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

20 comments:

  1. Very heavy, much needed, rainfall here today, but ground is so dry I doubt it will soak in. High, up to 70mph, winds too. Very bad timing as the village is now full of dripping wet, exceptionally miserable tourists and day trippers with now where to go. I enjoyed the dry, albeit cold, and sunny April, but am yet to sow a single seed for this year. Do you have a sport setting on your camera for capturing Ruby's high octane capering?

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    1. We have had rain but not heavy rain, Deborah. It's been windy though and bitingly cold in the wind. I do have sports settings and also have set up a programme that used a fast shutter speed but I forgot to change to the right setting. I took more this week with the correct setting.

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  2. Outdoor growth is slow here too, under plastic makes a huge difference though, so it's made up for it : All the best - Steve

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    1. We don't heat our greenhouse and things are slow in there too, Steve. I think plastic keeps things warmer than glass.

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  3. Ruby is a pretty and happy dog!
    Don't despair, Sue, the weather is changing fast. And soon the real spring is coming. It is also cold here, at night the temperature is + 2C. I do not sow or plant anything. The seedlings of tomatoes and peppers are already large, I wanted to sow carrots and greens, but the ground is cold and dry.

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    1. I hope that it will change fast, Nadezda bit at the moment there is little sign of this cold weather moving on for anything other than a few days respite.

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  4. Once again the weather forecast promises that things will improve..... next week!

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    1. It's always maybe next week, Mal then just before the forecast changes,

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  5. Our weather has turned cooler too, though perhaps not so much as yours. I am trying to get beds prepped for when the weather finally does warm up!

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    1. We have have bitterly cold winds, Dave. Just to make matters worse and batter everything that is managing to grow.

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  6. Ever faithful rhubarb. Looks like my Victoria. I think many of us are experiencing new norms with the weather. I can visualize the bluebells, remembering the scilia that blooms in Massachusetts at this time of year.

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    1. Ours is Timperley Early, Sue. the bluebells were even better this week.

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  7. It’s very frustrating! We do like Beechgrove, which does highlight the weather issues as it’s in Scotland. We’re in the middle of a storm now... Nice rain, but the strong wind is most unwelcome!

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    1. We watch Beechgrovw too, Belinda but miss Jim. Even then the allotment they showed must have a heated greenhouse as things looked much further on than in ours> It's been windy here too.

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  8. Yup - we've been cooler here too but at least we've had some good rain over the past few days, which the garden appreciates. I'm overdue on planting out the potatoes and onions, so hopefully this week.

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    1. Our rain has been more showery than a good downpour, Margaret. We've planted potaties in May in the past and had a good crop, We just need any good weather to hang about when it arrives.

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  9. It's been mad hasn't it. I keep thinking that must be the last of the frost and then there's more. I emptied the wildlife pond on Saturday as it was really sludgy and dark. I spent yesterday later afternoon and evening collecting rainwater to fill it back up again - it could be along process. Might have to wait for the August monsoons! I put my runner beans out, despite the frosts, and they are doing alright, setting off up their sticks. They'd got very spindly waiting on the windowsill though. Your park looks very pretty , no doubt Ruby loves it there.

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    1. We haven't seen much of the frogs here, CJ. WE haven't even sown any runner beans yet!

      Ruby loves the park and Nostell, she gets very excited in the car when she realises where we are going. Her range of excited noises includes, hen, duck and chimp impressions.

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  10. Loving Ruby. Oh, I was nodding throughout this post. It's been freezing dry and windy here too, apart from the last few days when we had downpours and heavy winds. Everything is germinating so slowly this year, my courgettes haven't even germinated yet. Here's to a little warmth.xxx

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    1. We haven't had any downpours, Dina just damping down showers, but it's so cold and windy. We need the wind directions to do an about turn.

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