We Are Dim
It is May and the Dorset Oozer has been at the Cerne Abbas Giant welcoming in Spring. The Oozer is the traditional Dorset embodiment of Cerne the Hunter or Cernunnos. Every May 1st at 5am, since 1957 the Wessex Morris Men welcome in the light and fertility of spring. They dance and parade the Oozer at the Maypole above the Giant’s head. They chase out any winter evil with their bells, clacking sticks and whirling handkerchiefs. Everyone is invited to attend and add their energy to this important rite of Spring. If you would like to see them dance or find out about traditional Wessex Morris dancing follow the Link to the right under information.
Monday morning the BBC ran a story on spring horticulture. It explained why some of our seeds are not germinating as quickly as to be expected. April’s incredibly persistent rains have reduced the light so much that their growth is retarded. Scientists have been tracking the global irradiance in general since the 1950,s. (see Link under information) Their reports indicate that the earth suffered a 4% overall dimming of the sun’s light during the decades 1960-1990. They speculate that this was caused by the shadowing effect of particulates in the air from human intervention and volcanic activity. Pollution in the form of carbon emissions and aerosol particulates also interfere with the clouds. The particulates form the nuclei around which raindrops form. The droplets formed around these nuclei are smaller than normal but still suspend the same amount of water as a normal cloud. These smaller drops reflect the sun’s light back into space adding to the dimming effect. Since then there is beginning to be a slight reversal of this trend but April’s clouds and rain did not help.
The report showed the interiors of commercial greenhouses filled with languishing plants. Poppies that should have been ready to flower are showing no sign of opening. Most of the plants were produced for the Chelsea Flower Show scheduled to open in two weeks. If the Chelsea Flower Show hasn’t been successful in growing their plants how could we expect to be successful? We have managed to achieve an overall germination of about 80% which is clearly a triumph. It still doesn’t mean we are planting them outside yet.
I am once again making tons of paper pots. Why? Because the seedlings in the standard plastic seeding trays that are going to be set out need to be transferred to larger bio-degradable pots where they can flourish until we finally see some dry weather. Meanwhile we open the greenhouses at every opportunity to catch what direct light they can. The seeded Onions and Shallots are now outside full-time. The transplanted cabbages, kales, root veg and some of the flowers will soon follow. We need to plant out the main crop seed potatoes no matter what. The shell peas can also go out, they love a bit of water and cool temperatures. We will just keep setting up beds and filling them as we are able. We did buy 100 meters of 2 meter wide fleece. It will not protect the beds from heavy rain but it will give them a slightly warmer environment. We are going to use it for insect protection on the cabbages and Brassica. There is nothing worse than cutting into a caterpillar-infested cabbage.
Posted on May 8, 2012, in Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbages, Insects, Kale, Solar, Uncategorized, Vegetables and tagged Cerne Abbas Giant, Cernunnos, Chelsea Flower Show, Dorset Oozer, Global Dimming, Global Irradiance, Herne the Hunter, May Day, Morris Dancing, Vegetable Gardening in Dorset, Wet April in UK. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.