January 2015                                                                                                                                   Back to December


Started the New Year still with the phone line not working. They finally came on the Monday so fix it so the first 4 days I only wrote on the 5th


Thursday 1st

7 to 12 to 12°C. 263Wh 40W max.

A mild but very dark damp stormy day. Did some more work on the structure in the polytunnel


Friday 2nd

12 to 6 to 4°C. 2.59kWh 800W max. After a wet night came clearer but colder with less wind


Saturday 3rd

2 to 3 to 0°C . 486Wh 200W max. Back to dull and damp.


Sunday 4th

-4 to 2 to 2°C. 3.3kWh 1.00kW max. Cleared overnight to a very frosty start with quite thick hoar frost on hedges and fields. Probably the sunniest day we have had for some time but it didn't affect the temperature much. Kept warm by sawing and cutting up some more firewood.


Monday 5th

3 to 8 to 7°C. 493Wh 150W max. Cloudy but stayed dry, coming milder as the day progressed.


Back to building the structure in the polytunnel. Once the broadband has speeded up again I will post a photograph of my progress.


Tuesday 6th

7 to 9 to 1°C 2.33kWh 1.1kW max. Heavy rain first thing in the morning but soon cleared to a brighter day with sunny intervals and very little wind making it feel quite mild for January. Cleared after dark to a cold still moonlit evening.


Wednesday 7th

1 to 10 to 12°C. 283Wh 50W max. Warmed up overnight to a dark day with the wind becoming increasingly stronger from the south west. and a short period of heavy rain just after dark. 


Thursday 8th

8 to 10 to 7°C 2.29kWh 900W max. Sunny intervals with a few light showers. Less windy.l


Finally finished the main structure in the polytunnel. Tomorrow I  will make the cross pieces to go on top of it which will hold the strings to grow the tomatoes and squashes up.


Friday 9th

7 to 10 to 13°C. 1,13kWh 700W max. A very windy day with some sunny intervals in the morning and some showers in the afternoon and evening. Feeling quite mild out of the wind.


Saturday 10th

12 to 8 to 2°C. 2.28kWh 900W max. Sunny intervals with a very strong wind in the morning, moving round to the north west by the evening.


Sunday 11th

3 to 7 to 8°C. 1.03kWh 900W max. Cold bright start clouding over by the afternoon with a few light showers.


Started feeling unwell yesterday with the usual symptoms. Not much better today.


Monday 12th

7 to 10 to 3°C. 296Wh 60W max. Wet and windy.


The seed potatoes and onion sets arrived today so put them in trays near a north facing upstairs window to chit and sprout.


Tuesday 13th

1 to 4 to 1°C. Cloudy and breezy with some sleet showers.


Started feeling better so continued to build the tomato and squash frame in the polytunnel though even in there it wasn't very warm. Good job I have some insulated rigging gloves


Wednesday 14th

-2 to 4 to 7°C. 1.81kWh 900W max. Snowed during the night but only about 1cm and this was frozen by the morning. A sunny morning thawed the snow but by afternoon the wind had picked up and it started to rainand sleet after dusk with a very strong and gusty SW wind.


Finished building the main frame in the polytunnel.

The recent mild weather has caused the daffodils to start coming through the surface. They will get a shock  if it turns cold later this month or during February.


Thursday 15th

4 to 2 to 4°C. 1.81kWh. Very windy with sunny intervals but also some rapidly moving heavy wintery showers.


Friday 16th

 1 to 4 to -3°C. 2.42kWh 1kW max. A sunny day but with a very cold wind and some sleet showers some with fine hail. Came clear and frosty in the evening.


Pat has brought the potatoes and onions into the house to protect them from the frost. I think I might do the same with the begonia corms tomorrow and maybe the dahlias as well.


Saturday 17th

-3 to 5 to -1°C. 3.17kWh 1.1kW max. Clear night and sunny morning but with a cold wind. A few light showers of sleet in the afternoon.


The first snowdrops and aconites are through and beginning to flower in the wild garden.


Sunday 18th

-3 to 2 to 0°C. 2.97kWh 1.0kW max. Clear night and sunny morning, becoming dark and damp in the afternoon but less windy.


Not a day for working outside, not even in the polytunnel


Monday 19th

-4 to 3 to -2°C. 1.29kWh 400W max. Clear frosty start but soon clouded over with a few light snow showers.


Didn't go for my bike ride as the main road was icy and the back roads were probably worse but I got some good exercise in the afternoon sawing and splitting some more firewood.


Tuesday 20th

-3 to 1 to -1 to 2°C.  3.19kWh 1.1kW max. Clear frosty start followed by a sunny but cold day. Cooled again in the evening, snowing around 1cm, then it warmed up and thawed, ending up warmer than it had been all day.


Wednesday 21st

1 to 2 to 1°C 78Wh with no maximum just a straight line running along the bottom of the graph. The most dreary damp dark day ever I can remember. Grey and overcast with light rain or drizzle; enough to keep you inside but only 3mm in total for the whole day. I was looking forward to the snow they had forecast but instead got this.


Plenty of work to do on my software so I did this most of the day. I will give myself a day off when the weather is better.


Thursday 22nd

1 to 4 to 0°C. 1.99kWh 800W max. A grey start but cleared by late morning to much better day with sunny intervals and very little wind.


Friday 23rd

-1 to 7 to 5°C. 682kWh 150W max. Back to dull and damp with some quite heavy rain the late afternoon and evening.


Saturday 24th

3 to 7 to 2°C. 3.98kWh 1.1kW max. An day of almost unbroken sunshine and it actuallly felt quite warm with very little wind.


Even warmer in the polytunnel where I have nearly finished building the tomato and squash frames.


Sunday 25th

2 to 8 to 8°C. 3.47kWh 1.1kW max. Another sunny day.


 Started tidying up the chrysanthemums, cutting back the old stems to encourage new ones to form so I can take cuttings.


Monday 26th

8 to 6 to 1°C. 2.09kWh 600W max. Rained overnight then broken cloud with a strong gusty wind durng the day, slowy becoming colder.


Tuesday 27th

1 to 8 to 6°C. 1.67kWh 1.3kW max. Mainly cloudy with some sunny intervals around midday. Colder weathe is forecast for later in the week.


Finished cleaning up the chrysanthemums and gave them a good watering with high nitrogen liquid fertiliser to encourage more shoots. Then started moving rainwater into the polytunnel now that I have mainly finished building the tomato and squash frames. Moved around 500L and will do this every few days until the water stocks are halved.

Sowed early Aquadulce broad beans and Excellenz peas between sheets of wet kitchen towel to germinate in the back bedroom. The potatoes, also in this room, are starting to chit, especially the super-early Casablanca.


Wednesday 28th

6 to 10 to 5 to 3°C. 2.70kWh 1.2kW max. Clear sunny start with highest temperature around 10am. Stayed sunny till mid afternoon but with a very strong north westerly wind and some light sleet showers passing quickly through.


This is what I have been working on in the polytunnel for the last 3 weeks on and off. It is now nearly finished.



 (ignore the steps and the remaining timber at the bottom).


The idea was to have something which could support the tomatoes, especially, from the top but without restricting access to the ground below or making it difficult to pick the fruit. The structure is based on A frames supporting the rails along the top with moveable slats from which I will suspend strings to support the plants. It will make more sense when there are tomatoes and squashes growing up it.


There are similar but smaller frames down the sides of the polytunnel which will be mainly for growing squashes. One of these is finished; the other one I half did this afternoon.

The final job will be to paint all of it with green wood preservative. A lot of work but I have more time in winter and it will save me all the time in summer constructing a more rickety structure out of bamboo cames which needs to come down again in the autumn. Last year this collapsed with a lot of work to rebuild it and a lot of damaged plants; hopefully this is strong enough to stay up for many years with very little work maintaining it.


Thursday 29th

0 to 3 to 1°C. 1.23kWh 600W max.  Light sleet or rain most of the night and some snow for a short time in the morning but also some sunny intervals between the wet snow showers during the afternoon. Feeling quite cold in the strong and gusty northerly wind.


Not a day for working outside, not even in the polytunnel, so watched Andy Murray get through to the Australian Open final in the morning and worked on my software in the afternoon.


Friday 30th

0 to 6 to 1°C. 2.63kWh 900W. Sunny intervals with a few light showers later in the afternoon. The northerly wind was still strong during the day but died away in the evening to very still night. Hopefully it won't be slippery in the morning; we are going to Kirstin's for the annual family gathering.


Saturday 31st

1 to 5 to 3°C. 1.38kWh 600W max. Another windy day with some sleet showers but also some brighter periods in the afternoon. Very cold northerly wind.


Went to Kirstin and Mark's house to meet the rest of the family but Ian and Thomas weren't there. The weather was quite good, especially in the afternoon so went for a very long walk with Sarah and Kirstin while Mark stayed with the children.