June 2018                                                                                                             Back to May


Friday 1st

 16 to 24 to 18°C. 6.59kWh 1.6kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few sunny periods.Very humid with distant thunder for most of the day but it never rained more than a few drops.


Working in the polytunnel despite the heat and humidity to finish potting on the annuals and celery still in trays.

Pat fished in the Abbot potato bags and found 4 nice sized new potatoes, one from each bag.

Saturday 2nd

 15 to 22 to 15°C. 4.37kWh 1.2kW max. Some very heavy rain overnight amounting to 19mm filled all the water storage to overflowing. Stayed cloudy with some light rain showers till the afternoon when it came sunny.


Planted out the sweet peppers, aubergine and the rest of the squashes in the polytunnel.

The Casablanca potato bags are also yielding some tubers big enough to eat.

Sunday 3rd

 12 to 23 to 14°C. 12.84kWh 2.2kW max. Clear sunny morning, more cloud in the afternoon before clearing again in the evening. The wind has moved to the north so it may be cooler tomorrow.


Built 'wigwam' structures for the runner beans and then planted the seedlings from their trays. Only the Firestorm. The Moonlight never germinated; I have no idea why. Finished planting the aubergine in the polytunnel.

Monday 4th

 12 to 21 to 14°C. 7.01kWh 1.6kW max. Cloudy morning, sunnier afternoon.


Perfect weather for planting leeks. After the heavy rain on Saturday night the soil was nice and moist at least as deep as my 20cm dibber so I could make some nice solid holes to drop the seedlings into. 72 each of the early Elefant, mid-season Autumn Giant and late Giant Winter.

There should be some ripe strawberries tomorrow!

Tuesday 5th

 12 to 18 to 12°C. 6.12kWh 1.6kW max. Cloudy morning with some sun in the afternoon.


Planted out the Boogie peas. These are a second early semi-leafless variety which I haven't tried before.


Ordered the biennial flower seeds for next winter/spring: Winter Pansy, Wallflower, Sweet William, Canterbury Bell and Brompton Stock. Of those sowed last year the wallflowers are finished, the pansies are nearly finished, the Sweet William are just starting to flower, the Canterbury Bell will soon be flowering and the Brompton Stock I have just moved into their 3L pots to continue flowering for another few weeks.

Wednesday 6th

 12 to 22 to 14°C. 14.45kWh 2.0kW max. Sunny all day.


Started potting on the chrysanthemum cuttings.

Picked two baby cucumbers to have with some cheese with our supper.

Thursday 7th

 7 to 22 to 16°C. 14.12kWh 2.2kW max. Cold clear start but soon warmed up with blue sky streaked with thin clouds.


Started digging over the bed down the north side of the drive before lunch but had to give up because I was overheating. So found some shade where I could start tidying up the pots of polyanthus and pansies which have finished flowering. Continued the digging late in the afternoon and in the evening planted out the chilli peppers in the polytunnel.

Friday 8th

 11 to 16 to 12°C. 4.78kWh 1.1kW max. Some light rain overnight and further light showers during the day. Cool and breezy.


Finally Pat managed to pick some strawberries undamaged by ants which had eaten the first ones which ripened earlier in the week. Also she picked the first of the broad beans.

Finished planting out the peppers, including the Cayenne and Nosferatu. Starting dropping strings down from the top of the frame to train the tomatoes.

Saturday 9th

12 to 20 to 16°C. 11.92kWh 2kW max. Mainly sunshine tempered by a cooling breeze.


Started planting annuals down the side of the drive. Triangles 10 zinnia, annual chrysanthemum, clary and statice. Noticed some rabbit damage on the pots of phlox I also have for planting so, just like last year, we have placed green plastic covered mesh round them to protect them while they are small.

Sunday 10th

11 to 22 to 16°C. 12.56kWh. Mainly sunny.


Monday 11th

9 to 21 to 12°C. 13.97kWh. Blue sky all day.


Tuesday 12th

9 to 19 to 13°C. 9.66kWh. Sunny morning, cloudy afternoon


Wednesday 13th

9 to 23 to 12°C. 9.31kWh. Some light rain overnight. Hazy sunshine for most of the day.


Thursday 14th Our 49th wedding anniversary, though neither of us remembered till the evening.

12 to 17 to 13°C. 6.24kWh. Cloudy with a cold wind.


Friday 15th

12 to 18 to 13°C. 8.45kWh 800W max.


For the last few days the broadband has not been working, either very slow or not at all. Contacted our ISP but their tests haven't shown what the problem is but it doesn't appear to be in the phone line. So I have spent quite a lot of time disconnecting and reconnecting the wiring into and within the house. It has finally improved a little so I can now fill in this diary again.


As far as the garden in concerned most of work has been potting on the summer annuals; the rest of the zinnias and annual chrysanthemums and the Bishoph's children dahlias into 3L pots and the petunia and nemesia into 2L pots.

Saturday 16th

 12 to 18 to 13°C. 6.45kWh. Sunny intervals with a cool northerly breeze


Sunday 17th  My 75th birthday

12 to 17 to 13°C. 6.74kWh. Another day with variable cloud and notherly breeze


Monday 18th

12 to 18 to 15°C. 4.47kWh. Very humid with some light drizzle from time to time.


Tuesday 19th

14 to 18 to 15°C. 11.05kWh. Sunny but the notherly breeze is back.


Wednesday 20th

9 to 17 to 11°C. 8.16kWh. Variable cloud with a strong northerly breeze.


Thursday 21st

9 to 16 to 10°C. 11.28kWh. Mainly sunny but the breeze made it feel much cooler.


The telecoms engineer came yesterday afternoon to find out why the phone was so crackly and the broadband not working. His tests showed the problem was 5.8km away which was obviously wrong because the exchange is only 3km and the nearest cabinet only 1.5km. He went to the cabinet and the line there was fine as was the other end of the local line before is went underground towards this cabinet. Eventually he gave up to return today. He and another engineer discovered the fault was on the nearest pole which was only supporting the line with no connection but when they looked closer there were gnaw marks on the insulation, probably a squirrel or a rat. They replaced the whole line and now it is working fine, running at over 6500kbps rather than the unreliable 400 to 1500 which it was managing before.


So I can now write this diary again though there is little to report other than I have nearly finished potting on the summer flowers, Pat is picking lots of broad beans, peas and strawberries and we have a good supply of new potatoes from the bags of Abbot.

Friday 22nd

 8 to 17 to 11°C. 12.49kWh 2.2kW max. Clear night with some mist by dawn and broken cloud till late in the morning with blue sky for the rest of the day. The northerly breeze was not as strong so it felt a little warmer.


We could do with some rain. I need to water in the polytunnel every day using more than 200L of water. Our stocks are now below half of the maximum 4000L and I will need to start watering outside too. No rain is forecast for at least the next 10 days.

Saturday 23rd

 6 to 20 to 12°C. 12.51kWh 1.9kW max. Clear night with hazy sunshine and a few clouds in the morning so the sun didn't feel as hot. Continued with thin cloud in the afternoon and evening. Very little breeze.


Continued to cut the hedge in the morning but it soon became too hot so I will finish it tomorrow with and even earlier start. Started moving the pots of petunias, statice, arctotis and lobelia into the bed in front of the hedge which already has the remaining sweet william.

Sunday 24th

 7 to 23 to 16°C. 13.49kWh 2.2kW max. Cold clear start and sunny all day.


We now have cherries as well as strawberries and it won't be long before there are some ripe raspberries.

I have now emptied 2 of the reserve water butts and 3 more are nearly half empty. That just leaves around 1500L in the main tanks and tubs.

Monday 25th

 9 to 27 to 16°C. 13.94kWh 2kW max. Another clear warm and sunny day.


I am now having to water outside as well as in the polytunnel, especially the pots of lillies and dahlias and the bedding I actually planted in the ground which are drying out more than those in pots. This is the first time since we installed the two 1100L tanks that there is a risk we could run out. I was worried this would happen  in another 2 or 3 days but then I realised that if we pumped water from the well while the sun was shining then we could get it for free if the solar panels are producing more than the 700W required by the pump. I don't want to tax the pump or the bore-hole by running it too long at one time but it is probably safe to run it for a couple of hours each day as all the rain which fell earlier in the year has raised the ground water level well above the bottom of the well where the borehole goes down further. It is only if you pump it so much that the level drops below the bottom of the well when there is a risk of the bore hole wall collapsing; this is what happened to the last pump and it was a lot of trouble and cost of money replacing it and next time it may be necessary to reline the borehole or even drill another one. It would be a shame to lose all the work I have done to raise all these plants just for this small risk.

Tuesday 26th

 12 to 28 to 19°C. 13.41kWh 1.9kW max. Blue sky with no clouds all day hence the reduced solar panel output; it is best when there are whispy clouds to refract the sunlight more evenly onto the panels.


The temperature in the polytunnel reached 39°C in the afternoon. After going in there to water the drooping pepper and cucumber plants the 28°C outside felt quite cold! To think that in the Middle East and India at this time of year it can be hotter than this I wonder how anyone can cope with it.

Wednesday 27th

 12 to 26 to 16°C. 14.39kWh 2.1kW max. Sunny with a few whispy clouds so today we did manage more than 14kWh. A much more pleasant day because there was also a cooling breeze.

The overwintering onions have ripened so Pat picked them for storage; some of them are very large so should keep well into next year. Tomorrow I will dig over the bed and plant some more green and red celery. The spring planted onions have not done as well. They didn't get their roots down before this hot dry weather started and a mole digging beneath them didn't help either.

Pricked out the wallflower seedlings into 12 cell trays. These are for next winter and spring flowers. The Sweet William, Canterbury Bell and pansy seedlings are also nearly ready for pricking out. I have also ordered some primula and polyanthus plug plants; these are difficult to grow successfully from seed without specialised growing methods. You always need to be planning ahead with gardening. It won't be long before I need to order the next overwintering onion sets and the early broad beans and peas to keep going over the winter in the polytunnel.

Thursday 28th

 12 to 29 to 18°C. 13.94kWh 2kW max. Another very warm sunny day.

Started the last of the peas, Jaguar a second early, soaking as usual between wet kitchen towels. We have given up growing main crop peas which flower in early July and always get infested by Pea Moth maggots. These won't flower till August and I am hoping they will fare better.

Friday 29th

 10 to 28 to 19°C. 14.2kWh 2.2kW max. Sunny with very thin high clouds.


Today for our evening meal we had something very unseasonable, green kale. Usually this is ready to start cutting in the autumn and often lasts through till the spring. The very wet weather last month and the recent hot weather has caused it and all the brassicas to grow more quickly than normal, the sprouts and savoy cabbage are also much more advanced than usual. Hopefully none of them will prematurely bolt. In the case of the kale, cutting the tops out to eat will grow lots of side-shoots and there will be plenty of greens late into the winter.

Saturday 30th

 11 to 25 to 19°C. 11.45kWh 2.1kW max. Cloudy misty startl clearing by mid-morning to another very sunny day with a southerly breeze making it feel more pleasant.


The solar panels produced 310kWh this month, slightly more than the 306kWh for May. I believe this is by far the most produced in 2 months since they were installed.

This time 4 weeks ago it had rained so hard overnight that there were large puddles on the road. It hasn't rained since but everything which was growing in the ground before that time is still in good condition. Everything planted since is dying despite constant watering.