June 2020


Monday 1st

 10 to 24 to 16°C.14.47kWh 2.2kW max. Sunshine with a welcome easterly breeze.

Finally finished planting out the cucumbers, cucumelons and squashes in the polytunnel.

Most of the rest of the afternoon and evening I spent watering them in and watering the flowers fruit and vegetables outside. There is forecast of some rain later in the week so maybe I will be spared all this extra work each day.


Tuesday 2nd

12 to 24 to 17°C. 13.17kWh 2.2kW max. Sunshine with a more cloud gathering in the afternoon and evening. Several spells of heavy rain are forecast tonight and into tomorrow and much cooler showery weather after that.

Started mixing another large batch of JI3 to pot on the begonias and the chrysanthemums. The tame female blackbird is getting even braver digging worms and millipedes out of the crates and pots as I am filling them. She is becoming a bit of a nuisance but also fascinating to watch as she cuts up the worms into short pieces before flying off with a full crop and beak presumably to feed to her chicks.

Wednesday 3rd

 12 to 13 to 11°C. 1.38kWh 300W max. A very different day with a cold northerly wind heavy cloud and light rain for most of the day. 8mm in total which is more than the total 5mm for the whole of May and 7mm in April.

Looks like I won't need to water outside for many days, especially with more rain forecast at the weekend. For the last few days I have been wearing shorts and a teeshirt on my bike ride. Today it was back to long pants and a fleece jacket.

Started potting on the lobelias. Pat took side shoots off the tomatoes and started training them up the strings.

Thursday 4th

 10 to 14 to 10°C. 5.27kWh 1.7kW max. Sunny intervals and showers with a brisk northerly wind. Another 4mm of rain which means than in the last two days we have had the same amount of rain as the whole of April and May.

Finished potting on the lobelias. Pat finished training the tomatoes.


Friday 5th

 8 to 12 to 6°C. 5.64kWh 1.6kW max. 3mm rain in the morning followed by sunny intervals. The sun was hot when it was out but the strong northerly wind was cold.


Saturday 6th

 8 to 16 to 9°C. 6.49kWh 1.2kW max. Sunny intervals with a northerly wind.

Emptying pots from last year and mixing new potting compost for this year.


Sunday 7th

8 to 18 to 12°C. 7.53kWh. Sunny intervals. The wind is dying down.

Emptied the wallflower pots and made more potting compost. We had a bit of a panic when one of the pipes connecting the water storage tanks and butts sprung a leak. A bit complicated because it is concertina piping but I managed to fix it with PTFE tape covered over with black insulation tape.

Monday 8th

 10 to 16 to 13°C. 7.58kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny intervals. Less wind so feeling warmer.


Took the opportunity of dry still weather to use glyphosate to kill the weeds round the perimeter and neglected parts of the garden. There is a new formulation of this weedkiller which has been declared safe to use. They have removed the wetting agent which was the hazard rather than the glyphosate itself so it now possible to buy the concentrate in 5L containers again rather than use more diluted products which are much too expensive for the area we need to treat. So that will save us many hours of pulling or digging up the nettles, docks, cow parsley, thistles and dandelions which come in from the surrounding fields.

Potted on the coleus. Removed the wallflowers, both planted and in pots and replaced them with dianthus in the beds round the house and down the drive.


Tuesday 9th

8 to 18 to 12°C. 8kWh 2.1kW max. Another partly sunny day with very little breeze.

More weedkilling, this time to clear the old shrubbery which I dug up last winter and was full of grass and nettles.

The early chrysanthemums were ready for their second stopping, removing the tops from the two shoots which grew after the first stop. These too were placed in small pots to root. So one bought chrysanthemum becomes 4, though the later cuttings may not be big enough to flower this year.


Wednesday 10th

 10 to 16 to 13°C. 6.78kWh 2.1kW max. 1mm of light rain overnight then mainly cloudy but dry with a few brighter periods.


Thursday 11th

11 to 17 to 11°C. 4.36lWh 1.2kW max. Mainly cloudy with 4mm rain in the evening. More rain is forecast.

Tied most of the squashes and cucumbers to strings descending from the frames. Removed more sideshoots from the tomatoes.

Looks like we will have a glut of strawberries soon, despite the dull rainy weather, so Pat will be making some jam.

Friday 12th

 11 to 18 to 14°C.4.75kWh 1.6kW max. Another 1mm of light rain overnight then cloudy and humid for most of the day.

I laid two seed strips of parsnips several weeks ago in the usual bed next to the Bramley tree but nothing has appeared. Investigation didn't find anything not even the remains of the strip; very strange. So I have removed the weed seedlings and dug it over. I will probably plant the celery there instead.

Saturday 13th

 12 to 23 to 14°C. 8.1kWh 2.0kW max. A pleasant summers day, warm with hardly any hot sun which always suits me.

Finished potting on the begonias.


Sunday 14th

13 to 20 to 15°C. 4.23kWh 1.1kW max. Cloudy humid morning with a thunderstorm in the afternoon and 9mm heavy rain. Cleared to sunny late afternoon and evening.

Managed to start cutting back the hedges in the morning before it rained.

Monday 15th

 12 to 22 to 15°C. 6.17kWh 1.8kW max. Cloudy misty start, clearing by lunchtime but black clouds by mid-afternoon and 16mm thundery rain during the evening.


Tuesday 16th

14 to 21 to 15°C. 5.9kWh 1.5kW max. Another 2mm rain after midnight then some light showers during the morning with another 7mm of heavy thundery rain in the afternoon. Started raining yet again in the evening with more thunder.

Our rainwater stores are full to overflowing! Time to give the polytunnel a really good watering.

Wednesday 17th

13 to 20 to 14°C. 7.32kWh 1.6kW max. Misty start with some sun in the morning but more cloudy in the afternoon with distant thunder but only a few spots of rain.

 My 77th birthday.

Planted the early leeks under fine mesh to keep the leek moths out. I had already moved the trays under this mesh a couple of weeks ago but the field mice thought this was a safe place to build a nest cutting off the tops of more than half of the seedlings to do so. I think there are enough left for our use provided no more are eaten.


Thursday 18th

14 to 14 to 14°C. 1.63kWh. Started raining in the middle of the night and continued with mainly light rain all day to a total of 21mm.

Friday 19th

13 to 15 to 13°C. 4.76kWh 900W max. Mainly cloudy with 4mm of light rain showers.

Working mainly in the polytunnel mixing more potting compost and potting on the early chrysanthemums into their final 7.5L pots.


Saturday 20th

13 to 20 to 14°C. 7.96kWh 1.7kW max. Mainly cloudy till late afternoon when it cleared for the evening but some overnight rain is forecast.

Built the wigwam frames and planted the runner beans. Also planted the Purple Teepee french beans.


Sunday 21st

12 to 19 to 12°C. 9.84kWh 1.9kW max. 7mm of heavy rain early morning so no sight of the sun on its solstice. Sunny intervals with a strong southerly wind.

Tidied up the wild flowers on the verge, removing thistles and nettles. Also cut back the hedge behind them. Planted the celery in the bed next to the Bramley, with holes deep enough to cover the crowns with 10cm soil.


Monday 22nd

 9 to 22 to 17°C. 12.63kWh 2.1kW max. A sunny day with a few wispy clouds. Reached 32 in the polytunnel. The forecast is for temperatures near to that outside by Thursday.

Potted on the Carnations and Lavender.

Tuesday 23rd

 14 to 26 to 19°C. 10.72kWh 2.1kW max. Cloudy start but soon cleared to a continously sunny day, still 24°C at 8:30pm.

Not much shade at this time of year but managed to dig over more of the old shrubbery now that the weedkiller has worked.

We are now getting cherries as well as strawberries and raspberrie and some of the calabrese heads were ready to pick.


Wednesday 24th

17 to 29 to 19°C. 13.02kWh 2kW max. 44°C in the polytunnel and needed to water the peppers and aubergines just to cool them off. The trailing squashes are growing 15 to 25cm each day and need training up their strings. Some of the cucumbers are also beginning to grow.

A lot of the strawberries in the oldest bed have gone mouldy after the damp weather last week. I was going to dig it up when they were finished but decided to do it now so I could replace it with a brassica bed protected by a butterfly net cage. Planted the purple sprouting broccoli in it and tomorrow I wil plant the rest with late summer cabbage Greyhound.

Thursday 25th

 17 to 29 to 21°C. 13.31kWh 2kW max. Hot and sunny all day.

There was a warning that, because of reduced pollution and less aeroplane trails, the UV level could reach 9 which is very high for someone with a fair skin. So I worked in the shade of the ash tree moving the dahlias into larger pots and training them with 3 pea sticks and string in each pot.

According to the news there were tens of thousands of people on some of the south coast beaches. Apart from the Covid 19 infection risk with all that crowding some of them were probably badly sunburnt as well.


Friday 26th

22 to 25 to 16°C. 7.29kWh 1.8kW max. A very warm humid night with 4mm of thundery rain in the morning. Remained partly cloudy after that so a much more comfortable day.

Continued to repot and train the dahlias.

Saturday 27th

 12 to 18 to 11°C. 8.19kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny intervals with showers (4mm rain) and a strong gusty wind.

Planted the red and green kale in the tall butterfly net cage already containing the purple sprouting broccoli. I have decided it would be better to plant the Greyhound late cabbage in less high polycarbonate and netting box when the calabrese are finished which will be soon. Pat has picked most of the heads and placed them in the refrigerator and doesn't want to wait for the secondary sprouting as the heading broccoli wil be ready soon after.


Sunday 28th

11 to 16 to 12°C. 6.73kWh 2.1kW max. An even windier day with sunny intervals and a few light showers.

Finished potting on and training the dahlias.

Monday 29th

 11 to 15 to 12°C. 3.81kWh 800W max. Another disappointing cloudy day with a strong wind and some light showers. The wind started to die down in the evening.

Started training and giving fertiliser to the chrysanthemums.

Picked the first half length cucumbers to eat whole with some double gloucester cheese and oat biscuits for my supper.


Tuesday 30th

12 to 18 to 15°C. 6.63kWh 1.4kW max. A better day with very little wind and some sunshine in the afternoon. 1mm of rain in some light showers in the evening. That makes 104mm which is a lot for June.

We are now getting plums to go with the strawberries, which have nearly finished, raspberries, cherries and blueberries. Pat made some raspberry jam. Also picked our first Delicates summer squash which is a patty-pan type around 10cm diameter. Tastes delicious sliced and fried with a few drops of olive oil.