Sunday, 25 June 2017

A Bit Nondescript

After our spell of hot weather last week the weather has turned a bit nondescript. Neither hot nor cold but it has remained dry and it's been a bit breezy. The best in the way of rainfall that we've had is a bit of light drizzle which hasn't been any good at all for watering the garden and allotment.
Temperature & Rainfall Records 19-25 June 2017
At the allotment we're spending more time harvesting on our visits. I'm certainly not complaining about harvesting after all if you can't be bothered to harvest crops there seems to be very little point growing them in the first place. In between harvesting and watering I'm trying to tidy up the area underneath our greengage trees. It's gradually become untidy and overgrown with thistles and nettles and makes looking after the trees a rather painful operation.
The first section has been cleared and covered with weed control fabric and wood chippings. Our old broken wheelbarrow has been filled with homemade compost and planted up with self sown nasturtium volunteers which Sue found around the plot. We've a couple more bags like the one in the picture which we'll fill with compost and plant up with a few different crops and see how they get on. 
Copyright: Original post from A Gardener's Weather Diary author M Garrett

Friday, 23 June 2017

Rain Required As Harvesting Moves Into Full Swing

The hot weather has disappeared now and temperatures have returned to more normal values for late June.
Temperature & Rainfall Records 17-23 June 2017
The hot dry weather of the first part of the week was replaced with cooler, sunnier and breezier conditions on Thursday when we visited the plot. It's not what the plot wants after a long spell with no substantial rainfall. We were in "Thunderstorm Alley" on Wednesday, according to the forecasters, as the hot weather broke down but the storms never arrived and neither did any rainfall. Overnight and early Friday morning showers have so far amounted to 0.4mm just about enough to wet the leaves rather than actually water any plants.

However, the weather forecasting models have lots of rain showing for next week. Next Thursday is looking particularly wet. Our watering problems at the allotment might be at an end if the models turn out to be correct. With a week to go there is plenty of time for things to change.  Forecast for Thursday, 29 June 2017 @ 13:00
Although the plot could do with some decent rainfall we are managing to harvest some produce. Only a few weeks ago at the end of May we had nothing at all to harvest. Now we have something to pick on most visits as we head into what we hope will be the most productive months of the year.
Our full harvesting list for June can be found here.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

And It's Over

Tuesday saw our temperatures return to more normal June values with a maximum of 21.6°C or 70.9°F. It was a bit on the muggy side and after some lovely sunny days, the sun didn't put in an appearance at all on Tuesday. It did mean that we visited the plot and did a little bit of harvesting.
We had a few of our apricots, picked on Monday, left over and together with some Elsanta strawberries and Glencoe raspberries they made a very nice dessert for dinner.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A Triple Record Breaking Hot Day

Tuesday was a triple record breaking day as the temperature once again soared to 31.6°C or 88.9°F. Monday took over from Sunday as our hottest day of the year. It was also the first time I've recorded two consecutive days when the temperature has been above 30°C and it was also the equal hottest June day I've recorded since 27 June 2011.
Temperature & Solar Radiation Records for 18-20 June 2017
It's kept me busy updating my table of the top twenty hottest days. Here's the new updated version.
It wasn't a day to do much gardening more a question of keeping as cool as possible.
We did have a very quick harvesting session in our greenhouse to pick our apricots. As one had already fallen off the tree we took it as a sign that they were ready for eating. Still warm from the afternoon sunshine they tasted extremely good.

The forecast is for the weather to return to more normal temperatures so gardening activities may be about to return to normal too.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Hottest This Year

Sunday turned out to be a proper scorcher with the temperature soaring to 30.5°C (86.9°F) to become our hottest day this year. 
Temperature Record for 18 June 2017
We don't manage to make it into the 30's °C or above 86°F very often. Sunday was the seventh time since I started keeping records 7 years ago. It moved into fifth place in my all time highest temperature records.
The forecast for Monday is for a repeat of the high temperatures so it may become the first time I'll record two consecutive days above 30°C.

We went to the plot on Sunday afternoon. It was far too hot to do any serious plotting and we spent much of our time there watering what is now a very dry allotment. I did trim up our kiwi plants which form a mixed fruit hedge with some gooseberries.
It looked much tidier once the long straggly shoots had been cut back. I did spot a few surprises as I trimmed back the kiwi.
Cherry - Summer Sun
I spotted this little bunch of cherries left on the tree. They must be out of the reach of the wood pigeons as they've devastated the rest of the tree including most of the leaves. Maybe I'll try to cover these few remaining cherries or the blackbirds will finish them off as soon as they start to turn red.

I didn't think that there were any gooseberries but underneath all the kiwi foliage I discovered some rather nice looking berries.
I also spotted some kiwi flowers as I pruned back the long shoots.
We have two kiwi plants, a male and female and as is usual only the female plant has produced any flowers. In which case it probably means that we won't get any kiwi fruits but who knows we may be successful one year.

Now I must be honest and say a good downpour would be much appreciated as it would save us an awful lot of watering both at home and on the plot.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

A Whisker Away

Saturday was a whisker away from being our hottest day of the year as the temperature reached 28.3°C (82.9°F) but not quite managing to top the 28.6°C (83.5°F) on the 25 May.
Temperature Records 19 May - 17 June 2017
The forecast is for more hot weather over the next few days with the chance that record set in May will be broken.

We had a couple of days away in the north east visiting Beamish Museum and Tanfield Railway.
Beamish Museum - Pockerley Old Hall
Tanfield Railway
We've got plenty of photos and video to sort out from our visits. 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Hot and Dry

Wednesday was the hottest day of the month as the afternoon temperature rose to 26.5°C or 79.7°F. It didn't take over the hottest day of the year which is still the 25 May 2017 when the temperature reached 28.6°C or 83.5°F.
Temperature & Rainfall Records 01-14 June 2017
However, rainfall so far this month has been on the sparse side with only 24.0mm (0.9 in) to date. Following on from drier than average April and May the garden and allotment are certainly on the dry side and in need of watering. On the plot I thought that this month's rainfall might be enough to allow me to cultivate one of the beds that we want to grow some winter brassicas in. If you remember I posted a photo of the cracks in the ground due to the dry conditions.
photo taken on 02 June 2017
The little bit of rain this month hadn't done much to help but at least I managed to get the cultivator to break up the surface of the soil.
The cultivator certainly found the ground hard to work to the full depth of the tines so my next job will be to work over the bed using a fork to loosen up the ground below before hopefully using the cultivator to complete the job. I've got a few weeks left to get this done before our winter brassicas need planting out. We might even get some decent rainfall to help me out before then.

I've made a video showing the progress our potatoes are making on the allotment. They've recovered well from the frost damage they had in early May.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Another of Those Days

Monday was a poor day considering we're heading towards mid June. A little bit of light rain in the morning was just enough to wet the ground and it was accompanied by a very strong breeze. Not up to the gale force winds of last week but it was enough to put us off an allotment visit.

It did give me a chance to finish editing some video of our plot greenhouse which is in the process of transitioning from plant propagation unit into its summer mode of growing tomatoes, peppers and aubergines.

I think our resident blackbird might now be raising a second brood of young. The first youngsters are still about in the garden making use of the feeding and washing facilities we provide.
I think this is one of the youngsters taking a bath this morning. However, the adult blackbirds are still flying in and out of our camellia bush so I'm presuming more chicks can be expected.