August 2014


Friday 1st

14 to 22 to 15°C. 4.98kWh 1.1kW max.  Cloudy but bright start but the clouds soon thickened with some heavy rain on and off from late afternoon into the evening (5mm by 11pm). Tomorrow is forecast to be worse.


Pat fetched Euan and Cowan from Shrewsbury as their parents dropped them off on the way to West Wales for a walkling holiday. The weather doesn't look too good for them for the next few days.


Saturday 2nd

15 to 22 to 12°C. 4.84kWh 900W max. Rained a little overnight and there was some light drizzle in the morning but it cleared up though still with dark clouds after 11am. Stayed dry for most of the afternoon but there was a short period if very heavy thundery rain around 5pm.


Went for a walk round the back lanes after it stopped drizzling. In the afternoon left the boys playing a game on the computer while we tidied up the bedding plants and cut back some more of the scrub in front of the old shed. After dinner we played some dominoes, a game everyone can play.


Sunday 3rd

11 to 24 to 12°C. 11.34kWh 2.1kW max.  Mainly sunny though rather windy at times.


Took the boys for a walk round the National Trust woodlands at Lee Brockhurst. This is a very wild area of woodland, bracken and upland pasture partly on the site of an old sandstone quarry with some wonderful views of the hills of South Shropshire and Wales.


Monday 4th

9 to 24 to 13°C. 11.88kWh 2.1kW max. Mainly sunny with less wind.


Tuesday 5th

10 to 22 to 16°C. 5.67kWh 1.3kW max. Cloudy with a few sunny intervals but also some showers. Heavier rain late in the evening.


Problems with my software development meant I didn't do much outside either yesterday or today. Pat took the boys out for a walk on both afternoons.


Wednesday 6th

16 to 22 to 14°C. 6.9kWh 1.3kW max. Cloudy with a few sunny intervals. Feeling cooler in the evening.


Pat needed to go for some tests at the hospital this morning so I was left in charge. No onerous task as the boys were as usual very well behaved. Managed to finish potting on the coleus and clear more land near the old shed in the afternoon.


Thursday 7th

12 to 22 to 12°C. 8.6kWh 2.0kW max. Sunny intervals with a darker damper period around midday, clearing to a moonlit starry night.  The remnants of a hurricane are heading our way for the weekend so it might be quite wet and windy.


My software problem is solved so went to Colmere with the boys in the afternoon. It was a bit more of an expedition than we envisaged. The bridge just before we got there was closed for repairs and the detour took us down some very narrow roads with high hedges; almost like driving down a green tunnel. We only met two vehicles coming the other way, one of them being a large tractor and trailer. Luckily in both cases there was a slightly wider bit of road close by.


We haven't been to Colemere since the Spring heavy rains and gales. There are a lot of fallen and uprooted trees which will take some time to clear.


Friday 8th

9 to 22 to 14°C. 7.1kWh 1.8kW max. Cloudy with a few sunny intervals and some light fine drizzle in the morning.


Pat took the boys to Shrewsbury to meet up with their parents on the way back from their holiday in Wales. They have had a good walking holiday with weather much better than was being forecast this time last week.


I have finally potted on all the summer plants, finishing with the remainder of the coleus. Tomorrow, depending on the weather, I might start to demolish the old shed.


Saturday 9th

9 to 23 to 10°C. 12.40kWh 2.2kW max. Sunny but the strong wind took away some of the warmth.


Managed to spray the verges, hopefully for the last time, with glyphosate; I think most of the coarse weeds will be killed this time. This was before the wind picked up in the afternoon.


Cleared out the rest of the old bits of furniture from the old shed and started to remove the rest of the insulation board from the inside.


Sunday 10th

9 to 18 to 12°C. 4.05kWh 1.8kW max. Started raining around 7am and continued to rain hard till about 12.30 before it cleared up to a mainly cloudy afternoon with some quite strong winds. Apparently this was the remains of Hurricane Bertha which had taken 4 days to cross the Atlantic from Florida. As usual we didn't get the worst of the weather compared with the south and west coasts. By evening it was feeling almost Autumnal.


Started to demolish the shed once it had stopped raining. The 11mm of rain nearly filled all our tanks.


Monday 11th

11 to 22 to 11°C. 11.41kWh 2.1kW max. A bright and breezy day with variable clouds, some of them quite dense, but it only rained for a short while in the evening.


Continued to demolish the old shed. Most of the wood is too rotten to re-use but it will make good firewood. Part of the roof collapsed unexpectedly; it was a good job I was wearing my hard hat!!


Tuesday 12th

9 to 18 to 12°C. 10.78kWh 2.0kW max. Another bright day with plenty of sunshine but a very chilly wind and some light rain from time to time. Not the weather you expect in August; more like late September.


Half the shed is now demolished and the wood broken up into log fire sized pieces. While it was reasonably dry decided to pull up the onions which have all started to die back. Laid them out in the polytunnel to ripen.


Wednesday 13th

10 to 18 to 10°C. 7.00kWh 1.8kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few brighter intervals but also several short showers of fairly heavy rain.


The Laxtons Fortune apples are ready to pick. They are earlier than usual because of the good wearher in Spring. Got to them only just in time; the wasps had already bitten holes in quite a few of them.


Thursday 14th

10 to 16 to 12°C. 6.71kWh 2.3kW max. Mainly cloudy with a brief sunny period around midday which was followed by a short heavy shower and several more lighter showers in the afternoon


The shed is nearly all down now apart from the ends and the base. Still a lot to do though because the whole site will need clearing and the surrounding trees and hedges cut right back.


Friday 15th

10 to 17 to 10°C. 7.33kWh 2.1kW max. Sunny intervals with some very heavy showers (3.3mm in the last 24 hours) and a chilly NW breeze.


The first of the winter bedding plants, dianthus, came today so I transplanted them into 9 cell trays. From what was offered as the usual 100 + 70 free plug plants there were actually 205! Then back to potting on the short stemmed chrysanthemums from 1L to 3L pots. That is all I could do under cover in the polytunnel. It was too wet to work outside. Not very good weather for August


Saturday 16th

9 to 16 to 13°C. 4.36kWh 800W max. Cloudy with a chilly westerly breeze but only a few spots of rain.


The pansy plugs came today so I transplanted these into 12 cell trays. Only 185 of them but still more than the promised 170. Pat picked the rest of the maincrop peas for the freezer, several weeks earlier than usual but with a similar yield, and let the hens in to dig up what was left of the plants.


Sunday 17th

11 to 16 to 12°C. 9.24kWh 1.8kW max. Thin cloud with a few brighter but never sunny intervals, a chill northerly wind and a few spots of rain


Finally finished knocking down the old shed and cutting up the wood from it. Only the base is left. It seems a shame to break this up as it is still in good condition with intact floorboards covered with marine plywood and this covered with a vinyl sheet, but it isn't strong enough to support the metal shed I want to replace it with. Maybe I can take up the floorboards and use them again.


Monday 18th

11 to 17 to 10°C. 6.41kWh 1.4kW max. Cloudy and windy with some very heavy showers, especially in the morning (6.4mm in total). Still feeling very cold for the time of year.


Between the showers filled the spaces in the new strawberry beds with some spare runners I saved for the purpose when I planted them earlier in the year. Then took some runners from the established early flowering strawberries to pot for some early fruit next year in the polytunnel.


Tuesday 19th

8 to 15 to 7°C. 9.07kWh 2.1kW max.  Sunny intervals with heavy showers and a very chilly northerly wind.


Usually at this time of year I am wearing very little outside but today I needed to put as sweater on to keep warm in the garden. The water store is full to overflowing, again unusual for August, so gave the polytunnel a really good watering. Even in the there it wasn't that warm; the cucumbers have stopped growing. However there are plenty of ripe squashes, buttternut Hercules, Crown Prince and Autumn Crown,  from the earlier warm weather in July so we picked those to store for the winter and encourage more to form.


Picked the first damsons, again earlier than usual.


Wednesday 20th

5 to 14 to 8°C. 6.71kWh 800W max. Another cold windy showery day.


I have been very asthmatic since teatime yesterday and this continued all of today; cause unknown since I have not been in contact with anyone or anything different. So, even if the weather had been better I couldn't have done much in the garden. The forecast for the rest of the week into next isn't much better.


Thursday 21st

7 to 14 to 11°C. 3.47kWh 1.9kW max.  A miserably overcast and windy day with some light showers and one short sunny interval mid-morning. Now at 11pm it has started to pour down. This is not what you expect in August.


Still not feeling very well but did manage to transplant the primrose plugs which arrived today into 12 cell trays.


Friday 22nd

7 to 15 to 7°C. 6.71kWh 1.9kW max. Some rain overnight then sunny intervals with a few short showers. Still cold for the time of year.


Decided to start digging up the maincrop potatoes, starting with the King Edward. Got nearly 30kg from an original 1.5kg seed which is a pretty good yeild; probably because of the sunny spring and early summer followed by rain in July. Too much rain at this time now that they have died back might cause them to rot so up they must come. The remaining early and maincrop potatoes in bags are safer as they wont get waterlogged.


Saturday 23rd

6 to 15 to 7°C. 7.9kWh 2.1kW max. Sunny intervals with some squally showers.


Dug up the Vales Sovereign potatoes which yielded about 23kg from the 1.5kg seed. Then dug over the whole bed, finding a few more in the process; this is always the case and even with digging it twice there are always some stray plants come up the next  year. Let the hens in once I had finished so they can have fun breaking it up even more.


Between the showers started cutting up the base of the old shed. Beneath the plywood boarding I found some floorboards still in quite good condition so ended up cutting the edges off with a circular saw to preserve the middle part of each board possibly for re-use, if I can manage to pull them away from the bearers without damaging them; they are very well nailed down. I did a really good job building this shed over 30 years ago. If the walls and roof had lasted as well as the floor had I wouldn't have needed to replace it.


Sunday 24th

5 to 17 to 12°C. 8.67Kwh 2kW max. Clear night but soon clouded over with a few sunnier periods in the middle of the day. No rain; that is forecast for tomorrow.


Finally finished cutting up and clearing the old shed. Next job is to cut down the trees around the site and generally trim back the hedges.


Bank Holiday Monday 25th

11 to 14 to 13°C. 1.36kWh 300W max.  Started raining late last night and is still raining at 11pm tonight. most of the time it was fairly light but even so 16mm of rain has fallen in the last 24 hours.


Tuesday 26th

13 to 17 to 10°C. 2.8kWh 600W max. Finally stopped raining mid-morning but remained cloudy till late in the afternoon.


Started cutting down the trees and clearing the undergrowth and hedges around the site for the new shed. One of the trees, a holly, had some barbed wire round in from years back which the trunk had grown round. Unfortunately the hidden wire was just where I cut it with the chainsaw which suddenly jammed with sparks flying. It took me around an hour to disentangle it; I hope it will be OK the next time I use it tomorrow.


Wednesday 27th

6 to 20 to 16°C. 6.96kWh 1.9kW max. Misty start but soon brightened to a mainly sunny afternoon with a southerly wind making it feel much more like late Summer.


Continued to fell and cut up the trees behind the site for the new shed, this time a beech. Plenty of wood for the log stove next Winter but one and plenty of branches for the shredder. Still a lot more to clear, including three enormous holly trees.


Thursday 28th

13 to 18 to 13°C. 8.05kWh 2.0kW max. Sunny intervals with a few showers in the morning, clearing in the afternoon to a cloudless evening.


Continued to cut back the holly runners so I can get at the main stems of the trees. Also cut up some dead fallen trees in the ditch. Pat started shredding all the branches and twigs from earlier clearing.


Friday 29th

13 to 18 to 14°C. 6.71kWh 1.7kW max.  Sunny intervals with a few light showers and a cool westerly breeze.


More clearing and shredding.


Saturday 30th

11 to 18 to 13°C. 4.37kWh 1.3kW max.  Overcast with a few brighter intervals but also a few light rain showers.


Finally finished felling the trees, though there are more to come down but there is no danger they will fall on the new shed when it is erected so we can leave that till later. All that is needed now is to cut them up and clear the site and I can start preparing the base.


Sunday 31st

11 to 19 to 12°C. 8.22kWh 2.1kW max.  Cloudy start but soon cleared to a sunny afternoon with only a few clouds and less wind than of late. Not a very good August, the total electricity generated was only a little more than April, but at least it ended better that it was most of the rest of the month.


Everything is cut up and cleared away. Time to start working out how to build the base for the new shed.