June 2017                                                                                                           Back to May


Thursday 1st

 14 to 24 to 17°C. 11.39kWh 1.9kW max. Mainly sunny with varirable cloud and a southerly breeze.


Planted out the purple sprouted and white sprouted broccoli and the calabrese. Unfortunately, as happens nearly every year, the growing tips of nearly every seedling have been nibbled off by mice. They were OK last time I looked at them in the cold frame last Sunday so this was very recent. They will recover and produce new growng points. This might even be an advantage for the sprouting broccoli, since you can end up with multi-stems and the total number of flower clusters might be larger. With heading broccoli and cabbages you only want one head so if they do branch rubbing out all but one will be necessary.


The chrysanthemums need disbudding again to encourage more side shoots so I removed the crown buds from the taller stems. It would be nice if I could train this mouse to be useful and do this for me but I suspect that they it do it more than the maximum 3 times and choose the wrong shoots to do it to!

Friday 2nd

14 to 17 to 13°C. 3.63kWh 500W max. A dull damp and dreary day. Some light rain to water the garden but not enough to replenish our stocks.


Spent the morning collecting the data for my tax return. In the afternoon started to trim the hedge on the opposite side of the drive so I can plant out the summer bedding but had to give up when the rain got a little heavier. So started potting on the chrysanthemum cuttings instead.

Saturday 3rd

 9 to 18 to 11°C. 12.39kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny morning but with a chill breeze. Cloudy with some light showers in the afternoon clearing to a cool evening.


Trimmed the privet hedge behind the new perennial bed. Tied some strings round the delphiniums which are getting quite tall and the wind has knocked a couple of them over.

Sunday 4th

10 to 17 to 11°C. 10.09kWh 2.3kW max. Variable cloud with some sunny periods but with a cool breeze and a few spots of rain. Heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow and Tuesday.


Finished  cutting the holly hedge on north side of the drive except for a large self-seeded wild cherry tree which I will leave till there is a still day; I don't want to risk the wind catching it causing to fall towards the fruit cage.

Cleared the bed at the top of the drive next to the garage and laid some more mulch on it, then moved pots of pompom dahlias to the back of it. I will place more pots of summer bedding tomorrow if it is not raining.


Monday 5th

 9 to 15 to 12°C. 3.87kWh 600W max. Rained overnight and most of the day, mostly light rain and drizzle but enough to water the garden thoroughly and fill the water butts but not the main tanks. More is forecast for the next few days.


Used most of the water in the butts to give everything in the polytunnel a good watering. Then spent the rest of the day tying up and training the tomatoes, squashes and cucumbers. We already have some set tomatoes, though only pea sized at the moment, and there could be several cucumbers ready by next week.



Tuesday 6th

 10 to 14 to 11°C. 4.02kWh 1.3kW max. Wet and very windy; more like March then June. Brightened up in the afternoon but still windy with several blustery heavy showers. Eventuall cleared to a stiller moonlit night. A better day is forecast for tomorrow.


Moved another 250L of water into the polytunnel; everything is now well watered. Finished training the tomatoes and squashes.

Wednesday 7th

 12 to 16 to 12°C. 9.14kWh 2.1kW max. A better day with clear skies in the morning and sunny periods in the afternoon, but still quite windy. Clouded over in the evening with some light rain which is forecast to continue into tomorrow.


With less wind managed to cut down the cherry tree to fall harmlessly into the drive. There is still some clearing up to do cutting out the ivy creeping out of the bottom of the hedge before I can dig over the bed for planting summer annuals.

Time to sow the late leeks Vernal and spring cabbage Ormskirk. Let us hope we will have a proper winter this year; both of these failed to mature properly in the mild and damp conditions last winter. Also sowed the biennial Canterbury Bells.

Pat is now picking enough strawberries for a large dish full each every day even on dull days.

Thursday 8th

 13 to 20 to 12°C. 5.73kWh 1.4kW max. Cloudy morning with some light showers. Sunny intervals in the afternoon and cleared in the evening.


Walked round to the village hall, to vote in the general election, in the afternoon, and came back the long way so didn't do much in the garden today, other than planting some freesias in 5L pots and potting on more chrysanthemum cuttings.

Pat found some quite large Abbot potatoes in one of the bags. We should have fresh peas and beans soon.

Friday 9th

 11 to 20 to 12°C. 12.44kWh 2.3kW max. A very sunny day with less wind so felt quite warm. Went up to 36°C in the polytunnel.


Planted out the kale, more white sprouting broccoli and the early leeks. I was going to plant out the celery as well but when I turned one out of its pot the roots weren't developed enough for deep planting so I will leave them for a few more days.

Saturday 10th

 12 to 20 to 14°C. 3.42kWh 600W max. Rained overnight then overcast, warm and humid with some light showers and a longer period of rain late in the afternoon. Cleared in the evening.


Moved another 200L of rainwater into the polytunnel. The Rolet squash have started to flower, only male at the moment, and a cucumber is almost ready to pick. There are also quite a few set tomatoes but these take many weeks to swell and ripen. Dug over the bed on the north side of the drive and started to plant the summer bedding, starting with the Cosmos.

Sunday 11th

 14 to 17 to 14°C. 7.62kWh 2.1kW max. Thin cloud with some sunny intervals but also some short heavy showers. Still rather windy.


Continued to plant the summer bedding between the showers. I hope to finish tomorrow.

Monday 12th

13 to 17 to 13°C. 5.63kWh 2.1kW max. Another breezy humid day with some sunshine and a few short light showers.


Finished planting the summer bedding down the side of the drive. There is some more to do nearer the road but the damson trees need cutting back to let some light in before I can plant this part. We never pick the damsons any more now we have plenty of other plum trees so I have started cutting them hard back.

Tuesday 13th

 12 to 18 to 13°C. 5.21kWh 1.5kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few spots of rain. Less windy.


With less wind took the opportunity to glyphosate some of the weeds on the paths, beneath the hedges and in the less cultivated parts of the garden. Then back to finishing cutting out the old damson trees at the bottom of the drive and some of the branches of a spruce overshadowing the space.

Wednesday 14th

 14 to 26 to 14°C 11.98kWh 2.1kW max. Sunny and warm.


Too warm to dig over the ground I cleared yesterday so spent most of the afternoon picking weed seedlings out of the 180 seed trays I half filled with soil earlier in the year. Once this is done I will sow them with wildflower seeds to make some more mats to lay on the verge. This time the mix I am using are all less than 30cm high so can be used on the road side of the ditch without much obstruction of the view.

Thursday 15th

 12 to 19 to 13°C. 11.28kWh 2kW max. Another mainly sunny day but not feeling as warm because of a strong SW breeze.

I was going to dig over the rest of the bed north of the drive and plant some more annuals there but when I went to look at the ones I had already planted earlier this week I discovered that something had been eating them, probably rabbits. The zinnia, phlox, ten week stock and statice have nearly all been severely nibbled and nearly all the flower stalks bitten down. I have spent a lot of time sowing the seeds, pricking them into trays and moving them into pots and they were looking so good on Tuesday.


I am thoroughly fed up with rodents this last few years; rats taking the chicken feed and digging holes everywhere, mice digging up the peas and beans and nibbling into the pods of those which survived and eating the growing tips off the brassicas ,squirrels gnawing their way into the bird feeders, and rabbits eating young plants as soon as they are planted out. I know they are just acting naturally but I wish they would go and do it somewhere else. There are times when I wonder whether it is worth all the work in the garden when they can destroy it in such a short while.


So I spent the afternoon putting wire netting round what remains of the bedding plants. Perhaps they will grow again and eventually be big and tough enough to not tempt the rabbits and I can then remove the netting.

Friday 16th

 12 to 20 to 12°C. 9.08kWh 2.0kW max. Mainly sunny with less breeze so felt a little warmer than yesterday.


Planted out the celery. Though we grow American green celery which is for use as a vegetable, rather than blanched trench celery which is more of a salad crop, last year we planted some of it deep rather than on the surface and found it grew better. So this year I dug holes around 5cm deeper than the root ball for all of the plants.

Finished weeding the seed trays for the wild flower mats.

Saturday 17th
My 74th birthday. One those years when it happens on the same weekend as the Queen's official bithday and Father's day.

 16 to 27 to 15°C. 13.33kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny all day. The trace on the photovoltaic meter was a perfect curve though the maximum was lower than you get on hazy sunshine days; I assume you get a more even distribution of photons under those circumstances.


Spent most of the day sowing wildflower seeds in the trays I weeded yesterday. This consists of diluting 50g of seed with 200ml vermiculite and then doubling up with finely seived soil to fill a 30L crate. Then using a small yogurt pot spread around 170ml of this evenly onto each tray. Water well and cover with fine netting to keep the birds off till it germinates. So far I have done 152 trays with another 30 or so to go.

Sunday 18th

 11 to 29 to 19°C. 13.43kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny all day with very little breeze so feeling very warm. The temperature in the polytunnel reached 42°C in the late afternoon.


General tidying up including moving some mulch onto the bed behind the conservatory to give the plants in pots more chance to stay moist after watering and training the rest of the dahlias and begonias. Eventually it cooled enough to do some watering in the polytunnel and train the squashes and tomatoes up their strings. The Crown Prince squashes are growing several inches each day and will soon reach the top of the frame.

Monday 19th

 14 to 29 to 17°C. 1.22kWh 1.9kW max. Hazy sunshine in the morning with more cloud in the afternoon. Very warm but this was tempered by a breeze in the late afternoon and evening.


We are still having trouble with rabbits. I have discovered where they are living in the the dense shrubbery between the lawn and the wild garden and getting from there through the privet hedge onto the drive. So I have now run wire mesh down most of the back of the hedge with gaps where we have placed rabbit traps. Hopefully this with either deter them or catch them.

Tuesday 20th

16 to 29 to 18°C. 10.23kWh 2.0kW max. (The electricity was off for around 90 minutes this morning and the PV panels don't work if they can't connect to the grid so this reading was probably about 2.5kWh short). Another very warm day but with more thin cloud it didn't feel as hot in the sun.

Continued moving the remaining bedding annuals, zinnias, phlox and salvia, into larger 1.5 or 2L pots. Also spent quite a lot of time watering both inside and out. Thunderstorms are forecast for the next 48 hours. Hopefully we might catch one of these; the soft fruit, peas, beans and brassicas could do with a good soaking.

Wednesday 21st

 17 to 28 to 24°C. 7.82kWh 1.6kW max. Variable cloud. Very humid, especially in the afternoon when there were a few spots of rain. Hardly cooled into the evening. Tomorrow is forecast to be cooler and fresher.

Continued moving plants into larger pots and watering where necessary both in the garden and the polytunnel. Pat picked most of the Douce Provence early peas for freezing.

Thursday 22nd

 15 to 19 to 14°C. 3.77kWh 800W max. A very different day with dark clouds and only a little brightness in the late afternoon. Since installing the solar panels in April 2012 they have now generated a total of 10 mega watt hours.

Continued potting on some of the annuals into larger pots, including lobelia and mesenbryanthemum.

Friday 23rd

 14 to 18 to 15°C. 4.82kWh 2.1kW max. Heavy dark clouds with a strong cooling breeze for most of the day. At one time around midday it became much brighter and looked as if it would clear but then the clouds and wind came back again. Despite this it never rained.


Pat continues to pick and freeze the early broad beans and peas. We also now have cherries as well as strawberries. The blackbirds are frantically trying to get in the fruit cage to get at them. One actually succeeded but we can't work out how; all the netting is secure and there are no holes beneath the sides.

Saturday 24th

 15 to 18 to 15°C. 5.41kWh 2.1kW max. Almost a repeat of yesterday.

Sunday 25th

 13 to 17 to 13°C. 4.51kWh 1.5kW max. Bright start but clouded over later in the morning with some rain.Fine droplets, good for soaking the ground but not enough to replenish our stocks. Cleared by evening.


Monday 26th

9 to 18 to 15°C. 7.59kWh 1.8kW max. Cloudy but bright. Rain is forecast overnight.


I have nearly finished moving the annuals into larger pots.

Tuesday 27th

15 to 17 to 15°C. 4.59kWh 900W max. Drizzly morning. Slightly drier in the afternoon but still cloudy. Muggy evening.


Busy with some queries about the use of my software so didn't get much done in the garden, not that the weather was conducive anyway.

Wednesday 28th

 12 to 13 to 12°C. 2.77kWh 600W max. Heavy clouds and light rain for most of the day with a cold easterly wind.

At least the rain has watered the garden well and there was enough in the tanks to give the polytunnel a good watering. Spent the rest of the time side-shooting and training the tomotoes and squashes. The rabbit has now taken a liking for the lobelias and ignores the traps.

Thursday 29th

 9 to 13 to 12°C. 2.19kWh 400W max. A really miserable dank and dark day with almost continuous drizzle or light rain.


Came a little brighter late in the afternoon and I started to turn the compost heaps, a good job for a cool day, but then it started raining again.

Friday 30th

 12 to 14 to 13°C. 2.31kWh 400W max. Another drizzly day but with slightly less wind.


It came dry long enough in the afternoon to turn two of the compost heaps before it started heavy drizzling again.