October 2019


Tuesday 1st

 8 to 13 to 8°C. 2.56kWh 600W max. Wet and windy with 7mm of rain in the morning. Slightly better afternoon.

Started to clear the polytunnel of the squash vines. We might soon need some space to move plants inside.


Wednesday 2nd

6 to 14 to 4°C. 4.14kWh 1.4kW max. Mainly cloudy with a sunnier period around lunchtime and a few brief showers. Cleared in the evening to what is forecast may be a frosty night.

That might hasten the die back of the dahlias and begonias and encourage the chrysanthemums.


Thursday 3rd

 4 to 12 to 10°C. 2.67kWh 300W max.  Came cloudy overnight to no frost then another cloudy day with some drizzly showers giving 2mm of rain.


Friday 4th

10 to 15 t0 10°C. 2.64kWh. A slightly warmer though still cloudy day.


Saturday 5th

10 to 14 to 10°C. 2.4kWh. Cloudy with some heavy rain in the late evening.


The short stemmed chrysanthemums have started to flower so I am moving them to replace the summer bedding around the house.


Sunday 6th

 10 to 14 to 10°C. 6.03kWh 1.4kW max. A mainly sunny day with a strong south westerly wind. Clouded over in the evening with a few light showers (1mm rain).

The wind was causing problems with the taller chrysanthemums. I need to find time to bury the pots in the soil to stop this happening.


Monday 7th

10 to 13 to 10°C. 711Wh. A miserable dark damp day with 3mm of fine drizzle and light showers.

Sowed the Valencia overwintering broad beans in 9 cell trays.


Tuesday 8th

 8 to 14 to 9°C. 6.34kWh 1.6kW max. A better day with sunshine over lunchtime but still rather windy in the afternoon.

The overwintering onion sets came in the post. Radar and Senshyu. I had already prepared 200 2L square pots to plant them in but unfortunately this wasn't enough. There are usually around 6o to 70 small onions in each bag so three bags should be around 200. This time they were much smaller than usual so I didn't have enough pots. Some of them had to go in 1L pots instead. I am not sure whether we will end up with more grown onions as big as usual or not; time will tell. Either way I shall start them off in the polytunnel, only planting them out when it starts to warm up next spring.


Wednesday 9th

8 to 13 to 8°C. 4.8kWh 1.4kW max. Cloudy with sunny periods in the morning, darker clouds and windy in the afternoon.

Finally got round to burying the larger pots of chrysanthemums to stop them blowing over and make it possible to spread the stems wider as they start to flower. Some of them are so tall I need 7ft canes to support them.

Thursday 10th

 8 to 14 to 13°C. 3.62kWh 800W max. Mainly cloudy with a few sunny intervals and very windy in the afternoon. Cleared in the evening only to cloud over again with some light rain.


Friday 11th

13 to 13 to 11°C. 1.59kWh. 4mm of light rain overnight and into the morning. Cleared in the afternoon but still very cloudy.

Decided to cut up the logs and branches produced mainly last spring and summer so we have room to stack some new ones when I start cutting back the hedges, trees and shrubs this autumn and winter. I am getting too old to do this with a bow saw and muscle power but I can thoroughly recommend the use of an electric reciprocal saw for cutting up everything up to 4in thick; above this you need a chain saw. Like the old saying: 'Wood warms you three times. Once when you chop it down, once when you cut it up and once when you burn it'.

Saturday 12th

 7 to 14 to 11°C. 3.77kWh 1.3kW max. Mainly cloudy with some sunny intervals but also some squally short showers which only amounted to 1mm of rain.

Pat went out for a walk in Derbyshire with Sarah and Kirstin. I stayed at home as usual.


Sunday 13th

7 to 13 to 8°C. 1.09kWh. A miserable dark cloudy and drizzly day (2mm rain) but it did clear in the late afternoon to a cool evening lit by an almost full moon. The moon was low in the sky with a greenish tint. I remember green moons in my childhood but they were caused by coal fired smog; I have no idea what conditions would cause this now.


Monday 14th

 7 to 12 to 8°C. 1.74kWh. Dark clouds, no wind and light fine drizzle on and off all day and into the evening.

Not a day to rely on renewable energy unless you have a nearby river or a tidal estuary.

Tuesday 15th

 7 to 14 to 9°C. 2.04kWh 700W max. Started off cloudy with a few spots of rain and drizzle but there was some sunshine in the afternoon with a clear evening.


Wednesday 16th

6 to 14 to 5°C. 5.54kWh 1.2kW max. A much better day with periods of sunshine, no rain and less wind though it could be quite cold tonight.

I have finally finished cutting up last winter and spring's logs and branches.

Thursday 17th

 5 to 13 to 11°C. 6.77kWh 1.4kW max. Clear cold night followed by a sunny morning with cloud and  a blustery wind in the afternoon. Started raining late in the evening.

Cleared the rest of the squash vines and aubergines out of the polytunnel.


Friday 18th

6 to 12 to 7°C. 4.16kWh 800W max. More rain overnight to a total of 7mm. Then cleared for a time before raining again in the afternoon and intermittently into the evening though only light rain to another 4mm.

The wallflower, dianthus and pansy plugs finally arrived later than I expected. Even so they were in good condition and I nearly completed moving them into 12 cell trays (170 plugs of each) before it came too dark to finish them all .

Saturday 19th

 7 to 12 to 8°C. 3.75kWh 1.4kW max. Bright sunny morning but soon clouded over with heavy showers of rain in the afternoon and evening (5mm rain total)

The ash trees are shedding leaves so these will need sweeping up and composting every day till they have finished. Also the poplar looks like its yellowed leaves will start to fall soon. This is the time of year when you understand why Autumn is called Fall in the USA.


Sunday 20th

6 to 11 to 7°C. 2.88kWh 500W max. The forecast was for a sunny day but it started off misty and stayed cloudy and damp for the whole day with a strong cold north-easterly breeze.

Cut back the herbaceous border along the south side of the drive; most of the plants have died back.

Monday 21st

 8 to 12 to 8°C. 3.32kWh 800W max. Another cloudy day with a few brighter periods.

Continued to dig out the old shrubbery.

Pat decided it was cold enough to light the wood stove.


Tuesday 22nd

3 to 12 to 7°C. 2.4kWh. Cold misty start and never really cleared until late in the day.


Wednesday 23rd

3 to 11 to 8°C. 2.98kWh. A repeat of yesterday

Pat made some leek and potato soup. It appears that my strategy of growing the leeks under fine mesh has worked; they are free of leek moth maggots.

Thursday 24th

 6 to 13 to 8°C. 2.48kWh. A brighter day with some sunshine in the afternoon but started raining late in the evening.

Spent most of the afternoon servicing the shredder. The air filter needed a clean and the belts needed tightening. The spark plug, which is very difficult to get at, needs replacing so we will need to delay the shredding for a few more days, which, with the weather forecast of rain for the next few days will be the case anyway.


Friday 25th

4 to 11 to 8°C. 467Wh. Cleared overnight but started raining around 10am and continued all day, reaching 35mm by midnight. Looks like October might be another month with more than 100mm rain.

Saturday 26th

 5 to 8 to 3°C. 557Wh. Continued raining all night and morning finally clearing around 2pm. A further 28mm making 63mm in all and 114mm for the month which is a lot for October.

The garden is waterlogged in places and the ditches full but it will soon drain away as we are locally the highest point. The continuous rain brought down almost all the ash leaves so we will spend less time sweeping them up later on. The other advantage is that it has washed most of the moss out between the cobbles on the drive; nearly as good a pressure washer.

Later in the afternoon I moved all the pots of tulips into the polytunnel so they can dry out a little before repotting.


Sunday 27th

 2 to 12 to 3°C. 5.81kWh 1.4kW max. A very different day with sunshine nearly all the time but with a cold westerly breeze.

The garden is drying out nicely but there are floods in more low lying areas of Shropshire and Herefordshire.

Started clearing the tomato plants out of the polytunnel


Monday 28th

0 to 10 to 2°C. 5.41kWh 1.2kW max. Cold frosty start then hazy sunshine for most of the day with a chill breeze.

Finished clearing out the polytunnel. Only peppers and chillies are left and they are starting to droop but first the remaining hot chilli fruits need picking for the freezer.

Tuesday 29th

 -1 to 12 to 3°C. 5.81kWh 1.4kW max. Frosty start followed by a cold breezy sunny day.

The frost has caused both the begonias and dahlias to wilt so I have started to move them into the polytunnel to dry out for winter storage. In the case of the begonias the dry corms will need taking into the house to protect them from frost. The dahlias can cope with mild frost so long as the soil is dry.

Wednesday 30th

2 to 11 to 4°C. 4.03kWh 1.4kW max. Not as clear and therefore not as cold overnight and remained partly cloudy for most of the day.

Finished moving the dahlias and begonias and replacing them with pots of polyanthus and primrose. These too have been damaged by the heavy rain but should recover after I have removed the moldy flowers.

Thursday 31st

4 to 11 to 8°C. 1.74kWh 300W max. A grey damp day though it didn't really rain till late in the evening.

Put the new spark plug in the shredder and it started on the second pull. So now we can start work on diminishing the pile of branches and stems turning them into compost by this time next year.