taken in our garden the sun is so low in the sky that it shines through the remaining leaves on our Medlar onto the side of a very frosty greenhouse. It's still another month before the sun sinks to its lowest in the sky.