Monday, 24 May 2010

Crazy month

Note for Sunday 23rd
It was another scorcher today. A week or so ago the problem was frosty nights some of which were the coldest recorded May nights for 40 years as highlighted on Paul Hudson’s blog .
From 02 Weather 2010
That’s all changed now and we are getting some of, if not the highest average temperatures recorded in May over the last 230 years. I recorded an average temperature of 22.2°C for 23rd May against the highest May average I can find of 21.2°C for the 29th May 1780. So there it is from one of the coldest nights to hottest days in just over a couple of weeks.

Data from the Met Office Hadley Centre.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Saturday 22nd
It was another scorcher today with cloudless skies. The last 3 days have resulted in the warmest averages temperatures of the year all above 19.0°C. Locally our expected daily average for July is 18°C so it's possibly we may not better these values through summer.

Despite the dry weather the grass paths on the plot continue to grow and need regular mowing. It was hot work yesterday.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Friday 21st
Today was a scorcher. If we’re lucky enough to get plenty of days like this through the next 3 summer months we will have had a good summer. Perhaps we’ll be looking back in September remembering we had some hot days at the end of May – let’s hope not. It goes without saying that it was the hottest day of the year with a high of 25.4°C.

When we last left the plot we broke some leaves over our cauliflowers curds to protect against any hot sunshine. It’s a good job we did. Hopefully our cauliflowers will be ready for the weekend.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Thursday 20th
Summer time
It might be mid May but it could have been mid summer today. It was warm first thing in the morning. The morning was a bit cloudy but by mid-day it was mostly sunny and very warm in the afternoon. It was the warmest day of the year with an afternoon temperature of 23.9°C.

It was the first time this year that it felt safe to water my greenhouse plants in the evening with the prospect of a mild night rather than a frosty one.

The potatoes frosted last week are making a recovery pushing through new green leaves amongst the blackened frosted ones. I’m hoping they’ll remain frost free now!!

Note for Wednesday 19th
Cloudy and warm
It was much cloudier today with only a few sunny intervals throughout the day. It was warm all day. The overnight temperature remained in double figure. This should help plants on the plot to start their summer burst of growth. I’m never happy as we could do with a drop of rain. So far we have had no significant rainfall in May, following on from a dry April. I will probably regret this statement over the coming summer months!

At last plants in the greenhouse are growing well. My squash plants are now ready for hardening off in the cold frame before planting out on the plot in the next few weeks.
From 02 Weather 2010

Note for Tuesday 18th
Continuing warm
The good start to the week continued. The sparkling morning sunshine was replaced by some cloud at lunchtime but there were plenty of sunny intervals in the afternoon and evening.

We were planting out a variety of brassicas on the plot and I couldn’t help thinking how nice it would be if that was all that had to be done. But it’s not that easy. Immediately after planting our brassicas have to be protected from ravenous Wood Pigeons which can devastate a crop over night reducing carefully nurtured plants to skeletons. It’s like frost damage; plants eventually recover and produce a worthwhile crop but so much later. So I cover them from the start to prevent this. Click here for more details.
From 02 Weather 2010
As the plot’s really dry at the moment I’m hoping slugs and snails won’t be an immediate threat to the plants as the top of the soil resembles a desert more than an allotment plot.

Note for Monday 17th
Sunny and warm
It was a good start to the week. We had some decent spells of sunshine and it was pleasantly warm after the cold start to the month. Some forecasts are for the fine weather to last for around a week. We are now moving into the longest dry spell of the year with no recorded rainfall for the last 11 days.

On the plot our comfrey is growing well and it’s time I was starting the “comfrey still” again to produce some liquid fertiliser. Some comfrey will be left to grow as bees love the flowers.
From 02 Weather 2010



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