This section is from the book "The Gardener V2", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
On March 14th we had 8° of frost; on the 15th, 12°; and on the 16th, 7°. Our thermometer is self-registering, and hangs 5 feet from the ground, against a north wall. The garden lies high, with a considerable incline to the south, and well sheltered from the north.
On April 6 th we had 12°, when Apricot and Plum blossoms suffered under double covering tiffany. In former seasons we have proved that a single covering of No. 2 tiffany will repel 4½° of frost when the atmosphere is dry.
Keith Hall. G. Donaldson.
On March 15th, at Meldon Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, the thermometer registered 15° or 17° below freezing. Mean temperature for March, min. ther. 34°. 2, max. 53°. 3. Rainfall, .68.
At Hintlesham Hall, Ipswich, there were 8° frost on March 14th, 4° on the 15th, 10° on the 27th, 10° on April 6th, 11° on April 8th.
The frost on the 15th of March in the neighbourhood of Leith: - At 6 o'clock on the morning of that day the thermometer stood at 10°. My thermometer is hung outside the window of my cottage, and about 7 feet from the ground, and I found the ice in a tub in the garden § of an inch thick at the above hour.
By recourse to my note-book, 1 find that the thermometer on the 22d of March 1870 stood at 12°, and the ground frozen to the depth of 2 inches. M. K.
At Castletoun, Carlisle, there were 23° of frost on March 15th.
March was characterised by an unusually low temperature, with the exception of a few days in the fore end of it, which were as unusually high in temperature, especially on the 4th, when the thermometers showed 55° in the shade; after which, the temperature gradually fell until the 15th, when it fell 12° below freezing in Keithock Gardens. In the immediate neighbourhood the frost ranged from 12° to 14° and upwards below freezing, according to climatic circumstances, such as clayey subsoils or river-sides; and down to the end of the month we scarcely had a night free of frost, with a cutting cold north-east wind all the time, and an occasional slight fall of snow. Such barren weather could not fail to be most detrimental to vegetation in general, and garden crops in par-ticulai*. Although March dust in most cases is desirable, and especially so to the agriculturist, still it has been in cases of very light sandy soils to an almost damaging degree. The beginning of April brought little or no improvement on the preceding month's weather. On the 6th the temperature fell 10° below freezing, and in neighbouring places to as much as 12° and 14°. Again on the 11th the thermometer fell 8° below freezing.
Cauliflower under mats had their leaves nearly all destroyed, burned now by the sun like a withered Bay-leaf. Rain fell heavily a few hours on the night of the 12th, refreshing things very much, and changing the weather into a more mild April form, which is to be hoped will continue now.
The finer class of Coniferae are now beginning to show the damaging effect of the severe frost in January last, more especially those that were autumn shifted. In some cases even Bays and Laurels have suffered. A. Kemp.
Keithock Gardens, April 13, 1871.
At Castle Newe, Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, on Dec. 23, it was 2° below zero. March 15th, 12°; and April 6th, 17° below freezing.
We registered 24° of frost on the 15th of March, which was the most severe in my recollection at this season. Vegetation seemed to suffer more from it than from the 28° we had at the end of December. A. Kerr.
The Gardens, Netherby.