March 2019


Friday 1st

6 to 12 to 7°C. 1.72kWh 600W max. Mainly cloudy with some drizzly rain. Still feeling quite warm out of the wind.

Started transplanting the brassicas into 12 cell trays.


Saturday 2nd

7 to 10 to 6°C. 2.68kWh 1.2kW max. Mainly cloudy with some light rain showers. Came brighter for a time around midday but black clouds in the afternoon indicating the arrival tomorrow of Storm Freia.

Finished transplanting the brassicas and sowed some more in seed compost to fill the spaces in the propagator: Golden Acre cabbage, Starbor kale and white and purple sprouting broccoli.


The Casablanca and Abbot super early potatoes are coming through in the their 3L pots. The first Douce Provence peas and Bunyan's Exhibition broad beans are also showing in the their cell trays.


Sunday 3rd

4 to 8 to 4°C. 1.02kWh 200W max. Very windy with some blustery showers (4mm of rain).


Not a day for working outside and nothing much to do in the poytunnel other than stopping some of the chrysanthemums, including the new ones.

Monday 4th

 3 to 8 to 1°C. 5.68kWh 1.4kW max. Sunny intervals with heavy showers (4mm) some with fine hail, and a strong westerly wind.


Raked the soil in the two cold frames flat and covered the bottom with woven polythene and glass over one and fine netting over the other. Moved the trays of onions, which are now sprouting quite well, into the frame covered with glass. The leeks and celery seedlings will need transplanting soon and I need room for the trays in the polytunnel. Later these will go under the fine netting. I am determined to always keep the leeks protected from insects both in the trays and when planted out in the new vegetable cage.

Tuesday 5th

 3 to 10 to 7°C. 5.63kWh 1.4kW max. Another day of sunny intervals and showers with a blustery west wind. Started raining quite heavily in the evening with 5mm by 22:45 and another 3mm into the night.

Transplanted the Elefant and Mammouth leeks into 12 cell seed trays.


Wednesday 6th

7 to 12 to 5°C. 1.21kWh 300W max. A cloudy day with a few short showers and a blustery wind.

Sorted out the pots of lillies. Some need filling up with potting soil, others need repotting and I have bought some new giant orientals to replace the ones which suffered from the heat and lack of rain last summer.

Thursday 7th

 5 to 8 to 5°C. 1.11kWh 250W max. Cloudy and windy with some spells of drizzle.


Friday 8th

0 to 7 to 7°C. 1.61kWh 250W max. Clear misty start but soon clouded over to another drizzly but with less wind.

Finished moving the leek and celery seedlings into cell trays.

Saturday 9th

 6 to 10 to 5°C. 6.69kWh 1.7kW max. Despite the sunshine the strong wind made it feel much colder.


Finished propagating the hardy vegetable so sowed half hardy annuals in the propagator. Mesembryanthemum Harlequin, Phlox Twinkle, Dahlia Pompon and Collarette, Cosmos Sensation, Zinnia Sprite and Old Mexico, Aster mixed taller varieties, Helichrysum,Gazania Tiger Stripes,Korean Chrysanthemum, French Marigold Bonita. Most of these need 15 - 20°C to germinate so I hope the cold weather won't last long though it does get quite warm in polytunnel if there is daytime sunshine.


Sunday 10th

0 to 7 to 2°C. 6.28kWh 1.8kW max. 11mm of sleety rain overnight, clearing by late morning with bright sunshine for the rest of the day but still with a strong westerly wind.

Despite the wind we decided it was important to prune the last of the fruit trees, the Bramley seedling, which was in dire need of cutting out the top before it started to flower. Last year most of the apples were out of reach and the lower ones not as good. Used the reciprocal saw to do this; much easier than trying to saw uphill with a bow saw.

While we had the saw out we also cut a lot of holly saplings out of the hedges and below the Bramley and dead wood out of some of the wild plums and cut back the sycamore in the back garden to prevent its branches damaging the polytunnel, especially when it is windy.

Monday 11th

 2 to 8 to 6°C. 6.3kWh 1.8kW max. A very sunny day with a cold strong wind which dropped a little in the evening.


Continued cutting back the hedges before the birds start nesting.


Tuesday 12th

6 to 8 to 6°C (though it reached 11°C in the early morning before the rain started) 1.81kWh 600W max. Wet (7mm rain) and windy for most of the day with a few brighter periods in the afternoon

Planted the new giant oriental lilies, 5 into each of 6 20L pots. Hopefully the weather will be kinder to these than last year where it was impossible to keep them well watered and many of them died.

Wednesday 13th

 6 to 8 to 6°C. 3.22kWh 800W max. Cloudy with a few brighter periods but also some light showers. Still very windy


Continued cutting back hedges


Thursday 14th

6 to 10 to 8°C. 4.47kWh 1.6kW max. A very variable day with dark clouds and showers interspaced with clear sky and sunshine .The wind was less strong but still gusty in the showers.

Friday 15th

 8 to 11 to 7°C. 1.37kWh. Cloudy with a few heavy showers (2mm) and a gusty westerly wind.


Saturday 16th

7 to 12 to 5°C. 943Wh. Another cloudy showery (3mm) day. Cleared in the evening with less wind and feeling colder.


Moved the Golden Acre cabbage and Purple Sprouting Broccoli into 12 cell trays.

Sunday 17th

2 to 7 to 5°C. 7.21kWh 1.8kW max. Mainly sunny with a few heavy showers.

Moved the Heucheras and Peonies into larger pots.


Monday 18th

3 to 9 to 7°C. 3.03kWh 800W max. Cold misty start and remained cloudy for most of the day with some periods of drizzly rain (3mm)

Moved the white sprouting broccoli and kale seedlings into cell trays.


Tuesday 19th

6 to 12 to 8°C. 4.32kWh 1.2kW max. Sunny intervals. Feeling warmer now the win has finally died down.

Transplanted the first half of the Bunyard's Exhibition broad beans and the Douce Provence peas from their cell trays into the vegetable garden, the middle bed this year to keep the rotation going. The Valencia broad beans I planted a couple of weeks ago are now flowering and the bumble bees are showing an interest.


Wednesday 20th

8 to 18 to 8°C. 23°C in the polytunnel. 8.9kWh 1.9kW max. The Spring Equinox and it was sunny all day with only a few wispy clouds.

Moved the Casablanca potato plants from their 2L pots to 17L polypots. They already have a lot of tiny tubers. Moved them outside but I will cover them with fleece overnight for the next few days.

Thursday 21st

8 to 14 to 11°C. 5.98kWh 1.4kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few brief sunny periods.

Continued moving the Abbot potatoes into polybags.


Friday 22nd Happy Birthday to my sister Denise Margaret

10 to 12 to 10°C. 2.41kWh 1.2kW max. Mainly cloudy with a stronger wind making feel colder than the last few days.

Started pricking out the half hard annual seedlings into 12 cell trays starting with the mesembryanthemum, dahlia pompon and Bonita french marigold.


Saturday 23rd

 3 to 10 to 4°C. 7.06kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny day but with a cold wind.


The wind dropped in the afternoon enough to fix the fine mesh netting onto the vegetable cage. Then moved all the potato bags into the cage and laid some fleece on top of the mesh. Some clear cold nights are forecast for the next few days but it will be sunny during the day.


Sunday 24th

0 to 10 to 7°C. 9.9kWh 2.0kW max. Sunny all day but the NW wind was cold. It is forecast to move round the south tomorrow.


Continued moving flower seedlings into cell trays, Dahlia Collarette and helichrysum, and finished moving the Abbot potatoes into bags after mixing some more potting soil.

Monday 25th

 1 to 12 to 3°C. 10.16kWh 2.0kW max. Cold start with a slight frost. The sunniest day so far this year with less wind so felt warmer.

Spent half the afternoon mixing a new batch of coir compost. This comes as a large compressed block which you soak overnight with 23L of water. Add around 2L of vermiculite and some fertiliser and seive to create around 75L of fluffy water-retentitive compost which is perfect for sowing tomatoes, peppers and squashes which I will soon be doing. The seiving takes quite a long time to do but it is more environmentally friendly than peat and seems to be less likely to dry out.


Tuesday 26th

0 to 10 to 7°C. 6.41kWh 1.9kW max. Frosty start but soon warmed up though with less sunshine than yesterday.

I usually soak pea and bean seeds and germinate them inside before placing them in cell trays. This works better for early sowings like the Valencia broad beans and Douce Provence peas but I am not convinced there is an advantage with later sowing. So as an experiment I divided the Early Onward peas and Primavera filet beans in two sowing half of them directly in 12 cell trays 2 to a cell to see which produces the most plants.

Also sowed the rest of the half hardy annuals, Statice, Mimulus, Lobelia, Nemesia, Petunia, Coleus, Salvia, Clary, using the new seed compost. These need a higher temperature to germinate (15-20°C rather than 10-15)


Wednesday 27th

3 to 10 to 5°C. 3.19kWh 1.4kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few sunnier periods.

Started planting out the onions from their 12 cell trays starting with Centurion. These have done really well this year with large healthy roots. They will mainly go in the fruit cage as a rotation for the brassicas.


Thursday 28th

0 to 13 to 3°C. 9.66kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny all day with only a light breeze so felt quite warm.


Continued planting out the onions, Hercules and Golden Globe. Started mixing more potting soil for the Kestrel potatoes which are now big enough to go into polybags.



Friday 29th

 2 to 15 to 3°C. 10.74kWh 1.9kW max. Another very sunny warm day (for March)

Started moving the Kestrel potatoes into polybags.


Saturday 30th

2 to 11 to 5°C. 4.01kWh 1.6kW max. Mainly cloudy.

Finished moving the potatoes into bags. Everything needed watering both outside and inside the polytunnel. The dahlias, fuschias and zantedeschias are just beginning to sprout into life.


Sunday 31st

5 to 10 to 7°C. 8.39kWh 2kW max. Mainly sunny but the wind is turning to the east making it feel colder.


Moved the rest of the potatoes, second early  and maincrop, still in their 2L pots into the fine mesh cage. This will give them some protection till they can be planted out. This will be next to the henhouse but this needs digging over first and some colder weather is forecast.