July 2020


Wednesday 1st

 13 to 18 to 14°C. 5.51kWh 1.4kW max. Cloudy morning with some short heavy showers (1mm) clearing to a brighter afternoon.

Finished digging out the front of the bed running down the drive which had become overgrown with various varieties of dog daisies. The squashes needing training again; they have nearly reached the top of the frame.


Thursday 2nd

13 to 19 to 13°C. 1.5kWh 1.4kW max. Cloudy and humid with some very black clouds coming from the west but only 1mm rain in a couple of heavy showers.

Dug out the old strawberry bed. They are getting very old so instead of taking runners I think I might replace them this autumn or next spring. Built a butterfly proof cage over the bed. Tomorrow I will plant the late summer cabbage seedlings here and maybe a few more purple sprouting broccoli.

Friday 3rd

 11 to 17 to 16°C. 2.95kWh 600W max. Dull cloudy morning with 2mm of short heavy showers, clearing a little in the afternoon but the wind is back.

Planted another 10 purple sprouting broccoli and 48 Greyhound cabbage seedlings in the new brassica cage.


Saturday 4th

16 to 19 to 16°C. 4.95kWh 800W max. A brighter day but very windy for July.

Started planting the summer bedding down the side of the drive.

Sunday 5th

 14 to 17 to 12°C. 6.45kWh 2kW max. 2mm of light rain overnight followed by another very windy day with varying clouds and some short sunny intervals.

Finished planting out the summer bedding in the bed nearest the road.

Monday 6th

 9 to 17 to 13°C. 9.76kWh 2.1kW max. Sunny intervals but the strong gusty cold wind meant I needed three layers of clothes to keep warm until the late afternoon.

Continued digging over the bed down the side of the drive, moving 4 wheelbarrow fulls of soil, mainly from the winter onion pots and early potato bags, to built it to a depth higher than the drive.


Tuesday 7th

12 to 14 to 13°C. 3.11kWh 500kW max. A dull damp drizzly day with a few heavier showers to a total of 5mm.

Working mainly inside the polytunnel managed to pot on the chrysanthemum cuttings into 2L pots and the earlier ones from 2L to 4L pots.

Wednesday 8th

 13 to 14 to 13°C. 2.64kWh 700W max. Another miserable drizzly day with heavier showers to a total of 10mm.

Continued moving the begonias from 3 to 5L pots, fetching and moving them back between the showers.

Thursday 9th

 11 to 14 to 12°C. 2.27kWh 500W max. Dull with very light drizzle all day only amounting to 1mm rain but still miserable for July.

At least we are getting cucumbers every day and some of the tomatoes are showing signs of ripening.

Friday 10th

 8 to 16 to 10°C. 8.82kWh 2.1kW max. A brighter day but with a cold north-westerly wind.

Continued planting out the summer bedding down the drive.

Picked the Czar plums. Quite a good crop and no maggots. Not my favourite, they are too sweet both raw and cooked. I prefer the Mirabelle which is later and there are plenty of small green plums to ripen later. The gages also look as if there will be a good crop this year. Both are good for freezing so we will have lots of plum crumble in the winter.


Saturday 11th

7 to 17 to 9°C. 9.89kWh 2.1kW max. Bright and quite sunny, especially in the afternoon, but the wind is still cold.

I have finished planting the middle bed of the summer bedding.

Sunday 12th

 4 to 21 to 16°C. 13.87kWh 2.1kW max. Cold clear night but soon warmed up to a sunny day with wispy clouds and no wind(!).

Planted out the rest of the leeks in 20cm holes in the concrete box I built last year covered with very fine mesh to keep the leek moths out. It worked last year with no maggots in the leeks. Hopefully it will work this year as well.

Pat picked the first tomatoes to go with a cucumber for her supper.

Monday 13th

14 to 19 to 15°C. 6.42kWh 1.9kW max. Back to mostly cloudy with a cold north westerly wind.

Sowed Early Onward peas in 12 cell trays to plant out towards the end of the month. Hopefully by the time they flower the pea moths will have given up laying their eggs.


Tuesday 14th

13 to 165 to 13°C. 5.81kWh 1.4kW max. Another disappointing cloudy day with a cold northerly wind and some spots of rain. A longer spell of rain is forecast for tonight and tomorrow.

Wednesday 15th

 12 to 15 to 14°C. 4.12kWh 800W max. Some light rain overnight and into the morning but only 1mm in total. Came brighter in the afternoon with a warmer breeze.

Continued potting on and training the chrysanthemums.


Thursday 16th

14 to 21 to 17°C. 5.26kWh 1.4kW max. Still cloudy but warmer and more humid in the afternoon with some brief glimpses of the sun.

Friday 17th

 14 to 22 to 16°C. 13.32kWh 2.1kW max. A warm sunny day with very little wind.


Saturday 18th

15 to 18 to 13°C. 2.72kWh 600W max. Cloudy with 8mm light rain and drizzle throughout the day, clearing in the evening.

We have got the usual glut of cucumbers as the first fruits on the main stem ripen together on all plants. Use some of them with hard boiled egg, tomato and cucumber for our lunch.

We also have a lot of ripe blueberries. Too many for Pat to eat and I don't like them. Hopefully they will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.


Sunday 19th

10 to 17 to 11°C. 13.16kWh 2.1kW max. Another sunny day but the cold north westerly wind is back.

Finally finished planting out the summer bedding. At least I won't need to water it in.

Monday 20th

 6 to 17 to 11°C. 9.54kWh 2.1kW max. Cold clear start but clouded over by mid-morning with some sunny intervals but a cold north westerly wind.

Took advantage of the cold weather to turn four compost heaps into each other. I will turn the fifth tomorrow.

Tuesday 21st

 4 to 18 to 12°C. 6.6kWh 2kW max. Cold clear start with a sunny morning clouding over in the afternoon so it won't be as cold tonight.

Picked the greengage plums. The best yield for several years which is good as I prefer them to the other plum varieties we grow which are much too sweet for my taste.

Wednesday 22nd

 11 to 20 to 15°C. 6.54kWh 1.4kW max. Cloudy with a few spots of rain.


Dug up the Kestrel second early potatoes. Not a good yield, probably because it was frosty when they first came thtough, too dry when the plants were growing and wet and very little sun when the tubers were forming. Next year I think I will go back to growing them in bags like the Abbot and Casablanca super early which have done well. It is much easier to protect them from frost and keep them watered in bags. The main crop varieties are looking fine, despite being slightly damaged early on by the frost

Finished turning the compost heaps.

Thursday 23rd

 12 to 19 to 17°C. 5.94kWh 1.6kW max. Cloudy with a few spots of rain.


Pat noticed that mice have been nibbling at the small squash fruits on the ground in the polytunnel, probably after the seeds. This has never happened before. So I am afraid we had to put some traps down. The trouble is that even if they only nibble a small area the squashes won't keep after they are picked for the winter.


Friday 24th

 15 to 22 to 17°C. 8.64kWh 2kW max. Warm and humid with broken cloud. 1mm rain in the evening.

At last a still dry day to start trimming the privet hedge.


Saturday 25th

17 to 21 to 15°C. 7.39kWh 1.6kW max. Stayed warm and humid overnight with some more light rain. Continued mainly cloudy with a few brighter periods. Very humid by late afternoon. There was thunder in the distance but no rain.

Continued trimming the hedge though part of my day was trying to repair the tube in my bicycle rear wheel. After three unsuccessful attempts I replaced it with a new tube; it is a good job I had a spare since there is no longer a bicycle shop in Wem.

Sunday 26th

 11 to 20 to 16°C. 9.84kWh 1.9kW max. Some light rain overnight but only 1mm in total. Cleared to a partly cloudy humid day with some black clouds but only a few drops of rain.

Pat made some cherry jam and picked the first Golden Acre cabbage now that the calabrese has finished. Let the chickens back into the top bed now that the onions have been gathered and stored.


Monday 27th

14 to 19 to 14°C. 3.86kWh 800W max. Some rain overnight and heavy showers most of the day to a total of 7mm.

Tuesday 28th

 12 to 16 to 13°C. 8.29kWh 1.8kW max. Broken cloud with cold westerly wind.


Wednesday 29th

9 to 18 to 14°C. 7.24kWh 1.6kW max. Sunny intervals interspaced with dark clouds and a few spots of rain.

Thursday 30th

 15 to 27 to 19°C. 10.24kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny, warm and humid with a few spots of rain in the afternoon and evening.

Dug over the bed next to and part of the old shrubbery now that we have removed all the early potatoes. A good place to work in the shade of the ash tree.


Friday 31st

18 to 32 to 18°C. 11.76kWh 1.8kW max. A very warm and sunny day. The warmest this year and will probably remain so since the forecast is a return to more westerly Atlantic fronts for the foreseeable future.

Too hot for me but found the same shade as yesterday and started burying the chrysanthemum pots in the soil I dug over yesterday.

Somehow an ants nest has appeared beneath the floor of my office at least a metre from the nearest outer wall. We only noticed when they started swarming with scores of flying ants and even more workers climbing to the ceiling and falling onto me as I worked. Fortunately they are tiny black ants which don't bite so they were just a nuisance. We got rid of most of them using the vacuum cleaner to suck them off the walls and ceiling.