It was our first visit to the plot since the 21 April which was around the time the Arctic blast set in. For us that's a long time in what should be a busy time of year on the allotment. I expected that our grass paths would continue to grow despite the cold weather and they didn't let me down.
As I'd anticipated this I'd taken the strimmer down to the allotment. It had a very busy afternoon.
The fruit blossom continues to put on a fantastic display.
Pear - Invincible
I think that the term covered in blossom is a fair description for our pear tree Invincible. We've noticed in the past that pears never seem to finish up with as much fruit as the blossom leads you to believe. Still even a few would be welcome. Since our last visit our cherry tree Summer Sun has come into flower.
Cherry - Summer Sun
It too has lots of blossom but not as much as the pear. Unfortunately for some reason the resident woodpigeons consider the leaves of this tree a delicacy and will strip the leaves almost overnight. This year we have a plan to try to stop them. I'll no doubt be blogging about its effectiveness. Hard to believe that fruit trees like this are now banned on the plot. They bring a real touch of spring to the allotments.
With the plot strimmed and our early brassicas planted (4 weeks later than last year) parts of the plot are starting to take on more of a cared for appearance.
I was surprised just how wet and claggy the ground was when we were planting our brassicas. I'm hoping it's not too wet to dig over some beds ready for peas, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and broad beans all of which need sowing and planting as soon as possible.
Bank Holiday Monday wasn't too bad a day and at long last it seems we might have seen the back of that wintry weather we've been suffering from for a week or more. Monday started dullish, with a drop of rain around lunchtime which put us off making a much needed visit to the plot but by early afternoon the sun came out and it was a nice afternoon. We made the most of the good weather sowing and transplanting crops at home. Full details are listed here.
These Little Gem lettuces were all sown on 17 March and the smaller plants were transplanting into this raised bed on 18 April. Some were left to grow on in the greenhouse and these were transplanted into this raised bed on 02 May. The cold weather has prevented the early transplants from doing any growing at all. If we're lucky though this will prolong our harvesting period.
I'm growing this pot full of Little Gems on in the greenhouse hoping that they'll provide us with an early crop before the ones in the outdoor raised bed.
Sunday turned out to be a little bit milder so hopefully that blast of cold air we had all last week is finally coming to an end. After a bright start the majority of Sunday was a dull affair with spits and spots of drizzle.
My weather station produces annual temperature figures as the year progresses. It's interesting to note that the average low temperature for January 2016 was 3.2°C and guess what that's exactly the same for April just 3.2°C.
That average low temperature for this April is the lowest over the last seven years.
Even if January was mild I don't think I'd consider sowing many seeds then so I'm trying to convince myself that any sowings made on the allotment in April wouldn't have done very well. We certainly need temperatures to lift up considerably to kick start this year's allotment season.
I'm going to have to start doing much less of this and get on with some gardening.
Friday continued the theme of the rest of the week cold and showery. Although the forecast wasn't very good for Saturday we had a day out into the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the Embsay and Bolton Heritage Railway.
As we expected it was a bit on the cool side but all the inside facilities had some nice warming wood fires burning.
We didn't fancy getting too far away from the railway as the clouds threatened some heavy showers for much of the time we were there.
We managed to escape most of the showers and at times looking out of our vintage carriage as the scenery passed by the weather looked really pleasant. Outside it was hard to believe it was almost May.
Next we really must get something done down on the allotment. Perhaps May will bring some better weather.
Thursday was another poor day for late April, as the cold weather continued, with Thursday equalling Wednesday's coldest average daily temperature this month with 4.2°C or 39.6°F.
This year's allotment planting is going to be very late compared to normal seasons. By the end of April our early and main crop potatoes, broad beans, peas, carrots, parsnips, cabbages, cauliflowers, calabrese, onions and shallots would all be planted out in the allotment. This year all we've planted so far are our early potatoes and a small bed of varieties new to us we bought at a local potato day. Some vegetables are waiting patiently in the coldframe for conditions to improve but the cold weather is forecast to remain into the early part of next week.
We'll certainly have a lot of catching up to do when conditions are a bit more favourable.
If you saw Tuesday's blog you'll know that it was the coldest day of the month. Well that record didn't last long as it was replaced by Wednesday with an average temperature of 4.2°C or 39.6°F. Once again showers fell as a mixture of rain, sleet, hail and snow.
Rainfall & Temperature Monday 25 April to Wednesday 27 April 2016
We've plants growing well in the greenhouse but with temperatures down to freezing point each night they're not going to think much of being planted out in the plot.
The waiting game continues for conditions to improve!
April's turning out to be a cold month. I'd expect it to be getting milder as the month progresses but that's not the case and Tuesday finished up the coldest day of the month. The temperature only made it up to 8.1°C, (46.6°F) the lowest of the month, and the average for Tuesday was 4.7°C (40.5°F) also the lowest this April.
The afternoon showers fell as a mixture of rain, hail, sleet and snow. Roll on May.
The cold spell continued on Monday with the temperature hovering around the 7°C (44.6°F) mark for most of the day.
We had a couple of snow, hail, and rain showers throughout the day.
There's not much to harvest just now but our salad bed planted up on the 20 March 2016 in our home greenhouse is continuing to provide us with a few salad leaves to brighten up our lunch time sandwiches.
This blog records the local weather details near to my allotment plot in Wakefield. The details are gathered from a weather station which I set up in my garden during October 2009. Click here to read about set up.
Records of temperature, rainfall and wind speeds will be posted as recorded. A summary is posted each month on our website click here to view.
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