August 2016                                                                                                     back to July


Monday 1st

9 to 17 to 12°C. 4.83kWh 700W max. Cool and dull for most of the day. Starting raining around 4pm and is still raining, though not very heavily, at 11pm.


Went for a walk with the boys round the back lanes which I can manage; it is rough terrain I am still having problems with.


Potted on some of the chrysanthemum cuttings but most of them weren't rooted enough. So gave up for the day as there is nothing more to do under cover for the time being.


Tuesday 2nd

14 to 22 to 17°C. 4.12kWh 600W max. Dull warm and humid with some occasional light fine drizzle.


A perfect day for sowing the new flower mats so this afternoon I did just that with all 160 trays I prepared earlier in the year.


Wednesday 3rd

16 to 19 to 15°C. 5.4kWh 1.2kW max. Mainly dull with some light showers and a very strong and gusty SW wind.


Not very well today with the usual shortness of breath and aching. As instructed by my asthma nurse as well as quite a lot of inhaled salbutamol I tried taking some prednisolone to shorten the symptoms; it doesn't appear to have worked. I have no idea what  caused it.


Thursday 4th

14 to 20 to 15°C 5.47kWh 1.3kW max. Some sunny intervals in the morning but windy with some heavy showers in the afternoon and evening.


Woke up in the night with really bad asthma requiring the nebuliser. Continued to feel unwell all day.


Friday 5th

9 to 22 to 15°C. 8.47kWh 1.6kW max. Clear night with thin cloud in the morning and quite sunny in the afternoon. Very little wind so felt quite warm.


Feeling better so went for a walk with the boys round Colemere. 3.5miles which is the longest I have done since the operation and, though still a little slow, I managed quite easily.


Spent most of the afternoon dead-heading and generally tidying up the garden in the warm sunshine.


Saturday 6th

12 to 24 to 20°C. 12.03kWh 1.9kW max. A really sunny day with a warm breeze and a few fluffy clouds.


The boys went back to their parents this morning. I am still suffering a bit from asthma but managed to mix some more potting compost for the autumn plug plants which should start coming next week. I have also ordered some overwintering onion sets which is something we haven't tried before.


Watched the later stages of the Olympic mens road cycle race later in the afternoon. There was a bad crash on the last descent which took out nearly all the leading group. It reminded me of my crash nearly 12 months ago. Hopefully none of them will have a crushed head of femur. I think I might try repairing my bike tomorrow and seeing if I can ride it, assuming I can now get my leg over the crossbar. This is the longest I have been without riding a bike for over 50 years.


Sunday 7th

17 to 22 to 17°C. 17.47kWh 1.9kW max. Another sunny day but tempered by a strong SW wind. Too strong to risk my first bike ride for nearly 12 months.


Dug over the remaining bed in the polytunnel for the late broccoli and winter cabbage which are nearly big enough to plant out.  The Vales Sovereign potatoes were dying back so I dug them out. It is always easier to store potatoes when they are dry. A very good yield of around 20kg from the original 1.5kg seed. Some of the tubers may be too big for two of us to eat in one meal.


Monday 8th

12 to 17 to 12°C. 8.47kWh 1.9kW max. Thin cloud with sunny intervals but with a strong and cold northerly wind. Not the sort of weather you expect in August.


3 trays of 170+ plug plants arrived, autumn and spring flowering pansy, wallflower and sweet william. Transplanted them into 12 cell trays. Took more cuttings of the indoor geraniums in the conservatory. These have flowered almost continuously for over 3 years, not bad for a free gift, but they are now getting very leggy and need cloning.


Tuesday 9th

9 to 16 to 10°C. 7.91kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny intervals but with a strong and cold northerly wind.


The wind was so cold I needed to wear a sweater while working in the garden. Not what you expect in August. The ash trees are starting to yellow thinking autumn is coming.


Wednesdy 10th

9 to 17 to 14°C. 4.8kWh 800W max. A grey day with very little sunshine but at least the wind has dropped. Some fine rain late in the afternoon and throughout the evening.


The man came to install a smart electricity meter today so the solar panels were off for about 30 minutes. I kept out of the way chipping and shredding some of the debris from the hedge I cut last week. Also potted on some more chrysanthemum cuttings. I also found some short stemmed pink chrysanthemums growing in the garden beneath the Bramley apple tree. I thought they had all died last winter but took the opportunity to cut some non-flowering stems to strike around 60 cuttings.


Thursday 11th

12 to 22 to 17°C. 4.84kWh 700W max. Damp cloudy start slowly becoming brighter and warmer in the afternoon.


Picked the greengages. They are the most delicious fruits from the plum family, tasting somewhere between plum and nectarine. Not very many this year, probably because of poor weather during pollination.


I decided to dig over more of the vegetable garden before it warmed up. That was early in the afternoon. By the time I was half way through at 6pm it was a little too warm and humid for such heavy work.


Friday 12th

15 to 20 to 16°C. 12.34kWh 21.kW max. Almost continuous sunshine all day but the strong westerly wind kept the temperature down.


It was cool enough in the polytunnel to fill some more trays with soil, this time to sow some mixed grass seed mats. If I can get some really dense mats it should be possible to lay them in the chicken run to give the hens a continous source of greens. Not really pasture fed but definitely very good free range.


Saturday 13th

16 to 19 to 16°C. 6.77kWh 1.5kW max. Mainly cloudy, some of them quite dark, with a few glimpses of the sun. Very little wind so felt warmer than of late.


Generally tidying up in the garden.


Sunday 14th

14 to 19 to 13°C. 5.21kWh 1.1kW max. Cloudy morning, clearing in the afternoon.


Sunday is the only day we can be sure no-one will come up the drive so took the opportunity to cut out more of the thick trunks behind the cypress hedge.


Monday 15th

8 to 24 to 16°C. 11.96kWh 1.9kW max. Cold misty start then clear or hazy sunshine all day into the evening.


At least the sun is lower and I can find some shade to do some more training of the chrysanthemums. But first I gave the polytunnel a good watering.


Tuesday 16th

11 to 24 to 15°C. 11.51kWh 1.8kW max. Hazy sunshine.


Continued training the chrysanthemums.


Wednesday 17th

13 to 23 to 17°C. 10.37kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny with a few cloudier periods but still feeling warm in the light breeze.


Picked the Laxton's apples. We have a glut of tomatoes and quite a lot of peppers, summer squash and aubergines in the polytunnel so Pat made more ratatouille for the freezer.


Thursday 18th

15 to 24 to 17°C. 8.07kWh 1.8kW max. Sunny intervals, becoming more cloudy in the afternoon. Rain is forecast tomorrow and over the weekend.


Picked the small green plums before the rain, and wind, damages them. Some of them were already ripe and the rest will soon ripen in storage. A very good crop, most of which will go in the freezer for plum crumbles in the next several months. Pat emptied the rest of the potato bags of their King Edwards, again before it rains.


Friday 19th

16 to 19 to 15°C. 2.01kWh 300W max. Light rain with a few heavier bursts until late afternoon when there were some sunnier periods.


The last of the autumn plugs came today so, despite the rain, I could plant them into 12 cell trays in the polytunnel. These are something new. Petunia autumn leaves which are supposed to be hardy and should flower into the autumn, go dormant over the winter and then flower again in the spring. Nevertheless I think I will plant them into 1L pots and bring them into the polytunnel when they stop flowering.

Later when it stopped raining I moved 10 barrowloads of well rotted compost into the vegetable bed between the chicken hut and the fruit cage.


Saturday 20th

14 to 18 to 15°C. 4.13kWh 800W max. Windy with blustery showers, mainly of light rain or drizzle but a few shorter heavier ones. One of those days when you think it is coming brighter and just as you get outside the wind blows up and the rain comes down. More like April but a warmer.


Despite the rain I did manage to flatten out the compost I moved yesterday to cover the ground 5-8 cm deep though I needed three more barrowloads to finish it. Then put the net over the enclosure so the chickens can go into it in the early morning safe from foxes. Later on I sprinkled a mixture of moss and weed killer, fertiliser and grass seed on the lawn. The wet weather earlier in the year, followed by the recent hot dry weather, has taken its toll. Hopefully this will perk it up a bit.


Sunday 21st

14 to 19 to 15°C. 5.94kWh 1.3kW max. Sunny intervals and showers most of the morning with a brighter interval in the afternoon before some heavy rain in the evening and into the night. Less wind so felt a little warmer.


Planted out the spring cabbage Ormskirk and the late broccoli (or should that be early since it matures in March-April) Claret. As usual planted them very deep, covering most of the stalk, and covered them with butterfly netting till they grow larger.


Took runners of the early and mid-season strawberries so I could start some new plants. We never got round to doing this last year because of my injured hip and the mother plants are now more than 3 years old. 25 runners of the the earlies and 48 of the mid season. We need around 30 of each so will need to find some more runners later in the year. The late variety hasn't produced any runners yet. Last time I ended up dividing the plants instead.


Monday 22nd

17 to 22 to 18°C. 3.83kWh 1.2kW max. Continued to rain on and off during the night and it felt warm and humid by the morning staying overcast all day with some light rain showers.


Back to trimming hedges and shrubs.


Tuesday 23rd

16 to 27 to 16°C. 10.67kWh 1.8kW max. Hazy sunshine. Very humid and very little breeze.


Weeded the 80 trays of soil I prepared a couple of weeks ago and sowed them with grass seed.


Wednesday 24th

15 to 22 to 15°C. 6.37kWh 1.7kW max. A much fresher day with variable cloud and occasional sunshine.


More tidying up. Boring things like folding up the potato polypots and emptying pots with plants which have died or are past their best. At least I now have a better DAB radio to listen to which I treated myself to last week.


Thursday 25th

15 to 18 to 15°C. 1.54kWh 300W max. Rained most of the day, particularly in the evening, and when it wasn't raining it was very dull. Nevertheless I did manage to trim most of the new privet hedge which is now growing much better now that it isn't overshadowed by the cypress one.


Friday 26th

11 to 20 to 13°C. 11.18kWh 1.8kW max. Stooped raining around 1am and cleared by the morning to a sunny day but with a fairly strong breeze so it actually felt colder than yesterday.


Started to saw up all the logs stashed around the garden. There are two years worth since I couldn't do them last autumn and winter so the stashes need clearing before we can cut back any more trees in the coming months. There should be more than enough for the log burner to keep us warm all winter.


Saturday 27th

7 to 19 to 14°C. 3.83kWh 900W max. Cloudy and overcast with a few brief glimpses of the sun but also some heavy showers.


Continued to cut more firewood. I notice that Don Gregory, our neighbour, has also cut his cypress hedge shorter as well.


Sunday 28th

15 to 20 to 14°C. 6.83kWh 1.4kW max. Variable cloud with some sunshine in the afternoon but with a cold westerly wind.


Cut the front out of the rest of the cypress hedge. Tomorrow I will get the chainsaw out to cut the stems from the back.


Monday 29th

11 to 21 to 12°C. 9.10kWh 1.8kW max. Sunny morning, more cloud in the afternoon.


A Bank Holiday so no-one to come up the drive so it didn't matter that it was covered in debris from the hedge before we cleared it to the pile for shredding.


Tuesday 30th

12 to 23 to 15°C. 5.79kWh 1.6kW max. Misty start then cloudy till lunchtime with some sunshine in the afternoon.


Started shredding the debris from the hedge.


Wednesday 31st

15 to 21 to 15°C. 7.21kWh 1.8kW max. Variable cloud with some sunny intervals. The last day of summer.


Dug up the maincrop Cara potatoes. A very good yield of more than 25kg from the original 1.5kg seed potatoes. Large healthy tubers, mostly big enough to feed both of us with some left over for the hens.