I often say our growing conditions here are challenging because of our micro-climate but it was really brought home to me earlier in the week. We’d had snow overnight and I’d got an appointment with my osteopath in the town.
The car was covered and needed clearing and warming up before I could drive it. The track from the house to the side road was covered with snow sitting on ice – very slippy. So an extremely careful drive down.
The main road was absolutely clear of snow and there was none in the fields to the sides. That’s the difference between our house at 215m altitude above sea level and the main road’s 70m. Just driving from the main road up to the house, the temperature falls by three degrees.
I once worked out that our altitude was the equivalent of moving up to the border of Scotland. That came as a shock!
My point is that you can’t accurately define your sowing / planting dates arbitrarily on your general area. Your area is a good general guide but always drill down to your plot.
Even on the same plot or garden things vary. One bed catches the morning sun, one the afternoon. Shade from a tree or hedge, shelter or lack of it from the prevailing wind and the windchill all effect the growing conditions.
And all that before we consider how variable the weather is, especially in recent years. Perhaps it’s just me, I’ve not looked up the statistics, but we seem to have more and more storms every year. And they seem to get worse too.
Cold Ended in Drama
Well the snow and ice were replaced with wind and rain as the temperature went up. Then storm Isha arrived. I’d prepared as best I could but was worried about the greenhouses. Happily they’ve survived.
I don’t think it was quite as bad here as expected but still it was dramatic. The gusts were that strong they nearly blew me over checking the chickens were to bed and closing the coop for the night. Despite them being somewhat sheltered from the wind and rain in their secure run, they’d gone to roost early anyway.
Gary and Gabriel came over and went up to the polytunnel where they cleared some carrots. The rain thudding on the tunnel and the wind made it quite deafening in their so back to the house. There’s still some carrots left in one bed which we’ll empty soon.
Went with Gary into the old cowshed and completely emptied the potato store. Each sack was emptied and the potatoes inspected. There’s some sprouting but happily only three potatoes had started to rot with blight.
Checked the box I built and no sign of rats penetrating or even trying. We might be clear of them this year but when you let your guard down is when they get through. After losing so much of last year’s crop to rats, I’m being very careful.