SEPTEMBER 2015                                                                                             Back to August



Tuesday 1st

8 to 15 to 9°C. 5.15kWh 1.8kW max. Rained overnight and during the day with some brighter periods between the showers (6.3mm rain)


Went for a bike ride around lunchtime trying to avoid the showers. The roads were very muddy and, while I was trying to avoid the local bin lorry I went off the the edge of the road and into a muddy rut and came to sudden stop falling sideways onto the road. I have badly injured my right thigh and, though there doesn't appear to be anything broken, I can't put my weight on it at all. I needed to ring Pat to rescue me; thank goodness I had the mobile phone with me.


At the moment I can hardly walk, never mind do any gardening or cycling, and am taking quite large doses of paracetamol and ibuprofen for the pain. It hardly hurts at all when I am sitting down so most likely It is just a torn muscle which should recover with rest. I suppose I should be thankful it wasn't anything worse.


Wednesday 2nd

8 to 16 to 11°C. 7.71kWh 1.9kW max. Rained most of the night with a few claps of thunder (11mm). Cleared by mid-morning to a blustery but dry day with some sunny intervals.


My leg is still very sore but is getting better but it may be several days before I can do anything useful outside. So Pat is having to do some of the urgent gardening chores. Today she started harvesting the onions. The almost continuously damp summer means they haven't ripened properly and around a third of them have rotten bases.


Thursday 3rd

8 to 16 to 10°C. 3.82kWh. Another dull showery and gusty day.


Pat managed to dodge the showers to pick the small green plums of which we don't even know the variety but they are delicious stewed, so long as you don't mind spitting out the stones,  Only those she could reach as she doesn't like ladders; she will need to wait for me to be fit enough to climb a step-ladder to reach the rest. I don't think that will be soon and they may have succumebed to the wasps and fruit flies before that. My leg is feeling better but I still can't put any of my weight on it.


Friday 4th

10 to 16 to 12°C. 7.48kWh 1.9kW max. Cloudy start but cleared to a sunny but rather cold day.


Pat picked more large bunches of black grapes from the old greenhouse. They really are the best we have ever grown. On the down side investigating the green plums she found quite a few had grubs in them. Generally she doesn't bother to stone them before cooking or freezing them but the grubs only show up when you cut them in half to get the stones out.


My leg continues to improve though it is still very sore. There was enough sun to heat the water for a bath and that definitely did it good.


Saturday 5th

9 to 16 to 6°C. 6.56kWh 1.7kW max. A little rain overnight but followed by sunny intervals and much less wind.


It is a shame that I couldn't do anything outside on such a pleasant day. It wasn't too bad when it was raining but now it seems to be improving I want to be outside working in the garden or riding my bike.


Sunday 6th

4 to 18 to 12°C. 9.49kWh 2kW max. A cold clear night followed by a sunny day.


Pat found me something to do outside which I could manage standing on my good leg without needing to move. The Bramley apples we picked a couple of weeks ago needed the crates sorting through to find any which were going bad and others which were slightly damaged and needed eating first. Meanwhile she picked more Laxton's which she could reach; I have one of these every day in my porridge till the Russets are ripe and when these have gone the Bramleys are sweet enough to use instead.


There are also a lot of plums needing picking but we have so much fruit these might be left even if I was able to reach them.


Monday 7th

9 to 18 to 11°C. 7.88kWh 1.8kW max. Another mainly sunny day.


Too bad I am not in any condition to take advantage of it. But I can now hobble round the house without hanging onto the furniture, the pain is mostly confined to the inside of my right thigh and my foot and ankle are not as swollen and I can put my shoe on, though it is difficult to bend my leg enough to reach to do this.


Tuesday 8th

5 to 14 to 11°C. 1.82kWh 400W max. Heavy mist overnight and all morning, clearing a little in the afternoon. A really miserable dark damp and dripping day.


Wednesday 9th

10 to 16 to 13°C. 4.22kWh 1kW max. Maijnly cloudy but with a few short glimpses of the sun.


Thursday 10th

8 to 20 to 12°C. 4.9kWh 1.2kW. Mainly cloudy but nevertheless quite a pleasant wamr autumn.


It is a shame I can't do anything outside. Pat picked some of the squashes in the polytunnel but the big ones she can't reach and even if she could it takes two, one to hold them from underneath while the other cuts them off. She also did some deadheading; another job I usually do. Our 80+ neighbour put us both to shame weilding a long handled hedge cutter to trim his cupressus hedge.


Friday 11th

9 to 22 to 13°C. 9.12kWh 1.8kW max.  Sunny and warm though with some strong winds in the afternoon which heralded a rainy spell in the evening.


I am still unable to do anything outside so Pat gave more fertiliser to the sprouts, late broccoli and spring cabbage, all of which are growing well and I want to keep them that way.


Saturday 12th

12 to 17 to 9°C. 5.42kWh 1.1kW max. Rained all night and most of the morning (16mm) with a few sunny intervals but quite breezy in the afternoon.


Pat did yet another of my jobs, taking 24 x 12.5L watering cans from the tanks near the house to the polytunnel to water the tomatoes and peppers. My leg isn't much better. It doesn't hurt as much but the muscles are very stiff.  Tried using the TENS machine to relieve them but so far this hasn't done much good but I will persevere.


Sunday 13th

7 to 18 to 10°C. 8.74kWh 2.1kW max. Mainly sunny.  Enough diverted electricity to run the halogen oven while Pat baked some rock buns and enough hot water for her bath later.


Pat started tidying up the herbaceous borders. I wish I could help her.


Monday 14th

10 to 13 to 12°C. 1.17kWh 200W max. Dull and wet all night and all day (14mm).


Tuesday 15th

10 to 16 to 10°C. 4.95kWh 1.6kW max. Sunny intervals with a few short showers.


Tried doing something outside in the garden. Took out a stool and sat on it next to a row of pots of tall chrysanthemums which needed tying in further up their canes. I managed to do this but most of the rows are too close together and need spreading out. I would normally have done this by now.


Wednesday 16th

7 to 12 to 10°C. 1.98kWh 200W max. Grey and overcast with some occasional drizzle and a cold northerly breeze.


With a bit of organisation we managed to clean up and train more of the chrysanthemums. Pat brought me the pots and so I could do this and then set them down again. They have done really well this year and I expect a really good display later in this month and into October and November. Obviously the cool often wet summer suited them. The other winners were the potatoes and the celery and leeks are also bigger than they usually are at this time of year.


That is what I  like about gardening in the British climate; no matter what the weather there are always flowers fruit and vegetables which succeed even when others which grew well the year before fail. For instance my first attempt at growing outdoor tomatoes hasn't worked; they are still green and will probably rot rather than ripen. But I shall try again next year when the weather might be dry, sunny and warm and my main worry will be if we have collected enough rainwater.


Thursday 17th

5 to 17 to 8°C. 5.98kWh 1.7kW max. Sunny morning, more overcast in the afternoon but the cold breeze had dropped so felt much more pleasant.


With Pat's help I managed to finish tying in the chrysanthemums. Between moving the pots for me she also started clearing parts of the polytunnel.



Friday 18th

5 to 17 to 11°C. 6.07kWh 1.6kW max. Sunny intervals and heavy showers.


With Pat's help I managed to move half of the Dianthus from their 12 cell trays into 4.5inch pots. She mixed the potting soil and moved the pots to watering trays. I planted them in the pots.


Saturday 19th

4 to 21 to 10°C. 9.42kWh 1.7kW max. Sunny and warm all day.


Potted on the rest of the Dianthus. Pat helped me mix some Coir and vermiculite seed sowing compost. I have ordered some perennial flower seeds and, since they might take months to germinate, it needs to be free of weed seeds. The idea is that we plant more perennial herbaceous flowers to cut back on the work involved with planting 100s of half hardy annuals every year. As we get older, and especially if my leg never recovers completely, I think we should try to make the garden less labour intensive.


Sunday 20th

6 to 16 to 13°C. 3.76kWh 1.1kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few showers. Heavier rain arrived late in the evening.

The batteries on the weather station have run down and I won't be able to fit new ones till my leg is better. Pat can't reach to do it.


Pat went shopping this morning and came back with a pair of crutches!! I was a bit dubious but after trying them they do help me to get around both the house and the garden without putting any weight on my leg. It certainly felt better by the evening than it has done previous evenings.


Monday 21st

11 to 16 to 9°C. 2.7kWh 700W max. Rained most of the night and morning though mainly quite light, A short period of sun in the afternoon before clouding over again.


The perennial seeds came so sowed them in half trays with a layer of perlite at the bottom, then the compost we mixed on Saturday and then after sowing evenly covered with vermiculite. Put the trays in the propagator but it won't need heat unless it becomes really cold. Most perennial seeds like a period of warmth then cold then warm again  so sowing in early autumn the ones that don't germinate will do so in the Spring.


Verbascum, Rudbeckia, Hollyhock, Helenium, Eryngium,Echinacea, Delphinium, Coreopsis, Bergamot, Astrantia, Aquilegia, Agastache and Alstromeria (this one especially likes a cold period so if we don't get one they might need to go in the refrigerator for a couple weeks next Spring).


Now all I need to do is to make sure they don't dry out but also don't get too hot or wet and, as they germinate, plant them on into cell trays at the two leaf stage.


Tuesday 22nd

8 to 16 to 9°C. 4.69kWh 700W max. Mainly cloudy with a cold westerly wind but quite pleasant in the polytunnel in the afternoon when the sun came out.


Pat brought me the young chrysanthemums one by one into the polytunnel for me sat at the potting station to tie in to canes and then put them back outside. They have grown better than usual and we should get some flowers from them though I might decide to take off some of the buds so they can concentrate on growing good roots and new shoots for next spring.


She also managed to cut down some more of the squashes but there are some she can't reach and I can't help her till my leg is better. It is improving but it is a very slow process. She also picked several more bunches of grapes; definitely the best crop we have ever had.


Wednesday 23rd  Autumn Equinox

6 to 17 to 11°C. 4.83kWh 1.2kW max. Sunny intervals in the morning but clouded over in the afternoon with some showers of light rain or drizzle towards the evening before clearing again.


Finished tying in the young chrysanthemums before starting to pot on the polyanthus, again with Pat doing all the fetching and carrying, including mixing more potting soil.


Earlier she had picked most of the pears. Unlike the apples and plums these have not produced a bumper crop.


Thursday 24th

8 to 18 to 9°C. 8.97kWh 1.7kW max. A very sunny day after a misty start but with a cold wind at times.


Feeling very warm in the polytunnel where we continued to pot on the polyanthus.


My leg is still very sore but I think most of it is now Sciatica from sitting down too much. Very painful but it will get better in time, it has done so in the past, and the TENS machine should help.


Friday 25th

6 to 18 to 7°C. 8.49kWh 1.7kW max. A very similar day to yesterday.


Pat spent all day baking so I couldn't do anything outside without her help. My leg is going more to the itching phase rather than aching but I still can't trust it with my weight and I still get tired quickly standing mostly on the other leg.


Saturday 26th

2 to 18 to 7°C. 9.10kWh 1.8kW max. We have now produced 7 megawatt hours of electricity since installation around 30 months ago.


Another sunny day though we went to Kirstin's for the day so it is only the solar generation figures which confim this.  The traffic was very bad going but much better coming back. Even so we were in the car for around 5 hours altogether and it hasn't done my leg any good; I only hope it hasn't prolonged my recovery.


Even so it was nice to see them, including Sarah and Euan who were also there for the weekend.


Sunday 27th

3 to 18 to 8°C. 8.37kWh 1.7kW max. Chilly start followed by a sunny morning  but more cloudy in the afternoon. Cleared again in evening so if I am awake at 3a.m. I might get a good view for the Super Moon total eclipse.


Potted on some more polyanthus.


Monday 28th

4 to 17 to 8°C. 8.04kWh 1.8kW max. Cold misty start followed by a mainly sunny day but with a stronger colder wind.


Finished potting on the polyanthus. That's it for things I can do sat down. The other jobs at this time of year, cutting hedges, clearing and digging over flower and vegetable beds, splitting logs, I need two good legs for.


Tuesday 29th

5 to 18 to 8°C. 7.04kWh 1.7kW max. Another cold misty start followed by a fairly sunny day with thin high clouds.


I found something else to do sat down; cleaning the plant labels, scouring off the ink. This is a job I usually reserve for a cold damp winter's day. I use hundreds of them in all the pots and  I suppose I could just throw them away and buy new ones but it is against my nature to waste things which can be re-used.


Wednesday 30th

7 to 18 to 9°C. 8.06kWh 1.7kW max.  Another sunny day.