July 2016                                                                                     Back to June

Friday 1st

13 to 16 to 10°C. 7.82kWh 1.8kW max. A new month but the weather is still no better with some sunny intervals but also some heavy showers and a strong cold westerly wind.

Continued to tie in the chrysanthemums.

Saturday 2nd

8 to 16 ro 12°C. 8.9kWh 1.9kW max. Clear start but clouded over with a few sunnier periods in the afternoon.Still with the blustery chilly wind.

Continued to tie in the chrysanthemums after doing the same with the dahlias which were even more in need of support. Some of the dahlias are getting very big and will need repotting next spring into 7.5, 10 or even 15L pots. This weather seems to suit them.

Pat picked the first of the turbo beans. The cherries are beginning to ripen.

Sunday 3rd

10 to 20 to 10°C. 10.46kWh 1.9kW max. A much better day, mainly because the wind has dropped.

Started turning the compost heaps partly to clear room for the shredding which we need to do before cutting back any more hedges. Only one at a time; though it is mainly upper body work, my leg isn't strong enough yet to stand and twist for more than an hour at a time.

Finished potting on the begonias. Only the coleus left to do now.

Monday 4th

7 to 18 to 12°C. 10.80kWh 2.1kW max. Cold misty start then sunny most of the morning before clouding over with some light rain by late afternoon. Cleared again after dark.

I have nearly finished staking up the chrysanthemums.

Tuesday 5th

12 to 16 to 12°C. 9.49kWh 2.2kW max. Sunny intervals but with an even stronger wind.

Wednesday 6th

8 to 21 to 15°C. 9.58kWh 2.1kW max. Sunny intervals. The wind has dropped so it felt much more like summer.

Back to turning compost, weeding and cutting hedges.

Thursday 7th

15 to 20 to 16°C. 3.64kWh 800W max. Dull and humid with a few spots of drizzle from time to time. At least the wind has died back.

Friday 8th

15 to 20 to 15°C. 8.35kWh 1.7kW max. Thin cloud with a few glimpses of the sun.

Started shredding the branches cut off the shrubs trees and hedges in the last few days. Potted on the coleus.

Saturday 9th

16 to 22 to 18°C. 5.00kWh 1.9kW max. Warm and wet in the morning so gave the polytunnel a good watering. Warm and windy in the afternoon.

Sunday 10th

16 to 18 to 16°C. 5.11kWh 1.2kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few sunny intervals but also some very heavy showers.


Monday 11th

14 to 17 to 13°C. 4.73kWh 800W max. Cloudy with a few light showers.


Finished cutting the privet hedge but not with the electric cutter but old-fashioned shears. I don't like using electricity when it is wet.


Pat picked most of the early peas for the freezer. She also brought a lot of the desert cherries in to ripen inside. The variable temperature and damp have caused some of them to split  before they are ripe. However most of the other top fruit, pears, apples and plums, are doing very well. We even have some greengages which we haven't had for quite a long time


Tuesday 12th

10 to 14 to 10°C, 3.71kWh 1.1kW max. A miserable damp dull day with light drizzle most of the time with a few brighter periods around midday.


Tried to do some more shredding in the morning but the brash was very damp and kept clogging so gave up. In the afternoon went back to cutting the cypress hedge running down the drive down to around 4ft so the privet hedge behind it can have more light.


Wednesday 13th

8 to 16 to 10°C . 8.06kWh 1.7kW max. A better day with cloud and some occasional light rain but also some sunnier periods.

More hedge cutting and shredding.


Thursday 14th

7 to 17 to 12°C. 11.45kWh 2.2kW max. Thin high cloud (which gives the highest solar panel adsoption) but in the shade the wind kept it cool for the time of year.


More shredding and hedge cutting. Also tidied up the pots of dahlia, gladiolus, zantedeschia, tigridia and other summer bulbs.


Friday 15th

11 to 19 to 12°C. 4.11kWh 1kW max. Cloudy with light rain in the morning becoming very humid in the afternoon.


Pat cleared the rest of the Turbo broad beans for the freezer and picked some of the early plums to ripen inside; this damp weather is not good for them. I dug over the soil where the beans had been so we can plant out the late leeks and sow some turnips.


Saturday 16th

16 to 20 to 15°C. 4.05kWh 600W max. Dull with some very black clouds to the west but it never rained, just felt very muggy.


Planted out the late leeks. Then back to cutting the cypress hedge to half its height.




























Sunday 17th

14 to 24 to 16°, 10.59kWh 1.9kW max. Very warm and humid with variable cloud. The forecast is even warmer in the next few days and will almost inevitably end in thunderstorms.


Continued to shorten the cypress hedge; actually this was a good thing to do on such a warm day as I was in the shade most of the time. Then, when it cooled down in the late afternoon, gave the polytunnel a good watering. We now have tomatoes and cucumbers and even the odd sweet pepper.































Monday 18th

17 to 27 to 21°C. 12.26kWh 2.1kW max. Misty start but soon  cleared to a very warm day with just a few fluffy clouds.


Rather too warm and sunny for my liking but the place where we do the shredding is in the shade by midday so a good place to work, apart from the shredder itself making it even warmer. Pat, who has less trouble with the sun than I do, continued to weed in the vegetable garden, this time the onions.































Tuesday 19th

16 to 32 to 24°C. 13.42kWh 1.8kW max. Sunny with a warm southerly breeze.


Too warm to do anything strenuous in the garden. Managed to stay mainly in the shade rearranging the summer bedding, including tying supports into the pots of fuschias.


In the afternoon went to the doctors for my annual birth month review by the practice nurse (I know it should have been June!!). She seemed quite happy with me but insisted on taking yet more blood samples.





























































Wednesday 20th

20 to 26 to 17°C. 10.7kWh 1.8kW max. A very warm and uncomfortable night followed by a mainly sunny day but with some cloudier periods and a cooling breeze.


The sprouts and brocolli have grown to press against the butterfly nets so we removed them. They have done their job and there is very little damage to the leaves. Even if caterpillars now appear the small birds, tits, sparrows and warblers, will soon be able to get inside the fruit cage to eat them when we remover the top net.


Then back to watering. Rain is forecast for the weekend but only showers which might miss.































Thursday 21st

13 to 22 to 17°C. 10.31kWh 2kW max. Back to normal temperatures with thin high cloud and a milky sun.


Removed the lower leaves from the tomato plants so the fruit can ripen more easily and to reduce the risk of botrytis. Then potted on the late broccoli Claret and spring cabbage Ormskirk seedlings.


I was going to cut some more of the cupressus hedge but decided to fix the latch on the back door which was sticking to the point where there is a risk we might be shut out.


Friday 22nd

14 to 24 to 16°C. 10.2kWh 1.9kW max. A very pleasant summers day with thin cloud and a warm breeze. A little damp in the evening but no real rain. That might come on Sunday night.


Turned the last of the compost bins. The one with the kitchen waste, chicken's bedding and eggshells and lawn mowings. It wasn't as smelly as it has been in the past. This is the one that gets turned 5 times mixing with the shreddings before it turns into a fine granular compost for mulching and making potting soil. Which is what I started to do later. The perennials I grew from seed over winter need potting on before moving into their permanent beds next spring. There will also be some plug plants for winter and spring arriving in late August.


Saturday 23rd

15 to 25 to 17°C. 10.47kWh 1.9kW max. Another warm day made more pleasant by thin cloud and a southerly breeze reducing the power of the sun.

In the morning before it became to warm and in the late afternoon started to dig over parts of the vegetable garden where the early peas and beans have now been harvested for the freezer. Once I have finished we will let the hens in to keep it clear till we need it again.


Sunday 24th

16 to 23 to 15°C. 4.18kWh 1.1kW max. Cloudy humid morning with some light fine drizzle in the afternoon and a heavier shower of rain around 6pm. After the rain had passed it felt much fresher.


Built a mesh panel across the part I dug over yesterday to let the hens in but protect the leeks at the far end. Last time I looked they still hadn't noticed. The the rest of the day went back to potting on the perennials.


Monday 25th

13 to 18 to 14°C. 6.31kWh 1.8kW max. Back to normal July weather with sunny intervals and a few light showers.


Not feeling too good with the usual symptoms but managed to continue potting on the perennials.


Tuesday 26th

14 to 20 to 15°C. 6.47kWh 1.6kW max. Very similar to yesterday.


Rain is forecast for overnight so maybe I won't need to do as much watering and our rainwater stores will be replenished.


Wednesday 27th

14 to 19 to 14°C. 8.37kWh 1.2kW max. Some light rain overnight then sunny for most of the day. Feeling cooler in the northwesterly breeze.


Enough rain to water outside but very little effect on the water stores.


Thursday 28th

10 to 22 to 16°C. 5.0kWh 1.0kW max. Some light rain or drizzle overnight and morning. Cleared in the afternoon with sunny intervals and a warm breeze.


Friday 29th

15 to 18 to 14°C. 5.56kWh 1.1kW max. Rather cool with some sunny intervals but also some light showers.


Saturday 30th

12 to 18 to 11°C. 8.57kWh 1.8kW max. Cool northerly wind but mainly sunny.


Cowan and Euan have come to stop with us for a week while Sarah and Ian, their parents, have a walking holiday in Wales. Thomas, their eldest, is old enough to stop at home.


I have nearly finished potting on the perennials.


Sunday 31st

8 to 17 to 12°C. 6.33kWh 800W max. Mainly cloudy with a few spots of rain late in the day. Heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow.


Pat took the boys for a walk round Whixall Moss in the morning. I still can't walk that far on uneven ground so stopped behind and finished potting on the perennials. In the afternoon I went back to cutting the cypress hedge shorter.