August 2017


Tuesday 1st

12 to 17 to 13°C. 5.9kWh 1.9kW max. Mainly cloudy with some showers and even thunder but no really heavy rain. Still feeling rather cool for the time of year mainly because of the strong westerly breeze.

Wednesday 2nd

13 to 21 to 16°C. 4.65kWh 1.6kW max. Drizzly morning but the afternoon was better with some sunny intervals but the drizzle returned in the evening.


Weeded and rearranged the pots of flowers in front of the privet hedge by the garage. This gave me chance to also cut the hedge. The rest I will do tomorrow, depending on the weather.

Early August Pictures

Please click to enlarge.

These are mainly of the new perennial border, which you can see if very insect friendly, the annual and perennial beds on the other side of the drive and the pots of dahlias, bulbs, lilies and annuals in front of the house, garage and the old greenhouse.

Thursday 3rd

 15 to 18 to 15°C. 5.61kWh 1.7kW max. A slightly better day because there was less wind and only a few spots of drizzle but still very little sunshine and not very warm for August.


Cut the rest of the privet hedge and then back to general tidying up. Pat decided to try and clear the ivy growing into the old greenhouse which we don't use except for growing grapes and storing the onions, which is why she wants it clear because they are starting to ripen.

Friday 4th

 13 to 20 to 14°C. 7.77kWh 1.6kW max. Sunny intervals. Feeling a little warmer.


Saturday 5th

13 to 15 to 12°C. 6.87kWh 1.8kW max. Sunny intervals and very heavy showers, some with thunder.

Not very warm for August but I still prefer it to the 40+°C they are suffering in southern Europe.

Sunday 6th

 8 to 17 to 13°C. 5.6kWh 1.3kW max. Another cool cloudy day with some heavy showers.


Pat decided to pull up the onions for storage as this damp weather is causing some of them to rot on their bases. She also picked and cooked the first runner beans of the year.

Monday 7th

 13 to 19 to 13°C. 7.17kWh 1.9kW max. Mainly cloudy with some brighter, though not sunny, periods but also some light rain early morning and into the evening. Feeling a little warmer as there was only a light breeze.


Inspected the main crop potatoes for signs of blight, always a risk when there has been a period of damp weather, but they seem OK. The Laxton's Fortune apples may need picking soon and I will be able to have some apple in my porridge every morning; something I miss after the bramley apples are finished in March.

Tuesday 8th

 12 to 16 to 12°C. 4.49kWh 1.9kW max. Another damp grey day with light showers in the morning and evening and just one brighter period for a short while in the afternoon.


Feeling unwell with the usual asthma, aching and dizzyness so didn't do much today.

Wednesday 9th

 11 to 17 to 13°C. 5.216kWh 1.7kW max. Light rain overnight and into the morning, then cloudy with a short brighter period in the afternoon with light showers in the evening.


Still not well but managed to move the pansy seedlings from cell trays into 7cm square pots.

Thursday 10th

 9 to 20 to 13°C. 10.08kWh 2kW max. Very misty start but soon cleared to a sunny day with just a few wisps of cloud and very little wind so felt much warmer.


Started feeling better around lunchtime so got round to doing some repairs on the outside of the house, fixing boardind above the back door which came loose in the gales last winter.

Pat picked the rest of the peas and then let the hens back in to this area which is next to their house. They will be happier now they have somewhere to go in a morning before we get up and let them into the rest of the run. It is covered with a strong net just in case there are foxes about.

Friday 11th

 8 to 18 to 13°C. 3.65kWh 1.4kW max. Cold misty start with clear skies and sunshine in the morning but it soon clouded over to another grey day but with no significant rain even though it felt very humid.


Picked the Laxton's Fortune apples. The best crop we have had for several years. Filled 4 crates and there is at least as many still on the tree. They don't keep more than 2 or 3 months and that should be enough to put in my porridge each morning for as long as they last. The Russets and Coxs look just as good and there are plenty of large apples on the Bramley as well.

Saturday 12th

12 to 18 to 12°C. 8.45kWh 2kW max. Sunny start with variable cloud throughout the day but still rather cool for August.

Continued some more DIY outside, painting the boarding I fixed yesterday with white masonary paint and starting to repaint the garage. But first I needed to repair the garage doors. The alternate hot sunny and cold wet weather this year has caused the panelling to warp and come loose. The lock also needed adjusting.

Sunday 13th

 7 to 19 to 14°C. 9.45kWh 1.8kW max. Clear night followed by a sunny morning but it became progressively cloudier and more humid as the day progressed though it didn't rain.


Continued painting the front of the garage. Took the netting off the brussel sprouts. They have grown too tall so will need to be watched for caterpillars though only a major infestation will probably do them any real harm by now.

Monday 14th

 13 to 18 to 14°C. 5.84kWh 700W max. Light rain in the early morning followed by another grey day but stayed dry till the evening when there was some heavy rain.


During the dry spell in the afternoon picked the little green plums from the tree near the polytunnel. I have no idea what variety this is but the plums, though small, are delicious when cooked. Pat, as usual, cleaned them up and placed them into boxes in the freezer to make plum crumble during the winter and spring.

Sowed the last of the biennials. Brompton Stock and then moved the Canterberry Bell seedlings, another biennial into 7cm square pots.


Pat is in her element with all sorts of vegetables to cook from the garden and poytunnel: runner beans, sweet and hot peppers, aubergine, tomato, summer squash, onions and celery.

Tuesday 15th

 13 to 20 to 13°C. 9.46kWh 1.9kW max. A much better day with thin cloud and sunshine, especially in the morning.


Planted the last of the leeks, Vernal, which is ready for use in February to April. The first of the three varieties, Elefant, is getting quite big and will be ready towards the end of September.

Pat emptied the last of the potato bags containing the second early Kestrel. The maincrop, growing in the ground, are still doing well and don't need digging yet. They have had just the right amount of sunshine and rain, as have most of the fruit and vegetables. This cool weather might not suit us at this time of year but it does have its advantages.

Wednesday 16th

8 to 19 to 15°C. 6.84kWh 1.6kW max. Clear and quite cool overnight with a misty start then sunshine till lunchtime. Clouded over in the afternoon with some spots of rain in the evening before heavy rain arrived around 11pm.


Decided it was time to move the pots of Wallflower, Sweet William, Pansy and Canterbury Bell out of the polytunnel to the space behind it now that the potato bags are no longer there. But there are still rabbits about so first I erected a 60cm wire mesh fence to protect stop them being eaten.


Thursday 17th

14 to 21 to 16°C 9.85kWh 1.8kW max. The heavy rain continued till around 3am followed by lighter showery rain till 8am. Then quite a sunny day but very windy. The wind dropped late in the afternoon when it started raining again, though not as heavy as last night.


Spent most of the afternoon cutting back the hedge behind the polyytunnel. We now have an enormous pile for shredding but we can't start on this till we get a few dry days.

Since Tuesday, when I reported the potatoes growing in the ground were fine, the early maincrop Sarpo Blue Danube has started dying back; not from infection just natural dry leaves and stems. So if we get a dry spell it might be good idea to dig them up for storage.

Friday 18th

 11 to 17 to 11°C. 9.88kWh 1.8kW max. Clear overnight and sunny till late morning then sunny intervals with some showers in the evening. A strong westerly wind making it feel quite cool.


We did dig up the Sarpo Blue Danube potatoes. This a one we haven't tried before though we have had other Sarpo varieties. They are a red potato and the yield wasn't that good though we haven't tried eating any yet. The row next to them was Vales Sovereign and that, as always, was a good yield with a lot of baking size tubers, more than twice the yield of the Blue Danube.

Saturday 19th

 10 to 16 to 12°C. 5.41kWh 0.9kW max. Rained overnight with some drizzly spells in the morning. Stayed cool and overcast all day with some more light rain in the evening.


Not feeling too good with another asthma episode but managed to do some tidying up, dead heading and moving pots of plants which had finished flowering.

Sunday 20th

 11 to 18 to 13°C. 7.45kWh 1.1kW max.  Mainly thin cloud but feeling warmer with only a light breeze. Heavy rain in the evening.


Started feeling better around lunchtime and took advantage of the still dry conditions to repair a torn crease in the polytunnel skin. The started to sort out the chrysanthemums.

Pat tried cooking some of the Blue Danube potatoes we dug up yesterday. They do make very smooth and creamy mash.

Monday 21st

 13 to 19 to 17°C. 3.28kWh 600W max. Heavy clouds and very humid but it didn't actually rain. The temperature started to rise in the late afternoon and stayed warm into the evening.

Tuesday 22nd

 16 to 23 to 17°C. 5.45kWh 1.7kW max. The temperature rose overnight reaching 20°C by 9 am with some sunny periods in the morning but then it clouded over and was warm and very humid for the rest of the day. The sort of weather that often ends with a thunderstorm?

Wednesday 23rd

 16 to 20 to 13°C. 5.87kWh 1.6kW max. Sunny intervals but the cool wind its back.


Still tidying up and potting on the chrysanthemums.

Thursday 24th

 13 to 19 to 13°C. 7.68kWh 1.5kW max. Sunny intervals with a light breeze so felt quite warm.


It has been dry for several days so decided to start doing some shredding; the pile of hedge and shrub cuttings and cabbage and bean stalks was getting rather large.

Also started moving the wallflowers into 2L pots.

Friday 25th

 11 to 19 to 15°C. 7.99kWh 1.8kW max. Sunny intervals. Very humid.


Pat picked the Mirabelle plums, the only ones we haven't had a bumper crop, and the first bunch of Black Hamburg grapes, which are bigger and juicier than usual and there will be plenty more over the next few weeks. We then dug up the early maincrop Cara and Sarpo Kiri potatoes; a good yield from both of these.

Saturday 26th

 14 to 21 to 13°C. Sunny intervals.


A good day to spray the turf mound with glyphosate to kill off the convolvulus and nettles.

Sunday 27th

 8 to 23 to 15°C. 8.23kWh 1.7kW max. Clear overnight but cloudy by the morning but cleared to a hot and sunny afternoon.


Dug over the area between the fruit cage and the apple trees so I could plant out the spring cabbage. Normally all brassicas go inside the fruit cage to protect them from pigeons but I want to have it mainly clear in the spring because we want to move the raspberries to the other side so we can give it a really good dig over to remove the convolvulus which is becoming really rampant. So I have covered this area with what remains of the old netting for the fruit cage which doesn't have any holes in it. Then started to plant out the cabbages but it was much too hot and sunny to finish this today.


Cowan and Euan have arrived to stay with us for the week while Sarah and Ian have a cycling holiday in North Wales.

Monday 28th

 11 to 23 to 14°C. 6.8kWh 1.8kW max. Unusually good weather for a Bank Holiday with broken cloud and sunshine for most of the day.


Finished planting out the spring cabbage and started moving the Sweet William into 2L pots.

Tuesday 29th

 16 to 13 to 15 to 11°C. 4.11kWh 1.8kW max. Drizzly start, brightening up by midday but as the day progressed it became cloudier and colder. I needed to wear a sweater for my late afternoon bike ride.

Wednesday 30th

 9 to 17 to 9°C. 4.54kWh 900W max. Rather chilly with some light rain showers and very little sight of the sun.


Picked 5 crates-full of Bramley apples and there are probably just as many still on the tree


Thursday 31st

 5 to 18 to 11°C. 8.28kWh 1.8kW max. Chilly misty start but soon cleared to a sunny day a few light showers. Rained in the evening.

Picked the Russet and Limelight apples and another tree which I can't remember the variety but they are similar to Cox but longer keeping. Another bumper crop, especially the Russet which is good because this keeps well sometimes as late as March.