Monday, April 26

Feeling needled

The weather at the moment is really needling us.  It’s conspiring to hold up progress on the allotment. We went months when all it seemed to do was rain and the ground was soggy and too wet to work. Now the tap has been well and truly turned off and the earth is on the verge of being too dry to work. Night temperatures are consistently plummeting to freezing and during the day we have latterly enjoyed warm sunshine.

All in all it is not conducive to raising seedlings or sowing and planting outdoors. Even the weeds are struggling.
The goosegrass above displays the reddish tints that indicate a plant is stressed. On the plus side, weed seeds are not germinating so beds that we have cleared are remaking weed free. If weed seeds refuse to germinate what chance have we in germinating carrots or parsnips?

We are having to water the plants that are already out there. The more tender seedlings are being transferred from the greenhouse to the kitchen on a nightly basis and seeds are itchy to jump out of the seed packets.
We paid one of our regular visits to Nostell Priory last week. It was a lovely day and from the photos below you would think everything in the garden was rosy. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and cloudless and greenery was transforming many trees and hedgerows.
Incidentally, the patch of bare earth in the distance in the photo bottom left was the location for what resembled a lake throughout winter and into March.

Ruby enjoyed running through the dandelions and this year even resisted snapping off the flower heads. 
In the garden and on the plot, tulips are providing splashes of colour.
I was pleased that the tulips planted in tubs a couple of years ago have performed again but I’m planning to plant them in the garden when they die down. Hopefully, I’ll feel safe enough to visit the garden centre and buy new bulbs later in the year.
Some garden plants appear to have shrugged off the frost better than others. Whilst the camellia flowers are untouched, the magnolia flowers are tinged with brown.
The blossom of the cherry tree planted in a pot in the garden has fared far better than that of the tree planted at the plot.
The open aspect on our allotment site gives less protection than in our more enclosed garden. I’m hoping that the apple blossom avoids being ruined by the frosts.
There is no shortage of willing pollinators. The area in front of our allotment shed is the site of many perfectly excavated holes made by solitary bees.
Seeds are being sown in the hope that shortly conditions will be more favourable and the night temperatures will climb. The forecasts indicate that we may have to wait a few more weeks before that hope is realised. I’m glad the potatoes already planted haven’t yet nudged their way through the soil. We planted more potatoes on Sunday, this time Apache and Osprey. Lots more tubers are waiting to be planted.
More beds have been prepared ready for planting but things are still looking very bare. Martyn, has been busily rotovating beds as I have managed to clear them. It’s a race against time before the ground becomes just too dry.
There is very little to harvest at present but we did manage to cut a red cabbage and another tiny cauliflower.

The red cabbages seem to be made of tougher stuff than their green cousins. They also appear to be less attractive to wood pigeons and white butterflies although as they are planted amongst the greens they are grown under enviromesh.

The weather wasn't the only thing needling us last week. We all had our second Covid-19 vaccination. Martyn was on Friday, my sister on Saturday and I had mine on Sunday. Now we need to hope that no mutations sneak in that can tolerate the vaccines.

As always in these uncertain times keep safe and well.

This I'm joining Harvest Monday on Dave's Our Happy Acres blog so I have linked to him this week  

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

26 comments:

  1. Glad you've had your vaccinations, that's good news. The weather is indeed really tricky isn't it. I think the blossom here has escaped the frosts unharmed and there have been plenty of bees around, but my seedlings need to move on and yes, we really need some rain. Ruby is looking adorable as ever - at least there are no muddy dogs to contend with at the moment!

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    1. No problem with muddy dogs is a bonus, CJ. The allotment blossom has been affected to varying degrees. Only time will tell whether any fruit has set.

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  2. Good news about your vaccinations. I can't remember the last time we had rain, it's forecast this week but I don't think we'll get as much as we need to give everything a good drink. We were walking at Lotherton today and the earth in the orchard is cracking open already, we need some good downpours.

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    1. Some of the beds on the plot are starting to crack, Jo

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  3. Patiently waiting my second inoculation, but have finally started venturing off my drive. Rain, seems but a distant memory now, and I hope when we get it, it is gentle otherwise it won't do us any good at all.

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    1. I never thought at the beginning of this year that I'd be wishing for rain, Deborah.

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  4. I've never managed to save red cabbage this late, but we are in our season of abundance right now, can't keep up with it all, so I can't really complain

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    1. We have a break over winter, Steve so no abundance here.

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  5. I always love to see your flowers and flowering trees/shrubs. The large photos of the allotment also is nice to see.

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  6. The weather has been fickle here too, with snow and freezing temps a week ago and high near 80F today! It's actually turned quite dry here too, and I hope that isn't a sign. The last two years have been too wet though, so I guess we are due for a dry summer. I haven't visited a garden nursery in over a year now. I am still trying to get comfortable shopping for groceries!

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    1. Our weather alternates between too wet and too dry, Dave. No happy medium,
      We're unlikely to go into grocery shops from our main shops in the future, Dave. Even before lockdown we were converted to buying on line and having groceries delivered. No traipsing round supermarkets! I think it will take us all a while to feel comfortable where there are large groups of people although there seem to be plenty willing to sit outside of the pubs.

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  7. We have cold weather as well Sue. The air temperature during the day and night is +3 + 4C, so soil is cold as well. My seedlings are tall and want to be transported but it's low temperature in the greenhouse.
    I'm glad you had your vaccination so you'll be safe during some time (6 months, 1 year or 2 years?) I got it too as my family.
    I do plan the visit to garden center now.

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    1. I think our second vaccination will kick in after two or three weeks, Nadezda but who knows how long some immunity will last. It's all a big unknown isn't it

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  8. We are finally getting some warm weather here after a week or so of cool temps - you definitely seem to get a lot more done than I do when the weather is inclement! Congrats on getting that 2nd shot..we are still waiting on our first.

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    1. The weather here is still unstable, Margaret. we had a small amount of rain today but it was really cold too.

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  9. We had to fill our water butts up at the weekend. It rained this week but not enough to do much good. I harvested the last of the kale last week. The purple sprouting broccoli is just starting to produce some sprouts but too tiny to pick yet

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    1. We didn't have any rain last week, Margaret but had a sprinkling today as you say nothing like enough, Our PSB is long gone - maybe it was an earlier variety,

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  10. It's been the same here, no rain throughout April until yesterday and that wasn't enough. I feel the same, after all that early rain I never thought we'd be needing more. Ruby looks so happy, she's adorable. Your tulips and blossom are lovely, let's hope they all cope with the weird weather. That is a handsome red cabbage! Great news re your second vaccinations, yes, let's hope they stand up to all the new variants.xxx

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    1. Ruby is a happy little dog, Dina except when she in in the shower. The tulips have surprise me as it is their second year in the tulips and they were just popped out of the way during summer. Fingers crossed for the blossom.

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  11. It’s frustrating, all this waiting! We’ve had the rain now and the weeds have loved it! Today it’s May so feels like it should be a turning point....
    Glad to hear you’ve had both vaccines. Fingers crossed for so many things at the moment!
    That cauliflower is fab!

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    1. I don’t think we have reached a turning point yet, Belinda. The temperature doesn’t seem set to loft any time soon.🙁

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  12. The weather continues to needle Sue. I too am fed up with the daily outgoing and incoming journeys that trays of seedlings are making. I see that we are using the same brown quarter seed trays 😂 Mine have lasted for years. Glad to hear that you have had both vaccines now. Himself had his last week and I'm going for mine next week 😄

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    1. Our trays have been in use for years too, Anna.

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  13. Lovely garden and gorgeous blooms. A garden patch sounds like a wonderful hobby. Sadly it is something you can not manage to do in an urban city. But it is a good idea and maybe in the future when I move to the countryside, I can go forth with it. Loved reading your post.

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    1. Sorry that it took a while to rescue you from the spam folder, unknown. Thanks for commenting and can I ask favour if you comment again, Can you sign off with a name even if it is a made up one then I can call you something and pick out your comments.. It's a lovely thought to be able to move to the country, we live in an urban setting too.

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