Monday, 28 February 2011

Every cloud has a silver lining...

Sunday was cloudy and cool with just a little drizzle now and again. After yesterdays wet trip to the allotment it was a day for being indoors. We had good reason though. We spent much of the day trying to take photographs and video of our siskins which seem to have arrived in the garden from nowhere. We are not expecting them to stay around for too long and want to make the most of the opportunity.
There was a little action for nest box cam to record which can be viewed on the link to next box cam at the top of the page.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

More rain

There had been some rain overnight but it started to clear up on Saturday morning. We had a little sunshine and it tempted us to visit the plot. No sooner had we arrived before it started to rain. It was pretty wet and soggy when we arrived and more rain didn't help. Ground preparation will have to wait awhile for some drying out to take place.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
This was how the rain left the plot. Working on the soil in this condition will cause more harm than good. I know I've made the mistake. We have had approaching double the amount of rainfall for February so it's not to be unexpected that the ground is extremely boggy.

We will soon have some rhubarb for crumble by the look of this clump. We can afford to be ruthless in harvesting early from this root as we have other later varieties to follow on. Our much maligned sprouts are doing their best to produce us a least one helping in the next few weeks. Our over wintered carrots and parsnips are still in good condition as are our leeks which are rather small this year as they were sown much too late last year. Must remember to sow them earlier this year!

Saturday, 26 February 2011


We were back to dull and cloudy for Friday a big disappointment after such a glorious day yesterday. Just for good measure it started to rain late in the evening.

The weather did continue mild but this might have brought on some early problems. Who ate these flowers slugs or birds?
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Friday, 25 February 2011


Thursday was a beautiful mild and sunny day letting us know that spring is just around the corner. It turned out to be the mildest day of the year. In the greenhouse the temperature was into the 20°C's in the afternoon and I took the chance to get my potatoes out of the garage and into some trays for chitting. The raspberry replacements (Glen Moy) from Keepers Nursery were put into a pot until we can get them planted out on the plot.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Thursday, 24 February 2011


Wednesday was a much milder day but still no sunshine. The forecast towards the end of the month seems to be for the milder weather to continue with the possibility of cooler weather at the beginning of March.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Following our nest box cam problems the pictures can be viewed by clicking on the picture below which is also located at the top of my blog.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
The web site is under development and will be added to over the coming weeks and months so be prepared for the odd link to take you into the ether. Hopefully we will be able to keep these to a minimum as the site is developed.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

An improvement of sorts

Tuesday was a better day but in all honesty it didn't have to be great to do that. It was milder and there was even a hint of sunshine just before lunchtime. It was spring like in the greenhouse so I made the most of it and potted up our strawberry plants which had arrived from Marshalls.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Our greenhouse now has lots of plants awaiting an improvement in soil conditions to get them planted. March good be an extra busy month.

We had our first offer on nest box cam today with a particularly fussy viewer. The bad news is that my nest box cam page in blogger has disappeared. I'm not at all sure what happened but we're working on an improved page.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


The bleak weather continued on Monday. It was another sunless and cold day. After the warm start to the month the last week of cold weather has brought the monthly average down to that expected for February. Some warmer weather is forecast for the end of the week.

The continued cold weather meant no nest box cam visitors again on Monday.

Monday, 21 February 2011


Sunday continued the spell of dull and cold weather. Since last Wednesday it's true to say that we haven't any brighter spells of weather let alone sunshine. This plot of solar radiation indicates just how dull the last few days have been.

A little disappointing too in that there were no nest box cam visits to report.

All the weather charts have been updated to 20th February on the 2011 Weather Chart Page.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

A little reminder!

Saturday was a reminder that it's still February and winter rules. It snowed for most of the morning but it wasn't that dry powdery snow it was wet and slushy from the start. It stopped snowing at lunch time and thawed through the afternoon and evening even though the temperature didn't mange much above 3°C all day. It's a reminder too of why for us it's too early to start sowing seeds even in our greenhouse.


It was every bit as dull and miserable as it appears from this photo.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

There was little action to report from nest box cam. Just an inquisitive peep inside around lunch time. I reckon they were all too busy finding food in the snow.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Who's eating our coconut - the answer!

As yesterday was cold and miserable I decided to find out just who was eating our fat filled coconut.

I manged to get some good pictures of our smaller visitors but the larger birds were a little bit too zoomed in and more than filled the picture frame. Our little blue tit managed to get in on the act even with the larger birds about.
From Birds

Bird Box Cam - a quick glance inside

Friday was another cold, dull day so I didn't expect any visits to bird box cam. I was wrong though, as I think this blue tit had a very quick look around inside without actually going into the nest box.

So our first prospective resident has had a look around on day two. I suppose that's not too bad. I just need to keep an eye out for any others.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Dull for house hunting

Thursday was a complete contrast to Wednesday as we didn't see any sun at all and it was a pretty miserable sort of a day. I'm sure the birds prefer bright sunny days with a hint of spring in the air for house hunting, so no residents in bird cam nest after day one. It's early days though so I'm still hoping we get some residents this spring. Fingers crossed!

Whilst on the subject of birds and weather Mrs GL was out taking photographs in the dullness and snapped this of our new daphne, brightening up the day, which we assume is growing courtesy of our feathered friends who must have flown in and dropped off the seed.

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Bird Box Cam

Wednesday was a lovely sunny day. It was felt quite warm in the sunshine but still pretty cool in the shade.

I decided it was about time to put up our new nest box camera. A pretty tricky operation to get everything connected up and the camera pointing where hopefully a blue tit will take advantage of a newly built detatched residence in a prime location.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
It's taken me sometime but I've just about managed to come up with a method of getting pictures from the camera onto my PC and the web. Here's the first picture of our new pristine interior awaiting furnishing.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Coldest in February

Tuesday was dull and cold and we had our lowest average temperature of the month just 3.3°C. The immediate threat of colder weather by the week end seems to have now been pushed back towards the middle of next week. Today is the first day that my daily mean temperature calculations have placed us below record levels for the month.

Meanwhile under the indoor grow light our experimental crops seem to be continuing in a satisfactory manner. Obviously to move any of these seedlings to the greenhouse at the moment would be pretty risky.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Sunny spells

Monday had some sunny spells but some dark cloudy spells too. In the evening the temperature fell below freezing for the first time this month.

It meant that for a few hours temperatures in the greenhouse also fell below 0°C for the first time this month. I suppose that's all young seedlings would need to finish them off.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Sprouting Cabbages

Sunday continued with a similar weather pattern. A little more rain means that we have now exceeded the typical amount for the month so it seems reasonable to assume the ground on the plot will be pretty wet. The forecast is for much cooler weather towards next weekend as it's predicted that high pressure will build from the continent.

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
My cabbage seeds Primo sown on the 9th and placed under our indoor grow light are just starting to germinate. The seed was left over from last year so I'm pleased it's germinated. There are 2 seeds per cell so as soon as possible one seedling will need to be removed. Sad but necessary. It's just a question of how long they can remain indoors, especially with that colder weather forecast for next weekend.

The weather charts page has been updated to the 13th February. So far this month the greenhouse temperature has remained above 0°C hence frost free, but only just!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Who's eating our coconut?

Saturday followed in the pattern of the last few days, a pretty dull morning and some pleasant afternoon sunshine and around normal temperatures.

We've put out some fat filled coconut shells which seem to have become extremely popular with our birds. I'm just not sure which ones. We've spotted a dunnock, robin and blackbird eating the fat but we also have a sneaky suspicion that a magpie is also involved. In any case they make a good job of removing every scrap of fat.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
I think it's time I tried to capture the diners on film.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Weather charts relocated

Friday wasn't that bad a day. Overnight rain cleared away in the morning leaving everywhere rather wet. The sun didn't make much of an appearance but the temperatures were about average for the time of year. More rain arrived late on in the evening.

I took the opportunity of making some changes to where the updated weather charts are stored and now rather than just appearing as a regular blog posting the latest weather charts can now be found under the Pages section of the blog in the right hand margin.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Each time the charts are updated the new version should replace the existing set of charts.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Will it last?

Thursday's temperatures were just a little above average for February so the above average temperatures for the month continue. Forecasts have some colder night time temperatures due over the weekend and into the early part of next week.

I'm not sure whether our fuchsia in the greenhouse will have made it through the winter but I noticed this little survivor in the pot along with the fuchsia other day. I wonder how it got there?

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Thursday, 10 February 2011


Wednesday was another mildish day although with much less sunshine. I couldn't resist the temptation to try sowing some early cabbage seeds as I'm sure the cold winter has ruined our spring cabbage. So I thought it worth risking a few early Primo seeds to try for some early cabbage and to give our new indoor growing garden another test.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Outside the mild spell of weather has brought out the snowdrops. Obviously the cold of early winter has done nothing to slow down our snowdrops which may be slightly earlier than last year.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


Tuesday made you think that spring was here. A lovely sunny day with some warmth in the sunshine too. It's the first time this year that the greenhouse temperature has managed 20°C, and the first time since 4th November that I've recorded 3 hours of sunshine. As the sun starts to get higher in the sky the garden and greenhouse receive a little more sunshine each day.

There was a superb sunset. This was the picture picked up on my web cam as the sun set. The strange thing is my web cam faces north east and not really into the direction of the setting sun.

The sunset was also snapped with our camera set on sunset mode. The sunset looks spectacular although I wouldn't say that it's a true representation of the colours.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Gales again

The gales of last week continued on Sunday and Monday. The temperature was well above normal through Sunday but fell quickly on Monday afternoon as the wind eased and the sun came out. The chart below shows that the recent spell of weather has produced the highest wind gusts speeds since last June.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Upsidedown World

Remember back at the end of December last year when we'd just experienced one of the coldest December's on record it was reported in the press and  on TV that 2010 had been one of the warmest years on record globally. It seemed odd but we're are only a small part of the world so obviously we can be cold and other warmer areas offset our cold.

Looking at a similar comparison now the position has reversed. Our temperatures have warmed up and January turned out to be only slightly cooler than average and February has started off positively mild for February. However global temperatures have cooled down considerably and are now just below the 1981 to 2010 average based on satellite temperature measurements. Click on the graph to go to more details regarding how this graph is formulated.
From 2011 Weather Charts
So will the fall in the global temperature continue or are we in for another record warm year? Will I have to change my gardening techniques to cope in a warmer world or will things continue just as they are? This seems rather unlikely as the one thing for sure is that the climate is ever changing. We'll just have to wait and see if it's hot or cold.

Weekly Charts to 6th February 2011

Remember to click on the image to view charts in full size
Temperature and Rainfall Details for the last 4 weeks
The charts now include temperatures recorded by my weather station for the same period 12 months ago
From 2011 Weather Charts

From 2011 Weather Charts
The charts below to compare our monthly temperatures this year with those of last year and the coldest and warmest temperatures for each month. The figures are mean temperatures for each day. Scroll through the individual monthly sheets for daily temperatures and rainfall figures.

Table produced using data from the Met Office Hadley Centre. The data covers the period 1772 to 2009

Greenhouse v Outside Temperatures
I've added this data and chart to the January 2011 tab on the above spreadsheet. Rainfall details are also included on this tab too.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Record warmth!

The wind eased gradually through Saturday. It was a dull day with plenty of rain and mild. February has started off very mild, in fact so mild if the temperatures remained like they are for the rest of the month we could set a new high record temperature for February.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Following on from a record cold December that would be rather odd. However, there's still a long way to go in February and a few sunny, frosty days will quickly bring the average temperature down.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

In tatters

Rain,sun and gale force winds were the order of the day for Friday. My weather station recorded its highest wind gust speed of 36mph at 20:00 knocking spots of the previous 28mph. Much higher speeds were recorded around more exposed parts of West Yorkshire.

Our garden seems to have escaped from the gales athough I'll have to speed up the construction of our new bird tables as are old one was blown over in the wind leaving it much the worse for wear.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Friday, 4 February 2011

All sorts!

Thursday was a day of all sorts. It was windy early on but this gave way to calmer sunnier weather late morning and afternoon before turning wet and very windy by late evening.

Our snowdrops are almost on flower but they'll need to keep their heads down if the gale force winds continue.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Thursday, 3 February 2011

How warm is your cold greenhouse?

February arrives and all keen gardeners start to think about getting some seeds sown for early crops. This might be especially true if you like to try to produce some early vegetables ready for harvesting when shop prices are high. In my case this usually involves sowing seeds in my cold greenhouse, moving into my cold frame to grow on and harden, off before finally planting out into the plot.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Through the winter the greenhouse has been to put to use for over wintering garlic and also as shelter from the weather to manufacture some new bird tables for the garden. It’s first use in the year is usually somewhere to pot on new arrivals that come bare rooted from nurseries and need a temporary home until conditions outside are suitable.
But just how soon can I start sowing seeds in my greenhouse. This mostly depends on the minimum temperature in the greenhouse over night as I don’t want to go to the expense of heating my greenhouse. On the 13th January the temperature in the greenhouse reached 17.1°C during the day, positively spring like, but the down side, it fell to -1.1°C on the 29th of the month.
Some research suggests that a cold greenhouse should be maintained at 7°C whilst if all that is required is just to keep away any frost the temperature shouldn’t be allowed to drop below 3°C allowing for some element of safety. So I’ve been monitoring the temperatures in my greenhouse over the last few months. Now that seed sowing time is approaching I’ve been taking much more notice of the daily temperatures and just how close to the 7°C or 3°C the temperature has been.
From 2011 Weather Charts
I’ve analysed these figure just to see how warm or cold it’s been in the greenhouse. Looking at the 7°C cold greenhouse levels then January’s results are pretty mixed, but clearly nowhere near the level required for classifying as a cold greenhouse level.

There were just 2 days in the month when day time temperatures didn’t manage to reach 7°C but more importantly there were only 3 days in the month when the night time temperature didn’t fall below this value. I think the lower values are far more important when it comes to germination than the high temperatures. There are 744 hours in the month and the greenhouse was below 7 °C for 464 hours and above for 280 hours. Obviously based on 3°C for a frost free greenhouse the figures are much better but there were still only 6 nights when the temperature remained above 3°C.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
The obvious conclusion to draw from this is that it’s still far too cold to start sowing seeds in my greenhouse during January. Seed is too expensive to waste and it’s much better to keep it in its packets and wait until the seed has more of a chance of germinating. I’m planning to get my seeds off to a better start this year using my new toy an indoor lighting system for some of my seeds. Especially the ones that benefit from higher temperatures for germination such as tomatoes and sweet peppers. As for the greenhouse I’m still not really planning to sow many seeds in there until the end of March.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Last month of winter!

Tuesday was a mild sunny day getting February off to a great start. After the cooler spell of the last few days it felt mild in the sunshine. Primroses on the plot are starting to flower and are our first flowers of the year.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

A quiet end to the month

Monday turned out sunny in the afternoon after a dull start to the day. The temperature was a little below normal again through the day following an overnight frost.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Sunday was cloudy all day and a little on the cool side even for the end of January.