May 2018                                                                                                                       Back to April


Tuesday 1st

 1 to 13 to 8°C. 11.62kWh 2.15kW max. Cold clear start and sunny intervals with fluffy clouds till mid-afternoon when it clouded over. There might be some rain by the morning and it should have warmed up.


Finished moving the brassicas into pots.

Wednesday 2nd

8 to 11 to 7°C.  5.09kWh 1.9kW max. Variable cloud with some sunny periods but also some light rain.


Back to taking cuttings from the chrysanthemums. The plan is to get rid of all the old plants, starting entirely from new. Last year and the one before when I was recovering from operations at this time of year I couldn't do this properly leaving a lot of 2 or even 3 year old plants to produce the autumn flowers.


Thursday 3rd

5 to 13 to 9°C. 7.33kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny intervals. The wind has dropped and it is feeling warmer. Better weather is forecast for the weekend.

Friday 4th

 10 to 18 to 14°C. Cloudy morning with a sunny afternoon. Feeling warmer now the wind has dropped and moved to the south. The temperature in the polytunnel reached 38°C at 4pm. A warm sunny weekend and Bank Holiday are forecast.


The squash seeds have started to germinate. Spent most of the afternoon and some of the evening trying to put the fine net on the fruitcage only to find that we had put the long edge on the shorter side of the structure. So we took it off again and will try again tomorrow.

Saturday 5th

 7 to 23 to 13°C, 42 in the polytunnel. 13.44kWh 2kW max. Sunny all day.


Spent the morning trying to clear away the cleavers weed which,as it always does at this time of year, is smothering some of the wilder parts of the garden and covering the hedges.

We also tried again to fit the fine net across the top of the fruit cage. This was new last year and we had trouble getting it to fit then. This year it is even worse. The structure is 13 metres wide and 12 metres long and the net is 13 metres by 15 metres. We fitted the 13 metre selvedge down the sides of the cage and this fitted at the corners with 50cm to spare as you would expect. There seemed to be plenty of slack the other way as you would expect since it is 2metres wider than it needs to be but somehow it won't conform to fit along the the longer sides. This is very strange since it is a diamond net and should change shape when you stretch it. We do have an undamaged part of the old net and it looks like the only solution is to fit this across the end which the new net will not reach.

Later on I dug a trench in the middle section of the vegetable garden and placed the Cara potatoes in it as they are now growing too big for the 3L pots they were started in. We also moved the Abbot and Casablanca potato bags out of the polytunnel before they succumbed to the heat. The rest of the potatoes growing in pots we will move out tomorrow and maybe also plant in the vegetable garden if they are big enough.

Sunday 6th

 8 to 23 to 15°C. 12.78kWh 2kW max. Another sunny day.


Moved the dahlia pots out for the polytunnel and also the Kestrel potato bags.

Last year we cleared part of the raspberry bed in the fruit cage as part of the re-organisation to grow the raspberries and strawberries in a different part, swapping them with brassicas. That area has a lot of convolvulus in it which was difficult to remove when the raspberries were there; this was part of the reason for moving them. The convolvulus is now through and I sprayed it with glyphosate hopefully to kill the roots so it won't choke the brassicas.

Another problem weed in the bed down the side of the drive is celandine. This is fine in its right place in the wild garden or the ditch running along the road but it is is also impossible to weed out as it spreads using hundreds of tiny tubers. This I have also sprayed with glyphosate.

Monday 7th

 9 to 26 to 14°C. 12.76kWh 1kW max. Another day of unbroken sunshine and even warmer. Too warm in the polytunnel where it reached 42°C in the afternoon. The forecast is back to normal by Wednesday, hopefully without any thundery rain.

Moved the table I use for potting out of the polytunnel into the shade so I could move the tomato plants into 1L pots. Also started filling the potato bags with seived compost to earth them up and keep them moist.

Tuesday 8th

 10 to 18 to 11°C. 11.43kWh 2.1kW max. Clear and sunny in the morning, clouding over in the afternoon with some light rain showers.

Finished potting on the tomatoes and made a start on moving some of the annuals into 7cm square pots, starting with the Clary.

Moved the rest of the pots of maincrop potatoes to the middle plot in the vegetable garden and dug a trench for the Cara. I will finish planting them tomorrow if it doesn't rain


Wednesday 9th

5 to 13 to 10°C. 8.18kWh 1.9kW max. Mainly sunny start but clouded over in the afternoon with some heavy rain by 5pm for a couple of hours before turning to light showers.


Dug trenches for and planted the Sarpo Kiri and Sarpo Axona potatoes. Planted out the Turbo broad beans and Early Onward peas from their cell trays.

Thursday 10th

4 to 14 to 8°C. 11.83kWh 2.2kW max. Cold clear start and remained mainly sunny with a light breeze for most of the day.


Now that Pat has picked the last of the broccoli and leeks I started to weed and fork over the beds within the fruit cage trying very hard to remove all the convolvulus roots. I planted three blackberry plants in the bed furthest from the house. We bought these last year and they have been in 10L pots up till now. Once they get going I will help them to produce more flowers and fruits by layering the canes to fill the spaces between them.

Friday 11th

 4 to 15 to 11°C. 4.84kWh 1.8kW max. Mainly cloudy with some light rain in the evening.


Continued to fork over the beds inside the fruitcage.


Saturday 12th

1 to 14 to 9°C. 10.kWh 2kW max. Cold start with a clear sky and mist lying in the fields till the sun cleared it by mid-morning. Continued mainly sunny but with a cold wind.

After two days of heavy gardening decided to have a rest and start potting on more of the annuals.

Sunday 13th

 5 to 17 to 8°C. 12.17kWh 2.1kW max. A very sunny day with very little cloud.


The sunny weather has already broken up the soil within the fruitcage to rake it flat and build the first polycarbonate box covered with fine netting to grow the brassicas inside. Pat weeded the strawberries which are now in full flower with one or two already set. During the morning and late afternoon and evening it was cool enough to pot on more annuals in the polytunnel.


Monday 14th

3 to 18 to 10°C. 14.37kWh 2.3kW max. Cold misty start clearing to blue sky with no clouds all day.


Planted the calabrese and early cabbage Golden Acre inside the box I built yesterday and then built a second box which I will fill tomorrow. Pat mowed the lawn and moved some spare pots of strawberry plants into  spaces in the strawberry bed.

Tuesday 15th

 6 to 18 to 11°C. 10.86kWh 2.1kW max.

Misty start followed by a mainly sunny day but feeling much more pleasant because the sun was not as hot as the last 3 days.


Planted the heading broccoli Monclano, green kale and autumn cabbage Minicole in the box I built yesterday.

Wednesday 16th

 10 to14 to 9°C. 3.96kWh 800W max. Cloudy with some light rain overnight.

Potted on the sweet and hot peppers.


Thursday 17th

1 to 15 to 9°C. 13.54kWh 2.2kW max. Cold sunny start, remaining mainly sunny with a few thin clouds.


Built a third polycarbonate and insect netting box and planted the purple sprouted and while sprouted broccoli inside it.

Friday 18th

 4 to 17 to 12°C. 13.74kWh 2.2kW max.  Another sunny day.


Continued potting on the annuals.


Saturday 19th

5 to 21 to 13°C. 13.1kWh 2.2kW max. Warm and sunny with a few fluffy clouds in the afternoon.


Planted out the last of the maincrop potatoes Sarpo Blue Danube. Moved the Centurion onion sets from pots into the bed next to the chicken house. The overwintered onion sets I planted there some time ago are growing really well. There are still more of the spring started sets to plant out but this bed is nearly full.

Sunday 20th

 6 to 22 to 14°C. 12.15kWh 2.2kW max. Mainly sunny with more cloud making it feel more pleasant.


Spent a lot of time today watering, not just in the polytunnel but also the vegetable garden. Also built a large butterfly netting box inside the fruit cage 5ft high to grow the brussel sprouts. Just an experiment to see if not restricting their height and possibly even supporting each one with a cane, will make them more prolific.

Monday 21st

 7 to 22 to 12°C. 13.75kWh 2.2kW max. Sunny morning with some thin cloud in the afternoon and a strong westerly breeze.


Planted all three varieties of brussel sprout, Bronte, Atwood and Doric in the netting box I built yesterday. It was cool enough in the late afternoon and evening to pot on the petunia and lobelia seedlings on the polytunnel.

Tuesday 22nd

 9 to 22 to 12°C. 13.09kWh 2.2kW max. Another mainly sunny day.


Went up to 41°C in the polytunnel. Perfect for the cucember, squash, tomato and pepper plants but too hot for the annuals so we spent much of the afternoon moving them outside a few days earlier than usual. No cold nights are forecast so they should be OK. But we could do with some rain.

Wednesday 23rd

 7 to 22 to 12°C. 13.75kWh 2.2kW max. Sunny all day.


The rest of the ground inside the fruit cage, which is where the raspberries and their infestment of convolvulus were for the last dozen years or so, needs digging over urgently so, despite the hot sun, this is what I started to do. Not an easy task as all the top-soil down to the subsoil 20cm below needs thoroughly forking over a little at a time to make sure all the convolvulus roots are taken out.


Thursday 24th

10 to 19 to 15°C. 6.29kWh 1.2kW max. Warm, humid and cloudy. Some much needed rain is forecast overnight and tomorrow morning. I estimate we need at least 15mm to replenish our stocks.


Continued to fork over and clean the remaining ground inside the fruit cage and it is nearly finished.

Friday 25th

 12 to 14 to 14°C. 1.42kWh 200W max. A very different day with dark clouds and rain most of the day but mostly only light rain.


Continued potting on the annuals.

Saturday 26th

12 to 21 to 14°C. 6.13kWh 1.7kW max. Cloudy morning with a few spots of rain. Sunnier afternoon with a strong wind. Heard some thunder in the distance.


Continued potting on the annuals.

Sunday 27th

 13 to 20 to 15°C. 6.72kWh 1.7kW max. Cloudy morning with a few glimpses of the sun. The afternoon was warm and humid with heavy clouds and thundery showers.


Moved the pots of wallflowers in front of the house which have now finished flowering. Then used their pots to pot on the Canterbury Bells and place them there instead. I have just about finished potting on the annuals and hopefully the weather will be drier tomorrow so I can work outside.

Monday 28th

 14 to 23 to 17°C. 10.31kWh 1.8kW max. Thin cloud with some sunny periods. Warm and humid but stayed dry.


Last year the plants in the new perrenial bed down the side of the drive flopped over the drive. So this year we have placed some green plastic covered mesh along the front of it to try to stop this happening; time will tell if this works.

Raked flat the cleared beds inside the fruit cage and started planting the remaining onion sets at the far end.

Tuesday 29th

 12 to 23 to 15°C. 9.22kWh 2.1kW max. Mainly sunny.


Planted out the rest of the onion sets and the latest batch of broad beans and peas from their cell trays. Built another fine net box inside the fruit cage and planted out the last of the brassicas Savoy King. In the evening when the polytunnel had cooled down from a high of 34°C moved out all the remaining plants other than the tomatoes, peppers and squashes and started to plant these out, starting with the (free) Nimbus tomatoes and Bejbino tomatoes.

Wednesday 30th

 12 to 16 to 15°C. 2.41kWh 800W max. Cloudy with some light showers.


Planted the rest of the tomatoes, Malinowy Henryka, Ailsa Craig and Bloody Butcher.


Thursday 31st

15 to 22 to 17°C. 6.1kWh 1.8kW max. Cloudy with some sunny intervals. Very humid but it didn't rain.


Planted more strawberry plants from the nursery, where they have been since last autumn., into the fruit cage. Finished planting out the onion sets. Started planting the squashes in the polytunnel.


June 2018