Wednesday, May 5

April in Pictures

Monday, May 3

A little of the wet stuff

Reality check - it is now May! Have the weather gods gone on strike? Have there meteorological clocks stopped? Just what is going on? We are just so behind in any gardening - I just wish some gardening programmes would reflect the conditions that we are having to deal with. They happily state that we shouldn't sow seeds until the ground warms up and then proceed to sow their seeds. Are they living in an alternative universe or is it our little patch of the planet that is out of kilter?

At the beginning of last week, I cleared and Martyn rotovated more beds but they were really too dry and didn't break down as much as they should. I've been watering the plants that we have actually planted which at present are confined to broad beans, some early brassicas, onions and shallot sets, and garlic. None of which are showing any inclination to grow. The photos below show how dry the ground is.
At the weekend we had some rain, although at the time of writing, Sunday afternoon, this hasn't amounted to very much. The patio is damp but you can see that areas sheltered by the pots are still dry.
Last spring was dry, and we managed to keep to some sort of schedule. To some extent you can combat the lack of rain by watering. The problem is along with the lack of rain we have a lack of any degree of warmth with this April being one of the coldest for some time.

The temperatures most nights in, April have been low enough to give a frost which has been damaging to young and old growth.
Fortunately, the potatoes that we have managed to plant have not yet pushed through and who can blame them. At this stage, the early varieties are usually showing and take their chance that they will avoid being frosted. The brassicas and broad beans are not really growing and the brassicas in particular are showing signs of distress.

We don't heat the greenhouse so growth and germination inside is slow. Most things are shrouded under a covering of fleece.
The carrots shown were sown exactly a month ago on 2 April. With such slow germination and growth under covering we see little point in sowing any outdoors at the moment.

Looking for some positivity in the garden, is it my imagination or are early spring flowers hanging on longer this year?
I'm sure that hellebores and hyacinths would have disappeared by now and the flowering shrubs seem to be flowering better than ever.
I wonder whether the ornamental cherry blossom in the park will hang on for longer this year? Although I guess the winds predicted for this week will end the display prematurely.
If the forecasts are correct, the wind won't do our crab apple trees any favours either.
Isn't that lovely blue sky deceptive - it has all the appearance of a beautiful day but there was a sting in its tail!
Back to the park, just to show how dry it has been. Earlier in the year, the water in the beck that runs through the park came almost to the top of the surrounding walls.
So let's end on a positive note. The bluebells were looking lovely at Nostell Priory. The photograph below doesn't do them justice. If we manage a walk there this week I'll try to do better.
We hardly met anyone else during our afternoon there but as we didn't venture too far as rain was threatening, we decided to let, Ruby have some fun chasing her ball. There's an enclosed area where dogs can safely have some off lead time. Again the photos are not the best as, Ruby is like a streak of lightning when she races after the ball. I'll have to remember to set a fast shutter speed next time.
One plant on the allotment that seems to shrug off the inclement conditions is our old faithful rhubarb which provided us with our only harvest of the week.
It would be so easy to become disheartened by the lack of gardening progress but in the general scheme things could be a lot worse. The weather must improve at some point and when it does we will just have to catch up as well as we can. We're lucky in that we will not starve if crops don't grow as well as they should.

As always keep safe and well. I hope as many of you as possible are now joining the army of those vaccinated. 

This week I'm cheekily - do a few sticks of rhubarb qualify as a harvest? - joining Harvest Monday on Dave's Our Happy Acres blog so I have linked to him this week. I'm sure other contributors have much more to show so why not pop over and take a look.
Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments author S Garrett