May 2019                                                                                                                         Back to April


Wednesday 1st

6 to 16 to 8°C. 4.14kWh 800W max. Mainly cloudy with some heavy showers in the afternoon and early evening (2mm)


Continued potting on seedlings in the polytunnel, this time the sweet Californian peppers and mixed hot peppers. I am afraid the cayenne peppers have not germinated and there are only 4 Nosferato black hot peppers but these are very prolific so there should be enough.


Thursday 2nd

6 to 12 to 9°C. 5.97kWh 1.4kW max. Mainly cloudy with some heavy showers( 4mm) and a cold NE wind.


Mixed some more JI3 potting compost. Once it warms up again I will need it start potting up the summer flowers.


Friday 3rd

6 to 10 to 6°C. 4.91kWh 1.2kW max. Mainly cloudy with a chill northerly wind. Some rain in the evening.


Despite the wind managed to build the vegetable cage for the brussel sprouts. Most of the squash seedlings are large enough to move from the heated propagator into the unheated ones. So there was room to sow some Purple Teepee dwarf beans into cell trays to germinate in slightly less heat.


Saturday 4th

 6 to 12 ro 6°C. 13.45kWh 2.25kW max. A sunny day with small fluffy clouds scattering the light to give maximum generation from the photovoltaic panels. But there was also a cold northerly wind'


Planted the brussel sprouts in the vegetable cage I built yesterday.


Sunday 5th

4 to 11 to 6°C. 5.84kWh 800W max. Cloudy with less wind but still feeling cold for May.


We spent most of the afternoon putting the bird-proof netting on the fruit cage. A big and complicated job. If we had known it wasn't going to snow last winter we could have left it on and saved ourselves the struggle.

Also planted the heading brocolli Monclano in the second polycarbonate and netting box.


Monday 6th

3 to 12 to 7°C. 5.83kWh 800W max. May Day bank holiday was colder than usual with mainly cloudy skies but the northerly wind was lighter.

 Pat gave the new herbaceous border along the drive another weeding and I trimmed the privet hedge behind it. Then back to planting brassicas, this time the purple sprouting and white sprouting broccoli. We are still eating last years purple though most of it is now bolting which is a treat for the hens..

Tuesday 7th

3 to 13 to 7°C. 6.84kWh 800W max. Mainly cloudy but with less wind so felt warmer. Started raining late in the evening.

Potted on the squashes into 2L pots leaving room for some more seeds in the propagator so sowed another 4 cell trays of Primavera dwarf beans, Korean Chrysanthemums, Aster, Tomato Tigerella and Cosmos Candy Stripe. The Purple Teppee beans I sowed last week are starting to come through.

Emptied more pots of the spent wallflowers, seived the soil and used it to top up the bags of new potatoes. Also earthed up the maincrop potatoes.


Wednesday 8th

6 to 11 to 9°C. 2.64kWh 500W max. 21°C in the polytunnel by late afternoon. The rain continued during the night with 4mm by morning. Heavy showers throughout the day added another 2mm and our stores are now replenished.

Moved most of the chrysanthemum pots outside to make room in the polytunnel for all the summer flowers I will soon be potting on. The rain was a bonus, giving them a good gentle watering. Also moved the pots of celery into the cold frame to harden off before planting out.

Thursday 9th

 6 to 10 to 7°C. 2.5kWh 300kW max. A miserable dull day with light rain and heavy showers.


Rather busy answering queries about my software so didn't do anything in the garden, not even in the polytunnel.

Friday 10th

 5 to 13 to 7°C. 5.67kWh 1.6kW max. A few sunny intervals but also some heavy showers, some with thunder.

Continued moving established pots of plants out of the polytunnel, marigold and dahlia, to make room for the next batch, starting with the helichrysum. Also emptied out most of the wallflowers producing enough soil to fill the rest of the early potato bags.

Heard a cuckoo for the first time in more than 10 years. We also have a pair of turtle doves for the first time in several years. There are also a few swifts around. The one bird we haven't heard for many years is a skylark but there are so few unploughed and not reseeded pastures round here that, just like lapwings, their habitat no longer exists.

Saturday 11th

 3 to 12 to 2°C. 10.19kWh 2.1kW max. A sunny day but with a very cold wind.


Cotinued potting on in the polytunnel


Sunday 12th

-1 to 16 to 8°C. 14.1kWh 2.2kW max. Frosty start, though the temperature was only below zero for a very short while, then sunny all day. The wind has moved to the south west and is much lighter so felt quite warm in the sunshine.

Finished planting out the brassicas except for the Golden Acre cabbage; I need to make another netting protected bed for this. Moved the new chrysanthemums into 7.5L pots, stopped them for the second time and put canes into the pot to support them.

Later in the afternoon when the temperature was more bearable, continued potting on in the polytunnel.


Monday 13th

 3 to 21 to 9°C. 13.52kWh 2.2kW max. Clear cold start but not frosty. Soon warmed up to a sunny day with a few cloudier periods.

Started tidying up the old chrysanthemums. Considering they never went into hibernation over the mild winter they are in good condition with a lot of new strong shoots. Interestingly the firm I get my chysanthemums from have just released a new variety Archie Harrison named after the new royal baby.

Tuesday 14th

 7 to 21 to 11°C. 13.41kWWh 2.2kW max. Another very sunny day with little wind and few clouds.

Continued tidying up the chrysanthemums during the afternoon and potting on in the polytunnel in the late afternoon and early evening. Included moving the Purple Teepee dwarf beans into 1L pots to keep them growing until there is no risk of frost. The Primavera filet beans are beginning to germinate in the propagator


Wednesday 15th

7 to 21 to 11°C. 14.2kWh 2.2kW max. Another sunny day.

Planted out the Golden Acre cabbage under butterfly netting inside the fruit cage. This is the last of the brassicas until I start the winter cabbage in June/July. Also planted out the last batch of Early Onward peas. I have given up growing later pea varieties; they always end up with pea moth maggots.

Sowed runner bean Firestorm and Moonlight in 9 cell trays in the propagator.

Thursday 16th

 7 to 21 to 11°C. 13.51kWh 2.2kW max. Another sunny day


Friday 17th

7 to 17 to 11°C. 5.31kWh 1.4kW max. Some light drizzle overnight and during the day though not enough to wet the ground beneath the trees. Plenty of bumble bees when the sun came out.

I have nearly finished potting on the summer bedding seedlings.

Saturday 18th

 10 to 17 to 10°C. 3.53kWh 700W max. Cloudy and very humid with some very light fine drizzle at times


Sunday 19th

10 to 15 to 10°C. 6.9kWh 1.2kW max. A brighter day with some sunny intervals but the cold wind is back.


Finished potting on the tomato plants. Just the lobelia remains.

Monday 20th

 5 to 16 to 10°C. 11.75kWh 2kW max. Sunny with some fluffy clouds but a cold north westerly wind making it feel colder. The polytunnel reached 34°C in the afternoon.

Finished potting on the lobelia but only into 4cm square pots and they will need moving again into 1.5L pots.

Began moving some of the potted summer bulbs, tubers and corms out of the polytunnel, starting with the dahlias. The Bishops Children dahlias I grew from seed last year are looking especially strong.

Everything, both inside and outside needed a lot of watering.


Tuesday 21st.

3 to 16 to 9°C. 13.28kWh 2.1kW max. A cold clear morning followed by strong sunshine but still with that cold north west wind.

Some of the plants in the perennial bed down the side of the drive have died. I still have some spares from the seed I sowed three years back so I was able to fill the spaces. The delphiniums are already quite tall so as an experiment rather than supporting them with canes and string I have encircled two of the clumps with dark green plastic covered wire mesh, the same as I use along the whole of the front of this bed to stop the flowers blocking the drive.

Wednesday 22nd

4 to 18 to 10°C. 8.31kWh 2kW max. Clear and cold overnight then cloudy with sunny intervals and a warmer breeze than the last few days.

Planted the leeks in dibbered 3cm wide holes as usual but this year inside a box made of concrete blocks covered with very fine netting to keep out all insects including leek moths. Hopefully this will stop all but the early crop being ruined by their larvae as has happened for the last few years.

Thursday 23rd

 4 to 21 to 11°C. 13.57kWh 2.2kW max. Cold clear start and continued clear with only a few clouds until the evening. So it may not get as cold tonight.

Tidied up the nursery area, clearing the debris and weeds and laying a new strip of landscape fabric on top of the original. Finished training the chrysanthemums. Then more watering. The humidity is below 50% which is very unusual and may explain why even the plants outside need water. There is chance of rain after the weekend but I am not  that hopeful.

Friday 24th

 6 to 21 to 10°C. 10.57kWh 2.2kW max. Variable cloud with a warmer breeze.

Started moving the pots of primula and polyanthus, which finished flowering, to the nursery. I must remember to water them over the summer. Last year a lot of them died which is why I had to buy replacement plugs last autumn.


Saturday 25th

10 to 22 to 15°C. 11.75kWh 2.2kW max. Sunny morning, clouding over in the afternoon feeling very humid with a few drops of rain.

Sarah and Euan have come for a visit over the long weekend.

Sunday 26th

 14 to 19 to 11°C. 7.04kWh 1.8kW max.


Kirstin and Anna came today as well as Sarah and Euan who were already here. We went for a walk round Whixall Moss. The weather was fine but quite breezy with a few spots of rain.


Monday 27th

9 to 16 to 9°C. 7.16kWh 1.5kW max. Another breezy day with some sunny intervals. Later in the afternoon it rained for a short while with some distant thunder. Enough to water the garden but not enough to replenish our stocks for watering in the polytunnel.

Tuesday 28th

 9 to 16 to 9°C. 10.4kWh 1.9kW max. A breezy day with some sunny intervals and short periods of light drizzle.

Kirstin and Euan went back home. I started potting on the begonias and seedling collarette and pompom dahlias into 3L pots.


Wednesday 29th

4 to 10 to 15°C. 3.83kWh 600W max. Clear and cold over night. By morning it had clouded over and drizzled most of the day staying cold till early evening when it became much warmer but still damp.

Thursday 30th

 8 to 22 to 14°C. 8.22kWh 1.8kW max. Sunny intervals with a gusty westerly wind and some occasional light drizzle.


Friday 31st

13 to 21 to 14°C. 5.38kWh 1.2kW max. A mainly cloudy and breezy day.