April 2014                                                                                                                                                          Back to March



Tuesday 1st

6 to 18 to 7°C. 9.94kWh 2.2kW max. Misty start bit cleared to a sunny day with only a few small clouds.


Dug over one of the beds in the fruit cage and planted out the calabrese Aquiles and cabbage Golden Acre. Pat did some more shredding. Gave everything in the poytunnel a really good water seeing as the forecast rain will probably stock up our supplies again tomorrow.


Wednesday 2nd   Pat's birthday

7 to 13 to 9°C. 2.38kWh 800W max. Foggy start and remained misty most of the day despite being quite windy in the morning, with a few short rain showers; nothing like what was forecast.


Sowed the maincrop broad beans Green Longpod and the second early peas Early Onward between wet paper towels to sprout before planting them out in trays. The dahlias and heuchera I ordered came today so started to plant these into large pots. Also some free double begonias and a free dwarf buddleia which Pat isn't very keen on. She is still finding seedlings all over the garden since the last time we grew them so this time it will also go into a pot and we will make sure it is regularly dead-headed.


Thursday 3rd

8 to 13 to 9°C. 1.88kWh 600W max. Misty start which never really cleared and then it started to rain just after midday and continued on and off for the rest of the day and evening but never ver heavy.


Continued to pot the dahlias and begonias and move more early potatoes into polybags in the polytunnel


Friday 4th

9 to 17 to 6°C. 5.41kWh 1.8kW. Mostly thin cloud with a few sunny spells around midday.


Cotinued to move the potatoes into polybags, The first ones I planted this way, Arran Pilot and Swift, have grown really well so I earthed them up by filling the bags with a mixture of half soil and half well rotted compost.


Saturday 5th

6 to 15 to 13°C. 4.05kWh 1.2kW max. Mainly cloudy with some light rain at times.


Continued to pot on the peppers and aubergines and earth up the early potatoes. Also the heat treated onion sets, Hytech and Red Baron came so we planted these into 12 cell trays to sprout before planting them out.


Sunday 6th

12 to 17 to 10°C. 3.15kWh 1.0kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few short rain showers.


Trasplanted the coleus and basil into 12 cell trays and sowed sage, Bonita, Naughty Marieta and Crackerjack marigolds, brussel sprouts and early, mid season and late broccoli. The late broccoli from last years sowing is now ready to pick and is the best we have ever grown with enormous succulent tips. This was F1 Claret which I have never tried before; this year is the same variety.


Monday 7th

9 to 16 to 6°C. 4.49kWh 1.7kW max. Mainly cloudy with a sunnier period around midday but also several short heavy showers (2.4mm in whole)


Between the showers started planting out the onion sets I had started in the polytunnel in 12 cell trays. This year the rotation puts them between the fruit cage and the apple trees.

The parsnips I sowed in early March are finally through. Put down some more slug pellets to make sure they survive.


Tuesday 8th

8 to 15 to 6°C. 9.41kWh 2.2kW max. Mainly sunny but with a cold wind.


Finished planting out the onions and then spent the rest of the afternoon moving things around in the polytunnel so I could extend the polycarbonate box. The tomatoes are growing really well and need more room.


Wednesday 9th

4 to 17 to 7°C. 7.91kWh 2.3kW max. Mainly sunny but still with that cold westerly wind.


Spent much of the afternoon digging over the ground on the far side of the polytunnel. This is where I intend to move the potato bags. Then back to planting begonias in pots inside the polytunnel


Thursday 10th

5 to 14 to 7°C. 3.55kWh 900W max. Mainly overcast but feeling warmer as the wind has dropped.


Time to start dead heading the daffodils. I sometimes wonder why I bother with them. They only flower for a few weeks and then take ages to die back, looking really messy for much longer. Not that there is any way of getting rid of them. No matter how hard you try to dig out all the bulbs from a flower bed there are still some come again the next year.

The Kestrel potatoes are now outgrowing their 3L pots so started moving these too into 17.5L polypots.


Friday 11th

3 to 18 to 5°C. 9.74kWh 2.3kW max. Mainly sunny.


Went to the doctor's for some minor surgery to remove a BCC from my shoulder so only had time to do a few more of the Kestrel potatoes and start moving some of the tomatoes into bigger 2L pots.


Saturday 12th

3 to 13 to 8°C. 4.30kWh 1.2kW max. Variable cloud with a few sunnier intervals.


Not feeling very well, suffering from a delayed reaction to the chemicals I encountered at the doctor's yesterday but Pat helped to finish moving the potatoes and some more tomatoes. Also moved the Californian Wonder pepper and Nicotinia seedlings into 12 cell trays.


Sunday 13th

4 to 18 to 8°C. 8.91kWh 2.1kW max. Mostly sunny but with a blustery wind.


The early potatoes are getting too drawn by the heat in the polytunnel so moved the bags outside. I will protect them with fleece at night for then next few days; the clear skies might lead to a frosty night.


Monday 14th

4 to 16 to 4°C. 9.88kWh 2.2kW max. mostly sunny but still with that cold NW wind. Went up to 31°C in the polytunnel.


Pat cut the lawn. It is not in very good condition having been waterlogged for several weeks during the winter and is now covered in moss. I continued to pot on potatoes and summer bedding plants.


Tuesday 15th

0 to 18 to 7°C. 12.46kWh 2.1kW max. Sunny all day with very little cloud producing the best solar panel reading for a very long time. And the wind has dropped too.


A bit too warm to work in the polytunnel but there was plenty to do pricking out summer bedding seedlings and planting the sprouted Early Onward peas and Green Longpod broad beans into cell trays. Who needs a sauna?


Wednesday 16th

1 to 18 to 8°C. 12.82kWh 2.2kW max. Sunny with a few thin clouds which actually produce more solar power as you can see.


Cooler weather is forecast so decided to leave work in the polytunnel till the weekend. The hyacinths have finished flowering so moved them away from the house and replaced them with pots of short stemmed lilies which have just started to grow after their winter rest. Also pots of freesias which have overwintered in the greenhouse.


Thursday 17th

5 to 12 to 7°C. 3.85kWh 1kW max. Mainly overcast with a few glimpses of the sun and a SW breeze.


Continued to prick out brassicas ( mid season broccoli) and pot on the tomatoes.



Good Friday 18th

1 to 18 to 4°C. 11.58kWh 2.0kW max. Another sunny day apart from a short cloudy period mid-morning.


The perennial weeds in the wild garden and on the verge I treated with glyphosate 3 weeks ago have mainly died back so gave those still living another dose. The wild flower mats are nearly ready to place along the verge but I will wait till it rains, probably on Monday according to the forecast.


Saturday 19th

1 to 15 to 6°C. 8.46kWh 2.3kW max (actually achieved 2.6 for a very short while). Sunny morning with broken cloud in the afternooon.

Still moving the summer bedding into 9cm pots to keep them going till the risk of frost has passed. Today I pottted on the Mimulus


Sunday 20th

3 to 15 to 10°C. 3.15kWh 600W max.  Clear cool start but soon clouded over to a warmer afternoon with some short rain showers. Rained again in the evening.


Monday 21st

5 to 19 to 10°C. 9.92kWh 2.3kW max. Mainly sunny.


Tuesday 22nd

9 to 14 to 9°C. 3.27kWh 500W max. Overcast with some drizzly rain mainly in the morning. A little brighter in the afternoon.


I have nearly finished potting on the summer bedding. Mimulus followed by impatiens, begonia and finally geraniums.


Wednesday 23rd

7 to 14 to 10°C. 3.9kWh 1.8kW max. Mainly overcast with a few spots of rain and a single bright interval mid-afternoon (which explains the 1.8kW peak in the solar generation)


Finally finished potting on the summer bedding but there are stil several boxes of seedlings to prick out.


Thursday 24th

5 to 17 to 7°C. 9.81kWh 1.9kW max. Mainly sunny.


Dug out the remaining old parsnips from last year and used the bed to plant the new celery plants for this year. The new parsnip seedlings are through and are growing their first true leaves. Also started to plant out the remaining onion sets, the heat treated Red Baron and Electra. These grow bigger and keep longer than the non heated treated sets but won't be ready to harvest as early.


Friday 25th

6 to 13 to 9°C. 2.81kWh 500W max. Misty overcast start with rain by early aftenoon. But only light rain; only 4,5mm by the time it finished around 7pm. Definitely not enough to replenish our stocks of rainwater which will need a lot of soon as I start to plant out the polytunnel.


Continued pricking out the marigolds into cell trays and moving the squashes into 3L pots.


Saturday 26th

8 to 16 to 9°C. 10.13kWh 2.1kW max.  Long sunny intervals with a few short heavy showers. Finally some normal April weather!


We have only caught two rabbits in the traps so far ( three actually but one of them escaped as we opened the trap) and they continue to cause a lot of damage in the garden. Digging holes in flower beds, scratching up seed trays and seed beds and eating young plants down to the ground. What they miss gets eaten by mice or dug up by birds. It has got to a point where everything has to be sown in pots or trays in the poytunnel and even when they have been pricked out and potted on they still are not safe in the nursery beds and cold frames.  So I have decided to completely enclose the nursery area with a 120cm wire mesh fence with the bottom 20cm buried in the ground. I will also cover the top of this with a fine net to keep the birds out. I started on this today by digging a trench round the nursery area which is approximately 7m square.


Sunday 27th

6 to 17 to 8°C. 8.28kWh 2.1kW max. Sunny intervals with some heavy showers in the afternoon.


Saw a swift whizzing across the sky early this morning and later a flock of ducks and later still a flock of geese on their way towards Ellesmere.


Started to clear the dead plants from the verges which I had treated with glyphosate a few weeks ago. The idea is to dig out the ditches to flatten out the ground between them and the hedge and then place some of the wildflower mats there. Finished erecting the mesh fence round the nursery area just before another very heavy shower.


Monday 28th

6 to 19 to 10°C. 9.73kWh 1.8kW max. Misty start with hazy sunshine most of the day.


Planted the germinated runner and climbing beans in  cell trays. Finished potting on the squashes.


Tuesday 29th

9 to 18 to 11°C. 7.07kWh 2.1kW max. Misty start but cleared to sunny intervals in the late morning and afternoon.


Started moving the newly germinated trays of wildflowers into the nursery now surrounded by mesh and covered with a net to keep both the rabbits and blackbirds away from them.


Wednesday 30th

11 to 18 to 11°C. 8.34kWh 2.0kW max. Sunnt morning but clouded over in the afternoon.


Continued to move the wildflower trays into the nursery and the potatoes out of the polytunnel starting with the 2nd early Kestrel


May 2014