September 2013                                                                                                                     Back to August


Sunday 1st

11 to 21 to 16°C. 7.82kWh 2kW max. Chilly start but warmed up by late morning to a sunny afternoon and clear evening.

Took advantage of the cool morning to dig over most of the vegetable garden apart from the part containing the leeks, parsnips and climbing and runner beans.

Late in the evening I had a severe asthma attack; I have no idea what caused it.


Monday 2nd

6 to 23 to 14°C. 8.12kWh 1.9kW max. Similar weather to yesterday.


Still suffering from shortness of breath and all over aching. Started to feel better after lunch, especially after getting some fresh air pottering about the garden and tidying up the chrysanthemums.


Tuesday 3rd

11 to 18 to 13°C. 4.43kWh 900W max. Foggy start clearing by midmorning but still mainly overcast with a few sunny periods in the late afternoon. Cleared again after dark.


Put some finishing touches to the fortified chicken run. We are getting some new hens tomorrow.


Wednesday 4th

9 to 25 to 13°C. 8.92kWh 1.9kW max. Foggy start; so foggy that it condensed on the trees leaving wet patches below. Cleared by mid-morning to a mainly sunny warm day.


The hens, 4 Lohmann Brown, were delivered just after lunch by a local man who had some spares. They are around 15 months old so didn't cost as much as young point-of-lay but they probably have another 18 - 30 months of laying an average of 5 eggs a week. Hopefully we can keep them safe.


I have been keeping an eye on the plum tree near the polytunnel which has small green cooking plums, good for freezing. They need to be picked as soon as they are ripe and before they start to split. Often there is only a couple of days between the two states. I still wasn't sure if they were ripe enough but the tree decided for us when the branch bearing more than half the crop broke under the weight. Picked a really bumper crop of nearly 8kg from the broken branch and the rest of the tree. Another tree nearer the wood shed is also nearly ready and has around the same amount. That should fill the freezer and provide plum crumble once a week for at least a year till the next crop.


Pat had already picked some ripe Bramley apples for dinner today.There is still the Mirabelle plum to come ready and the Russet and Queen Cox apples and Conference and Comice pears. All heavily laden apart from the very young Comice. very different to the almost total failures of last year.


Thursday 5th

9 to 18 to 12°C. 7.35kWh 1.8kW max

Foggy start but soon cleared to a sunny day with thin high cloud and a few lower fluffy ones. Feeling cooler in the northerly breeze and the pressure was dropping by evening. Rain is forecast for the next few days so finally got round to fitting a connection between the two large rain tanks towards the top of them. One fills much more quickly than the other.


The spring bedding plugs started arriving today: viola, pansy and dianthus. 160+ in each tray so it took quite a while to prick them out into 12 cell trays.


The hens laid one egg each. A good start.


Friday 6th

8 to 15 to 9°C. 2.61kWh 600W max. Started raining early in the morning and continued most of the day but mainly only light rain and drizzle amounting to less than 1mm; much less than was falling further north. Brightened a little late in the afternoon.

More spring bedding to prick out, primulas. Pat took the cherries from the freezer which she had picked during the summer and turned them into jam. She needs more room for the plums and maybe some runner beans.


Saturday 7th

7 to 18 to 6°C. 8.72kWh 1.8kW max. A much brighter day than yesterday with hazy sunshine but with a chilly wind and a few spots of rain.


Sunday 8th

6 to 17 to 6°C. 7.85kWh 2.1kW max. Misty start followed by bright morning, rain in the afternoon and clear again by evening.

Finished digging over the vegetable garden in the morning before it rained.


Monday 9th

4 to 17 to 9°C. 7.16kWh 1.9kW max. Foggy start followed by sunny morning but then clouded over with a few rain showers in the late afternoon and evening.


Tuesday 10th

6 to 18 to 12°C. 5.81kWh 1.8kW max. Overcast and windy with some sunny intervals in the morning and a few spots of rain in the afternoon.

Finally got round to digging up the last of the potatoes, the late maincrop Golden Wonder. These have very thick skins and keep well. Yield was around 12kg from a 1.5kg seed. We now have so many apples picked that I can indulge myself in cutting up two of them each morning to cook with my porridge. Something I missed last year.


Wednesday 11th

12 to 15 to 13°C. 1.47kWh 450W max. A damp dreary dark day with almost continous drizzly rain.


Not a day for working outside so decided to bring forward a job I intended to do this winter - re-decorating the bathroom and living room. Now that the walls have been insulated maybe the wallpaper on the outside walls of these two rooms will last better. So started to strip the wallpaper in the bathroom.


Thursday 12th

13 to 20 to 16°C. 5.07kWh 1.8kW max. Light drizzle all night and most of the morning clearing for a time over lunchtime but then back to light rain or drizzle by late afternoon. Feeling warm and humid even late into the evening.


Friday 13th

12 to 17 to 9°C.  4.01kWh 1.2kW max.  More drizzle with some bursts of heavy rain. It appeared to be clearing after luch so started to pick some more Bramley apples before the wind forecast for Sunday blows them off. But it soon started to rain again.


Saturday 14th

9 to 16 to 6°C, 5.44kWh 1.8kW max. Overcast start but cleared to a sunny afternoon, though with a chilly westerly breeze, and  clear moonlit night.

Started the main autumn project: cutting the north hedge. I intend to reduce it to around 2m. Most of it at the moment is more like 8m consisting of mainly holly and hawthorn bound together by thick ivy so this is going to be a big job.



Sunday 15th

4 to 16 to 8°C. 1.81kWh 400W max. Overcast and windy with a few light rain showers only amounting to 0.9mm of rain despite the dire warnings of heavy rain and gales.

Even so, not a day for working outside so spent most of the day stripping the rest of the wallpaper in the bathroom.


Monday 16th

5 to 13 to 6°C. 7.94kWh 1.9kW max. Mostly sunny but with a strong cooling breeze most of the time.

The last of the winter/spring bedding plug plants came, Bellis Belle, so transplanted these into 12 cell trays. Then decided it was time to turn the compost heaps again, 3 into 2 and 4 into 3. We will need to do some shredding soon as we start to cut back more of the north hedge.


Tuesday 17th

6 to 12 to 9°C. 2.26kWh 900W max. Another dull drizzly day.

Even hens are fed up with this weather. After laying at least 3 eggs every day since we got them they have only laid 7 in the last 4 days. The only highlight was Pat poaching some of our bumper crop of pears to eat with some rice pudding. Delicious!


Wednesday 18th

8 to 17 to 10°C. 4.62kWh 1.6kW max. Cloudy and windy with light rain showers in the morning and a few sunnier periods in the afternoon.

Continued cutting back the northern hedge.


Thursday 19th

7 to 18 to 12°C. 5.61kWh 1.4kW max. Overcast start but cleared to a sunny afternoon.

Went to the hospital outpatients department to have laser treeatment on my right prosthetic eye lense. My optician said it was clouding over and it certainly appears to me to be needing clearing; it is like looking through a greasy mark on glass. They couldn't find anything wrong with it and insisted that I wait for them to scan my retinas. By that time we had already been in the waiting area fo nearly an hour and I was feeling really ill with reaction to the antiseptics and fragrances. I was shaking really badly and the person doing the scan was shouting at me to keep still and another nurse was treating me like a demented geriatric. Finally, when I could hardly walk for the dizziness and lack of oxygen they let me go after the doctor had explained to me in words of one syllable that there was nothing wrong with me. Then as a final insult one of the nurses explained to Pat that I was 'rather distressed' talking as if I wasn't there. Is this the first time I have been subjected to ageism and the 'Does he take sugar syndrome' ?

That is the last time I am going there, I would rather be blind in one eye than be treated like that and risk a really bad reaction to the environment.

Pat helped me back to the car and we went back home. I wrote this the next day as I was still very ill in the evening and went to bed early.


Friday 20th

7 to 16 to 8°C. 3.47kWh 1.6kW max. Overcast but feeling warmer with very little breeze.

Pat did some shredding. I wasn't feeling well enough to do anything much round the garden.


Saturday 21st

8 to 22 to 16°C. 3.88kWh 1.2kW max. Mainly overcast with a few sunnier intervals. Feeling humid with a warm southerly breeze.

Feeling a bit better but still very short of breath and achy but managed to start repotting the hyacinths tulips and narcissus bulbs by the usual method of turning them out and mixing the soil 2 to 1 with rotted compost and repotting. Pat did some more shredding.


Sunday 22nd

17 to 21 to 11°C. 5.75kWh 1.7kW max. A warm humid misty night followed by quite a pleasant though mainly cloudy day with very little breeze.

Still not feeling very well but managed to pot on some more of the 2nd year winter/spring flowers..


Monday 23rd

10 to 19 to 15°C. 1.61kWh 300W max. A dull overcast day with some light drizzle in the morning but stayed dry after that.


Tuesday 24th

10 to 21 to 14°C. 4.91kWh 1.6kW max. Mainly overcast but some sun over midday and early afternoon.

Still not 100% but managed a short bike ride. Finished potting on the 2nd year winter flowers.


Wednesday 25th

12 to 19 to 15°C. 1.82kWh 300W max. Another miserable dull damp day.

Because of the damp weather decided to start papering the batchroom. Did about half of it.


Thursday 26th

11 to 16 to 13°C. 2.1kWh 600W max. Another dull day with a short sunnier period early in the afternoon making it slightly better than yesterday.

Carried on papering the bathroom. Round all the fiddly bits, including the sink and bath so it still isn't finished.


Friday 27th

10 to 18 to 11°C. 7.67kWh 1.8kW max. Misty start but soon cleared to a mainly sunny day.

Too nice to be inside so back to trimming the north hedge.


Saturday 28th

8 to 18 to 13°C. 6.42kWh 1.8kW max. Clear overnight with some cloud and cold breeze in the morning but still and sunny in the afternoon.

Picked the larger Russet apples as they were starting to fall off. Another bumper crop filling more than two crates and there will be more later when those left grow bigger. Looks like I will have apples in my morning porridge for most of the winter at least.

Planted the Aquadulce broad beans which have been sprouting in the convervatory between wet kitchen towels into 6 cell trays and also some Arran Pilot potatoes which have started to sprout. Given a mild autumn we might get some new potatoes for Christmas and, unless there is some prolonged frosty weather, some broad beans by late April.

Then back to trimming the north hedge which is now nearly finished.


Sunday 29th

9 to 18 to 9°C. 6.29kWh 1.8kW max. Breezy with variable cloud and sunny intervals.

Finished cutting the north hedge and almost finished papering the bathroom. Then back to preparing to sow 300 seedtrays with wild flower mats for next spring.


Monday 30th

9 to 17 to 12°C. 2.91kWh 1.6kW max. A breezy overcast day with a few short glimpses of the sun around midday.

Started sowing the wildflower seed mats. Quite time-consuming but, judging by the results so far with the first 200, well worth it.

Consists of seiving the old potato soil and some well rotted compost, placing the coarse results of this seiving at the bottom of the tray followed by a layer of the seived compost and then the seived soil. This I did several weeks ago and left the 150 trays to grow stray weeds. These weeds now need to be pulled out.

Next mix 20g of mixed wildflower annuals and perennials with a margarine pot full of vermiculite tipping it back and forth between this and another pot till evenly distributed. Then slowly mix in  a similar way with finely seived (2mm) soil till there is 25L of this mixture Then finally place 500ml of this onto the top of each tray. Leave to germinate either later this year or next Spring. Eventually they will form a mat as the roots grow into the bottom layer of the tray. Eventually there will be 300 trays though the second lot might need leaving till next Spring while the stray weeds grow out.


October 2013