View from the Rear Window - March 2022

 March is the first month of meteorological Spring as we start to look forward to warmer days with less frequent frosts. The garden is really starting to green up and March is a great time for flowering bulbs. Our general impression was that March 2022 was a dry, sunny and fairly quiet month, but would the weather stats back that up? Previous months of 2022 can be found here and here. This photo of the back garden was taken on March 3rd 2022. For the most part, trees are still bare except for a few pink flowers on the wild cherry. Our neighbour's grass lawn is growing fast which is good for me as it supplies much-needed 'winter/spring' nitrogen for my hot composting system. The hellebores and viburnum provide some welcome contrast to the early Spring greening while daffodils and primulas provide a splash of yellow and the promise of warmer days (with occasional frosts!)... 


Garden and wild daffodils appear in February but will continue to flower throughout March as this garden photo from the 28th March shows...


...and the kerria japonica is not looking too bad.

By the end of March (30th) our wild cherry was looking its best with our neighbour's cherry tree a close second! Fortunately, we missed out on any really strong winds in March so the cherry blossom remained intact for longer...


March is also a good month for tulips and they bring exciting colour to the garden...



Jobs in the Garden

  1. Seed sowing frenzy at the beginning of the month, especially tomatoes, sweet and chilli pepers, aubergines, courgettes, squashes and cucumber
  2. Following on from 1, transplanting mini-plants to bigger/individual pots
  3. Plant out sprouted garlic cloves (hard-necked, Sainsbury's) in the ground. These had been started off in the greenhouse (early February), hardened off in the polytunnel (late February) and planted outside on the 9th March
  4. Split off some comfrey root for my daughter's garden
  5. Onion sets arrive in the post on 19th March. Immediately plant outside next to garlic. Surround with insect-proof netting. Water every other day with rainwater from our waterbutts during dry periods
  6. Mulch/feed fruit trees and bushes with compost: apples, pears, plums, redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries & raspberries
  7. Strawberry plants rooted in the Hydropod transplanted into 13 cm pots filled with recovered coir & placed in Wonderwall planters                                                                                                              
  8. Neverending compost-making, pruning, tidying up and adding new plants to the garden
  9. Last year's stored potato and onion harvest still being eaten! Along with regular pickings of sprouting brocolli, kale, spinach and chard sown last year  
  10. To be honest, not that busy a month - we had time to take a short break and visit family

March 2022 Weather

A summary of key weather parameter for March 2022 can be found in the table below. Not too windy (unlike February), generally dry with warm daytime and cool nighttime temperatures.

March 2022

Weather Parameter

Value

Dates

Average Monthly Temperature 

8 oC


Maximum Monthly Temperature

21 oC

24th

Minimum Monthly Temperature

-0 oC#

17th & 21st 

Number of Air Frost Days

2


Number of Hot Days (> 25 oC)

0


Monthly Precipitation

39.4 mm


Greatest 24 h Precipitation

11.4 mm

10th - 11th

Number of Dry Days

19


Monthly Sunshine Hours (estimated)

107



Average Wind Speed

4 km/h


Highest Wind Speed

37 km/h

13th & 31st

Maximum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1043.6 hPa

18th

Minimum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

996.2 hPa

11th

Average Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1021.5 hPa


# minimum temperature below 0 ℃ but not as cold as -1 ℃ so also counts as an air frost day

Maximum and minimum temperatures throughout the month are shown in the bar graph below [click once on the plot for a larger, clearer image]. The second half of the month was characterised by warm, even hot, sunny days combined with cold nights (including a couple of air frosts).



The next bargraph summarises rainfall and solar radiation during March 2022 [click on plot for larger image].  Rainfall was low and occurred at the start, middle and end of the month. The second half of the month was notable for its sunny days.



The Met Office reported March 2022 as the the second sunniest in the UK since records began in 1919 (and the sunniest since 1929) as high pressure and clear skies were the order of the day (and night).  Northern Ireland (NI) and Scotland had an especially sunny March with NI having nearly twice the sunshine hours it normally receives.

Compared with the long-term average (1991-2020), the West Midlands, including Herefordshire, was a bit sunnier than normal with average rainfall and a mean temperature about 1 ℃ higher.

So, how does March 2022 in the back garden compare with 2020 and 2021? Temperature-wise, 2022 stands out because of its significantly higher maximum temperature (21 ℃) but is, otherwise, quite similar to 2020 and 2021.
Compared with 2020 & 2021, March 2022 had similar rainfall and sunshine but was a little less windy...
And finally, some pictures from the garden...








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