Thursday, 30 September 2010

Season of Mellow Fruitfulness

Wednesday gave us another dull miserable day. We had light drizzle for most of the day and a short spell of heavier rain late in the afternoon.

It’s certainly time to think about gathering in all those summer crops that are still managing to hang on and give a late harvest. In the greenhouse we still have one or two bunches of grapes in good condition.

From 03 Weather 2010
I think the little brown spots on the grapes are probably a sign that they need picking straight away. This shouldn’t be too much of a hardship!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

A Timely Reminder

Tuesday continued with the present spell of dull, horrible weather. It’s the sort of weather where even in the greenhouse things can suffer from the damp conditions almost overnight. I noticed that one of our peppers was starting to suffer from mould.
From 03 Weather 2010
This was a plant that hadn’t received the care and attention it should have but had managed nevertheless to produce a fruit. I figured it was time to harvest the good quality ones before they too became unusable.
From 03 Weather 2010
Jimmy Nardellos and Tequila Sunrise have both performed well and I intend to plant these two varieties again next year.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A chink of light in the drabness

We’d run out of fresh vegetables so a trip to the plot was required. The idea was to plant our winter onions too. This would involve a little weed clearing and perhaps a spot of digging. We arrived in drizzly damp conditions and quickly decided to just harvest some vegetables leaving our winter onions to be planted another day.

A clump of hardy cyclamen shone out in the gloom at the plot to brighten up our visit.
From 03 Weather 2010
This view through the greengages certainly doesn’t do the drabness of the day any justice at all!
From 03 Weather 2010

Monday was the dullest day since I installed the solar radiation sensor to my weather station at the beginning of June. The little graph shows these values for the last 7 days. It’s the first time the value has failed to reach 100 watts/m2 .

From 03 Weather 2010

Monday, 27 September 2010

Our first home grown melon

On Sunday the wind continued in a north easterly direction giving us another cool day. A complete absence of sunshine gave the impression that winter was approaching.

To make up for the poor weather we decided to try one of our melons, Noir des Carmes, growing in the greenhouse. We weren’t disappointed. Whist it was only small it packed some real flavour. I will certainly have ago with this variety again next year.
From 03 Weather 2010

Sunday, 26 September 2010


It was cold over night leaving a chill in the air for Saturday morning. The picture below shows the temperatures across West Yorkshire at 08:00.
From 03 Weather 2010
Click here to view the current Weather Underground Map. I can't be sure of the view that will load but it works just like your average Google map. The map may take a while to load and I click on terrain for a less cluttered view.

The wind was blowing from the North West keeping it cool all day. The maximum of 13.3°C and overnight low of 4.1°C gave us a miserable daily mean temperature of just 8.9°C. I’m hoping that our squashes haven’t suffered from the cold weather. It’s probably time to harvest them on our next visit to the plot.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

A shock to the system

After some pleasant mild sunny days Friday came as a real shock to the system. Around 08:00 I recorded our strongest gust of wind since I started keeping records (23.0mph). There’s plenty of houses around sheltering my weather station and so I don’t get motorway speeds on my anemometer more your commute to work speeds. Not only was it windy, there was the shock of the temperature too. The maximum of 12.1°C was exactly equal to Thursday’s minimum!

Autumn is definitely here now as my winter onions arrived from Dobies today. Now I need to get a patch dug on the plot and get them planted.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Continuing mild

It remained mild on Thursday but after some sunny intervals in the morning the afternoon turned cloudy with a few heavy showers which continued into the evening.

Our tomato growing this year seems to have been fraught with difficulties, but there have been some small success. We chose to try a variety called Amish Gold and it’s turned out to be an excellent choice.

From 03 Weather 2010
The variety has produced a good crop of excellent tasting beefsteak type tomatoes.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Summer makes a late comeback

Wednesday was superb with some long sunny periods and warm too. It did cloud over late afternoon with our first drop of rain around 18:30. Pity the forecast predicts a change to cold northerly winds by the week end.

It’s now time to start give some thought to what went well and what didn’t on the plot. We like to try something new each year even if it’s only a different variety of vegetable. This year we tried a different carrot called Flakkee. It’s turned out well and produced a good crop of well flavoured roots.

From 03 Weather 2010
Its ultimate test is to see if it survives winter left in the ground with only a protection of straw against the winter frost and snow. Click here for more details of how we protect carrots over winter.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

No blight or breeze

In contrast to last week Tuesday was a day without even a breeze. The morning had a few warm sunny periods but the afternoon was mostly cloudy.

From 03 Weather 2010
It was our first visit to the plot in nearly a fortnight. Last week's wind had blown over one tepee of runner beans and the cardoons were lying all over the path but they had already been wind damaged by strong winds before last week’s.

There’s plenty of tidying up to do on the plot. The first of these is to lift my remaining potatoes so I set about lifting my Nicola potatoes. They’ve produced an excellent crop with minimal slug damage. For the first time in several years I haven’t noticed any signs of blight on any of the potato crop. Perhaps a benefit of the particularly poor August weather this year! I've only Sarpo Mira left to lift now.

From 03 Weather 2010

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Local Showers

Monday turned out to be a mild day with light showers most of the day. The showers were localised as I noticed logging on to my newly found brilliant Weather Underground map that other weather stations within a few miles of Ossett didn’t record any rainfall.

My first or second day on Weather Underground didn’t go without any hitches. First my new blog weather sticker stopped updating and of course I immediately took this to be as a result of something I had done, although I had no idea what this might have been. Then gradually other Weather Underground data began to disappear just as it seemed to arrive but checking other weather stations they seemed to be having similar problems. So I just waited, did nothing, and sure enough the problem sorted itself out and everything got back to normal. Isn’t computing wonderful!

So another damp day meant no visit to the plot. I just had to make do picking a few peppers from the greenhouse. The variety is Tequila Sunrise.

From 03 Weather 2010

Monday, 20 September 2010

Joining the Underground

Sunday turned out to be a miserable day. It was cloudy and damp all day. It never really seemed to dry up although we only had 1mm of actual rainfall.

As it wasn’t very pleasant outside I decided to catch up on a bit of computing. I decided to rebel and join the underground, well the internet web site Weather Underground. I’ve thought about joining for a while but until yesterday not taken the plunge. Joining and getting my weather station on line was pretty straight forward even for me.
From 03 Weather 2010
(click on the image to visit the web page)

So I’m a member now IWAKEFIE3 is my code to find my weather station amongst the thousands already on Weather Underground. I’ve much to investigate to make full use of the web site.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Back home (Saturday 18th )

We spent last week in the Cotswold staying in this beautiful detached 17th century, Grade II listed cottage. It is located in the Severn Vale in the pretty village of Apperley, close to the medieval town of Tewkesbury.
From 03 Weather 2010
The weather during the week was a bit mixed but it didn’t stop us getting out and about. To satisfy our gardening requirements we visited Hidcote Manor Gardens which still looked good as autumn approaches.

From 03 Weather 2010
Stanton was one of the many picturesque villages we visited with its cottages built with traditional Cotswold stone.
From 03 Weather 2010

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Cloudy and mild

Friday was another mostly cloudy day. During a few very brief sunny spells in the afternoon it felt very warm with the temperature reaching 22.8°C. It started to rain around 22:00. So far this month most of our rainfall has been during the night, leaving us with some nice autumnal days.
From 03 Weather 2010
Our greenhouse tomatoes are now ripening quickly and have produced enough for a freezing for use during the winter months.

Friday, 10 September 2010


Thursday was mostly cloudy especially in the morning. The afternoon brought a few sunny spells and it felt warm in a gentle westerly breeze.
From 03 Weather 2010
Much more cloud than blue sky down on the plot on Thursday afternoon.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Autumn arrives

Wednesday really heralded the arrival of autumn with a very seasonal misty morning. The mist hung around until midday when the sun came out to give us a beautiful afternoon and evening.

From 03 Weather 2010

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Just great

After the wind and rain on Monday, Tuesday turned out to be a lovely day. More heavy overnight rain cleared away to give a pleasant, mild and sunny day.
From 03 Weather 2010
A Meeches Prolific quince ripens in the autumn sunshine on the plot.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Lots of everything!

What a day, gales, sun and plenty of rain. During the day there was a reasonable amount of sunshine but this was accompanied by gale force winds which gradually eased in the middle of the afternoon. The runner beans on the plot took a real battering from the wind.
From 03 Weather 2010
I planted out my Dobies brassica collection. The ground was really dry so I took extra care to fill the planting holes with water and then water the plants in well. Covering with netting to protect from birds and insects was great fun in the wind. The completed job is shown below.
From 03 Weather 2010
Then of course in the evening it begins to rain and continues through most of the night and by morning we had received 34mm of rain, over half September’s expected rainfall.

Monday, 6 September 2010


Sunday saw a break in the fine weather of the last few days with much less sunshine than of late. It remained mild and dry though. The last few warm and sunny days has started my greenhouse tomatoes ripening quickly. The green tomato chutney is on hold for a while.
From 03 Weather 2010

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Nature’s solar panel

The fine weather continued on Saturday although the sunshine was far more hazy than the last few days.

Whilst we were at Fairburn Ings on Friday we noticed that numerous black swans had one leg over their back, swimming with just one leg. Turns out they use their foot a bit like a solar panel to warm up their body temperature, the really clever bit is they can reverse the process and cool down rather than warm up. Brilliant! Click here for more details.
From 03 Weather 2010

Saturday, 4 September 2010

More of the same please

We decided to visit Fairburn Ings RSPB reserve for a walk on Friday as the glorious start to September continued. Harvesting was put on hold as the forecast for the week-end is not too bad.
From 03 Weather 2010
Some parts of the reserve looked very lush, almost sub-tropical, in the warm afternoon sunshine.
From 03 Weather 2010

RSPB Fairburn Ings is located close by the A1 near Castleford in West Yorkshire.

View RSPB Fairburn Ings in a larger map

Friday, 3 September 2010

Excellent start continues

Thursday continued our excellent start to September with another sunny and warm day. We picked our first pepper of the season from the greenhouse, a variety called Jimmy Nardellos's.
From 03 Weather 2010

I’ve made a plot of evaporation from the ground against rainfall for August. Whilst I admit I do not consider this to be an exact science given all the variables involved it does show why the plot is very dry even though we thought August was a poor month. The balance at the moment between rainfall and evaporation is around 20mm of rainfall required to bring back a zero value.
From 03 Weather 2010

Thursday, 2 September 2010

September starts well

Wednesday is the beginning of autumn in meteorological speak. The first day of autumn was superb with sunshine most of the day, almost no breeze and after another chilly start to the day a mid afternoon temperature of 23.4°C.

From 03 Weather 2010

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

August ends on a high

August ending with a superb day after a very cold start we had almost un-broken sunshine. Some parts of Yorkshire had their coldest August night since the mid 1980’s. On the plot the sunflowers added to the late summer feel of the day.
From 03 Weather 2010