July 2014                                                                                                                                               Back to June


Tuesday 1st

12 to 25 to 14°C. 13.01kWh 2.1kW max. Another sunny day with clear skies in the morning and fluffy clouds in the afternooon.


Finished cutting the holly hedge down the side of the drive and then forked over and raked the bed in front of it.


Wednesday 2nd

11 to 25 to 16°C. 12.08kWh 2kW max.  Hazy sunshine. Feeling very humid.


Finished planting out the rest of the summer bedding.


We finally have some cucumbers from the grafted plants. A bit later than if they were grown from seed but they are very tasty and the plants are more compact and robust. No side shoots yet, all the fruits are on the main stem.


Thursday 3rd

15 to 20 to 17°C. 6.9kWh 1.8kW max. Mainly cloudy with light fine drizzle and a few short spells of light rain,  mainly in the afternoon.


Pat weeded the leeks and I hoed most of the rest of the vegetable garden while it was a bit cooler and before it rains tomorrow and Saturday as forecast. Hopefully this will happen this time. Last time there was very llitle rain here and lot more elsewhere in the country. Our rain water stores are getting very low.


Friday 4th

16 to 19 to 16°C. 4.43kWh 1kW max. A dreary damp day but with only very light rain most of the time.


Saturday 5th

12 to 20 to 15°C. 9.28kWh 2.0kW max. Light rain continued on and off overnight and into the early part of the morning followed by sunny intervals for the rest of the day and evening. Had very little effect on the rain water stores. I estimate we collected 300 to 400L; enough to water the polytunnel twice if I am sparing.


The strawberries have almost finished and most of them are 3 years old so it is time to dig them up and start some new ones from the runners.


Sunday 6th

9 to 20 to 12°C. 9.99kWh 2kW max. Clear start with variable cloud and sunny intervals by mid morning and a few short showers in the afternoon before clearing again in the evening.


Didn't do too much in the garden today. There was the British Grand Prix to watch followed by the Wimbledon mens tennis final.


Monday 7th

10 to 18 to 13°C. 9.44kWh 1.8kW max. A very humid day with sunny intervals and some very short showers of rain.


That's one strawberry bed pulled up and dug over. Two more to go. The rest of time spent disbudding the new chrysanthemum cuttings.


Tuesday 8th

11 to 18 to 15°C. 6.29Kwh 1.8kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few short showers and a single brighter spell in the afternoon.


Started moving some more wild flower mats down into the wild garden. Pat picked most of the early peas and blanched them for the freezer.


Wednesday 9th

12 to 19 to 14°C. 8.51kWh 1.7kW max. Mostly cloudy with a few sunny intervals but with a strong breeze making it feel cooler than the thermometer would suggest.


The strawberries and finished and the raspberries are coming to an end but there are now lots of plums instead for both stewing and eating straight off the tree. Pat picked most of the Turbo broad beans for the freezer.


Thursday 10th

8 to 23 to 16°C. 14.21kWh 21.kW max. Clear skies with continuous sunshine all day apart from a short cloudy period in the afternoon.


Continued moving flower mats into the wild garden. In the evening when it was cooler watered in the polytunnel where we have a glut of tomatoes and peppers. That's another 300L from our rapidly diminishing supply of rainwater. It seems to have rained everywhere else but here. Today was the East's turn for heavy thunder storms.


Friday 11th

9 to 24 to 14°C. 12.43kWh 2.1kW max. Clear start but thin cloud by late morning. Feeling humid. Rain is forecast for tomorrow so let's hope they are right this time.


Saturday 12th

12 to 27 to 17°C. 12.23kWh 2.0kW max. Sunny intervals till mid afternoon when it clouded over. Rained early in the evening, enough to wet under the trees but not for very long.


Dug up another bed of strawberries, taking runners for potting to produce plants for next year. After lunch completed moving the flower mats into the wild garden. Hopefully they will be well watered by tomorrow. Started splitting a repotting the short stemmed chrysanthemums.


Sunday 13th

8 to 17 to 12°C. 7.41kWh 2.0kW max. Some rain showers overnight then mainly cloudy with just a few spots of rain in the chilly northerly breeze.


Planted the January King cabbages in the bed I dug over yesterday, surrounding them with polycarbonate sheeting and insect- proof netting. This has worked really well for the calabrese and Yellow Acre cabbages I planted in the early spring so I thought I would see it if worked for the winter cabbages as well.


Monday 14th

8 to 20 to 17°C. 7.81kWh 1.9kW max. Clear overnight but clouded over by 9am with a few spots of rain in the afternoon and evening. Feeling increasingly humid.


Decided, while it wasn't too warm in the polytunnel, to construct some more frames for the squashes so they can spread across the paths to the sides. Pat also helped by removing the side shoots from the tomatoes.


Tuesday 15th

14 to 22 to 14°C. 8.23kWh 1.7kW max. Rained a little early in the morning and then the rest of the day was bright but cloudy, becoming still, clearer and humid by the evening.


Wednesday 16th

10 to 23 to 15°C. 5.43kWh 1.9kW max. Cloudy and humid with a few drops of rain from time to time.


For a change we decided to cut up all the scraps of wood collected from clearing the old shed and storing them in the wood shed. Then I can start thinking about demolishing what is left of it and cutting down the overgrown trees and hedges round it so I can erect the new one.


Thursday 17th

11 to 26 to 18°C. 13.35kWh 2.1kW max. Very sunny morning with a few more fluffy clouds in the afternoon.


The temperature in the polytunnel at 3pm was 39°C. It is no wonder we have a glut of tomatoes as the moment.. Too hot and sunny for me but managed to find a shady place near the wood shed where there was a slight breeze, so continued to break up all the scraps of wood.

Later decided to move water from the main water butts to the three near the polytunnel. There is a possibility of heavy thundery rain as the temperature and humidity continues to increase so I might as well make as much room as possible for any water to store.


Friday 18th

17 to 28 to 18°C. 9.01kWh 1.9kW max. Some heavy showers overnight but cleared by the morning to a mainly cloudy day with a few sunnier periods. Humid with a very warm southerly wind.


Started cutting up some more wood from the tree we had cut down last year in the back of the garden but gave up because it was just too warm for strenuous log splitting. So went back to generally tidying up the garden. Heavy theundery rain is forecast for early tomorrow until middy on Sunday. It certainly feels oppressive enough for some stormy summer rain.


Saturday 19th

16 to 22 to 16°C. 3.10kWh 800W max. A very dull wet day with dark clouds and several heavy thundery showers.


The heavy rain showed some problems with the water collection and storage system so spent most of the time between the showers cleaning and repairing the gutters and unblocking the downpipes and their diverters. Even so we appear to have collected around 1500L of rainwater over the last 24 hours.


Sunday 20th

16 to 22 to 16°C. 6.54kWh 1.2kW max. Cloudy and humid with a few brighter intervals but no rain.


Now that it has rained it was a lot easier for us to weed the flower beds down the drive and fill the empty spaces with the remainder of the marigolds, geraniums and coleus.


Monday 21st

13 to 23 to 17°C. 11.83kWh 2.0kW max. Hazy sunshine and broken cloud.


Started to empty the bags of early potatoes, starting with the Arran Pilot. Used the soil from these bags to fill trays for some more wild flower mats, or rather the top half of the tray with seived compost in the bottom. These I will leave to sprout coarse weeds and gras which I will kill with glyphosate before resowing with wild flower seed to grow next spring.


Tuesday 22nd

14 to 27 to 17°C. 13.00kWh 2.3kW max. A very warm sunny day with only a few clouds.


Pat cleared the last of the broad beans and peas from the bed next to the chicken house so we opened it up to let the hens back in. Even they thought it was too hot and went back to dozing in the shade below the apple trees.

Too hot for me as well in the sun but where I was still filling the trays was mainly in the shade. Finally finished with over 170 trays.


Wednesday 23rd

15 to 26 to 18°C. 12.31kWh 2.2kW max. Another warm sunny day made more pleasant by a gentle breeze.


The polytunnel, over 40°C by lunchtime, needed watering. It was so warm inside that when you came out it actually felt quite chilly outside. Then back to repotting the chrysanthemums. Later, in the evening when it was cooler, I dug out the last of the strawberry beds.


Thursday 24th

12 to 28 to 17°C. 13.53kWh 2.2kW max. Another warm sunny day but with less breeze so very hot if not in the shade.


Pat did some shredding (the shredder and compost heaps are in the shade most of the time. I continued to repot the chrysanthemums, also in the shade. Four of the Crown Prince winter squashes have reached full size which is much earlier than previous years. Cut them off so more can grow; the plant aborts more flowers if you don't do this. They should ripen off the vine and keep all winter as usual. We actually still have one left from last year still in perfect condition!!


Friday 25th

12 to 28 to 15°C. 12.61kWh 1.9kW max. Misty start then hazy sunshine for most of the day.


Saturday 26th

13 to 28 to 17°C. 10.32kWh 1.9kW max. Misty start followed by thin high cloud until mid afternoon when it became much cloudier, eventually raining around 6pm with very heavy rain (6.5mm)  for about half an hour. Started raining againg late evening though not heavily.


Prepared another polycarbonate box with an insect proof netting top for the late Minicole cabbages which I had been growing on in the polytunnel.  This method of growing brassicas seems to be working really well. Not only does it stop them being infested with caterpillars but they seem to grow faster and more evenly as well. The first ones we tried were the early Golden Acre cabbages which have produced some very large solid plants and also calabrese which grew some very large succulent heads. The second trial was with January King spring cabbage which is also growing well, despite the very hot conditions.


Sunday 27th

15 to 26 to 16°C. 10.54kWh 2.2kW max. Mainly sunny. Some rain late in the evening.


I injured my leg while cycling yesterday, nearly running into a car and trailer on a very narrow blind bend. I know this is a dangerous corner and slow down and listen before I get to it but it is also a drive entrance and the car was turned into the drive with the trailer completely blocking the road with nowhere for me to go.


What would have happened if it was a car rather than me coming round that bend could have been much worse. What amazed me was he looked at me as if I shouldn't be there and never enquired whether I was OK. Perhaps he was shocked or embarassed?


I didn't actually hit the trailer or come off my bike but did wrench the muscles in my right thigh. Iit didn't hurt much and I cycled another 4 miles or so without any trouble. My leg was a bit sore in the afternoon while i was doing some gardening but this morning when I got out of bed I couldn't put my weight on it.  So I will need to rest it for a couple of days avoiding any heavy gardening, cycling or walking as little as possible,


Monday 28th

13 to 24 to 15°C. 10.81kWh 2.1kW max. Mainly sunny with thin broken cloud.


My leg is still sore but managed to continue potting on the chrysanthemums and even made a start on trimming the privet hedge again.


Tuesday 29th

10 to 22 to 15°C. 6.2kWh 1.7kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few brighter periods in the morning. Very humid with some light fine drizzle in the afternoon.


Dug over the bed near the chicken house where we had the peas and beans this year, Then covered it with the large net we have here in winter since it is too late to plant anything else. This means we can leave the inner door open to this fully protected run saving me having to get up at 5am to let them out!


Wednesday 30th

13 to 24 to 14°C. 5.78kWh 1.9kW max. Mainly cloudy with one brighter interval around midday. Feeling warm and humid with very little wind.


Rain is forecast for Friday and the weekend just in time for Sarah and Ian to go camping in Wales leaving Cowan and Euan with us for the week.


Thursday 31st

12 to 22 to 15°C. 7.15kWh 1.2kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few brighter periods.


I was working in the polytunnel when suddenly part of the tomato structure collapsed and then over a couple of minutes took the rest with it. Obviously I hadn't built enough bracing into it to cope with the very large crop we have had with the warm weather. We spent most of the afternoon and the evening till it started coming dark propping it all up again. It still isn't finished. Pat is going to collect Cowan and Euan tomorrow but I will stay at home to finish the job.