July 2019


Monday 1st

 12 to 17 to 11°C. 7.18kWh 1.7kW max. Cloudy with a few sunny intervals and chilly westerly wind.


Started planting out the last of the summer bedding at the top of the drive. A Cosmos background with Salvia, Statice, Gazania and Clary in the middle and Lobelia, Marigold and Mesembryanthemum at the front.


The strange weather this spring with a cold wet spell followed by hot sun has caused the Purple Sprouting Broccoli to flower now rather than next February to April. This has happened before and cutting the heads off stopped them bolting and they will still flower again in spring. And we get the bonus of broccoli to add to the Calabrese which is also heading at the proper time.


Tuesday 2nd

8 to 16 to 12°C. 8.14kWh 1.7kW max. Clear start but soon clouded over to another cool and cloudy day for July.


Wednesday 3rd

 7 to 20 to 12°C. 13.48kWh 2.3kW max. Clear cool start but soon warmed up to hazy sunshine for most of the day.

Looks like we won't be getting any dessert plums. They flowered well but I assume there was a frost as they were fertilising. This is always a risk with early flowering top fruit; it happens with cherries too but this year they are doing fine and are nearly ripe.


Thursday 4th

9 to 23 to 15°C. 13.56kWh 2.2kW max. Another warm sunny day.

The calabrese is nearly finished so Pat picked the rest to keep in the refrigerator for a few more days. There might be some secondary heads later. She also picked the rest of the overwintered Valencia broad beans. These went in the freezer

The five cucumber plants produced a new fruit each today. There is always a glut of them on the main stem to begin with. If you don't keep picking them the new ones higher up abort and no side shoots grow which are essential for extended fruiting into the autumn. Cucumbers are delicious as a roasted vegetable not just for salad.

Friday 5th

 12 to 23 to 15°C. 13.3kWh 2.1kW max. Another warm sunny day.


For a change Pat picked a Delight Ball cabbage though they will probably grow some more. A new variety to us and very nice; sweet, succulent and slightly peppery.


Saturday 6th

10 to 17 to 12°C. 3.49kWh 600W max. A cold front passed through during the day which for most of the time was cloudy with some spells of fine drizzle. It finally cleared in the early evening.

Being cooler gave me chance to pot on the last of the summer plants, coleus. No significant flowers but variagated leaves varying from pale green and white stripes through yellow and pink to red and almost black. A good plant for semi-shade and they will last longer if you pinch out the flower spikes as they appear.

Sunday 7th

 8 to 20 to 12°C. 13.04kWh 2kW max. Mainly sunny with a few cloudier periods in thee afternoon.


Started placing pea-sticks and ties in the pots of dahlias. They have started flowering and need some support.


Monday 8th

8 to 21 to 16°C. 9.89kWh 1.8kW max. Sunny intervals. Feeling humid but didn't rain.

Pat emptied the last of the bags of super-early Abbot potatoes. There is now room in the mesh box to plant some Jaguar late sowing peas. Apparently, according to the RHS, all peas are self fertile and don't need pollinating by insects. Placing them under mesh will protect them from pea moth. We still need to start the peas indoors. Mesh doesn't stop mice from digging them up.

Tuesday 9th

 10 to 20 to 17°C. 5.28kWh 1.4kW max. Cloudy with some light rain for a time in the afternoon


Wednesday 10th

12 to 22 to 17°C. 7.48kWh 1.6kW max. Cloudy with a few sunnier periods in the morning, more cloud in the afternoon. Rain is forecast overnight.


Thursday 11th

16 to 21 to 17°C. 7.49kWh 1.8kW max. A very muggy night with a few spots of rain only. Continued cloudy and humid for most of the day with a few sunnier intervals. There was a thunderstorm in the evening which we caught the edge of with only 1mm rain.

Friday 12th

 12 to 18 to 16°C. 6.36kWh 800W max. Cloudy with a few brighter periods.

Planted the Jaguar pea seedlings in the mesh cage and sowed the rest of them between wet kitchen towel indoors. Pat found a You-Tube videa by a man who claims placing sprigs of holly between the plants keeps the mice off. I am dubious but nevertheless I will try it.


Saturday 13th

12 to 17 to 13°C. 6.11kWh 600W max. Another grey day with dark clouds.

The seedling dahlias, especially the Collarette, have grown too big for their 3L pots and are nearly as big as some of the those I have grown from tubers for several years. So I have started moving them into 5L pots.


Sunday 14th

12 to 21 to 15°C. 5.4kWh 600W max. The day started off even more cloudy with some very fine drizzle which was just a nuisance, not providing any real moisture. Later in the afternoon the sun finally broke through to a much brighter evening.

The strawberries have finished but we still have raspberries and an enormous crop of cherries.

Monday 15th

 12 to 24 to 18°C 12.59kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny, very warm and humid.

The lillies have finished flowering so moved them from the bed behind the conservatory to the nursery to recover. They will be replaced by dahlias and begonias. I have decided to buy some more large trays to place them in to save on watering and increase the size of the pots from 3L to 4 or 5L so they won't dry out as quickly. July used to be a rainy month but in the last few years it has been very dry; only 1mm so far this July and only half our water storage of 3500L remains.


Tuesday 16th

16 to 24 to 18°C. 8.4kWh 1.8kW max. Warm and humid but more pleasant as the thin cloud stopped the sun being too hot.


Wednesday 17th

15 to 19 to 16°C. 5.04kWh 800W max. Warm humid night and stayed cloudy most of the day will late afternoon when we had 2mm of light rain. Enough to water the garden but not enough to replenish our store.


Thursday 18th

12 to 19 to 15°C. 7.78kWh 1kW max. Sunny intervals with some showers in the afternoon and into the evening(2mm)

Tidied up the perennial bed on the north side of the drive. It has become rather overgrown especially with the Marguerite daises which the rain caused them to droop over the drive so they needed digging out at the front and cutting back further back. They are beautiful flowers and attract lots of bees and butterflies but you can have too many of them. Once these were gone they revealed a lot of weeds and some large thistles which also needed removal.


Friday 19th

13 to 18 to 17°C 3.59kWh 600W max. Some rain overnight and heavy showers most of the day with distant thunder; 8mm in total. Some very warm weather is forecast for next week which inevitably will end with more thunderstorms.

Got rather wet going on my bicycle to the doctors this morning for blood samples for my annual review.

Started moving the chrysanthemum cuttings into 2L pots.

Saturday 20th

 16 to 20 to 16°C. 7.5kWh 2kW max. Rather cloudy in the morning but cleared in the afternoon.

Pat spent most of the day pulling up the Bunyard's Exhibition broad beans, podding, blanching and freezing them, apart from a few we had with our dinner.

Looks like the raspberries are almost finished. What are left are overripe and covered in greenbottle flies. Since these spent half of their time laying eggs in cowpats I never fancy eating the fruit once this starts to happen! There are still a few cherries to pick and a lot more already picked and in the refrigerator; I think this is the best crop ever. And for Pat there are blueberries which I don't like so more for her.


Sunday 21st

14 to 22 to 18°C. 7.6kWh 1.8kW max. Cloudy, warm and very humid. Hot weather is forecast for the first part of the week.

I decided I would try placing holly twigs round the peas both for them to climb up and to deter the mice. You never know; it might work?

Monday 22nd

17 to 25 to 20°C. 9.01kWh 1.9kW max. Variable cloud with sunny intervals and a warm southerly wind.

Stayed out of  the sun in the shade of the woodshed and ash tree moving the pompom dahlias intot 4L pots. Pat did the same emptying the rest of the first early potato bags.


Tuesday 23rd

18 to 30 to 24°C. 11.81kWh 2.2kW max. A very hot and sunny day with less wind which made it feel even hotter. Some of the tarmac on the roads was melting when I went for my bicycle ride before lunch. In the afternoon the temperature reached 44 in the polytunnel causing the squashes and tomatoes to wilt their leaves but they recovered in the evening after I watered them. In the evening it stayed very warm with an oppressive humidity; thunderstorms are forecast for the  early hours of tomorrow.


Wednesday 24th

 18 to 24 to 20°C. 11.22kWh 2.1kW max. A thunderstorm around 2am caused heavy rain, 16mm in less than half an hour. Unfortunately this overwhelmed the gutters so most of it was lost. Fortunately there was no hail but even so it has flattened the potatoes and damaged some of the chrysanthemums.

By morning the weather had cleared to another very warm day with a couple of brief showers in the afternoon.


Thursday 25th

16 to 31 to 22°C. 11.35kWh 2.1kW max. A very warm day with thin cloud protecting from the hot sun but very humid with two thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. There was lots of lightning and loud thunder but very little rain. I am thankful we didn't get the really hot weather futher east and even worse in Europe with temperatures around 40°C.

Spent the afternoon trying to tidy up the damaged chrysanthemums.

Friday 26th

 17 to 23 to 18°C. 7.28kWh 1.2kW max. A mainly cloudy day with a cooler westerly wind.


Saturday 27th

14 to 17 to 15°C. 2.84kW 350W max. Light rain or drizzle all day amounting to 6mm in total. Cleared in the evening but started raining again later on.

Time to do some repair jobs in the house including fixing a loose light switch on the landing.

Sunday 28th

 12 to 16 to 14°C. 1.75kWh. Dark clouds with light rain or drizzle all day to a total of 10mm.


Monday 29th

14 to 23 to 20°C. 12.99kWh 1.9kW max. A very different day with unbroken sunshine till late in the afternoon. Some light rain late in the evening heralded the start of some wet and windy weather forecast for tomorrow and Wednesday


Decided to dig up and store the early maincrop potatoes Blue Danube and Carillon before the ground became really wet and muddy. A good yield of well over 15kg for both of them but the Carillon had many small tubers on each plant rather than 4-6 larger ones. This is not a variety I have tried before as they were a substitute for Sarpo Axona which was not available due to crop failure last year.


Tuesday 30th

 13 to 16 to 15°C. 7.12kWh 1.4kW max. Started off fairly bright but clouded over with light rain or drizzle by lunchtime. In the late afternoon this turned into torrential rain with 19mm falling  in around half an hour. Then some more light rain during the evening.

Planted the last of the pea seedlings inside the fine mesh cage before the heavy rain arrived. Hopefully the mesh may have protected them from the large heavy raindrops.


Wednesday 31st

 15 to 17 to 16°C. 2.83kWh . A very dull day but with only a few spots of rain.

I am not very well with tiredness, aching and fairly severe asthma so didn't do much today.