Diary: Muddy Puddles

Sunday 20 November 2016

The heavy rain and strong winds of Storm Angus woke me at 2.30am and I lay there in the dark expecting to hear the crash of some kind of structural damage. Thankfully, it never came.

This was the first instalment of heavy rain this autumn and I couldn’t help wonder if the work I’d put in to prevent the allotment becoming waterlogged during this part of the year would pay off.

You can read about the work in my post: How to manage a waterlogged allotment.

As Ava and I drove through the gates at the allotments, butterflies stirred in my stomach and I genuinely found myself contemplating the options should the plot be a pond. The first thing I saw didn’t ease the nerves.

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This is a communal area used to pile up any manure that we have delivered to the allotments. It’s just in front of our plot and the sight of this area covered in water concerned me.

However, despite the squelch of the wood chips beneath my wellies as I tip-toed up the path onto our plot, things were very positive. Phew!

The soil in the beds was sodden but that was to be expected. The important point is there isn’t water sitting on top of the plot. The drainage and the raised beds appear to be working.

On my neighbour’s plot, the water is sitting on top of the paths and some beds (Above left), whereas on our plot the water is well below the paths and importantly below the raised beds (Above right).

This is a wet area. In the winter, these allotments will always suffer when the rains arrive. The key is understanding this and resolving to manage the plot accordingly. It was hard work to dig out paths and build up beds but it’s hugely satisfying to see that the hard work has paid off.

The wet ground meant there was no digging to be done today. I managed to finish filling up the last few paths with wood chips and used the hoe around the garlic. Ava had plenty of fun jumping in muddy puddles!

It’s now down to weather watching with the hope of the next weekend being a dry one. If the ground allows, I’d love to start digging a new bed or two.

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The allotment, 20 November 2016

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4 thoughts on “Diary: Muddy Puddles

  1. You moved the chair! Will the (somewhat becoming) wellies be the new focal point? Your tactics have clearly paid off – you can’t change the water table on the site but you can rise above it. Which bodes well for your crops next year which, of course, will hopefully be growing in slightly less soggy general conditions but benefiting from a supply of moisture that isn’t too far down. Best of both worlds.

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    1. I have. Its your doing. As I set up to take the photo of the plot, I noticed the chair and your comments. I decided it was time for a change. Its tucked out of the way until I require its use. The wellies are Ava’s. What the photo doesn’t show is the little LED red lights on the heels that flash when she jumps up and down. I am tempted to get myself a pair.
      Yes – very happy with the result of raising the plot. It simply about being able to keep any winter crops that I choose to grow out of the water. I never water the plot – unless we get that prolonged heatwave summer the red tops often spout on about.

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  2. Hi Andrew! Thanks for the comment. Lovely to hear from you. Yes it really is a relief. After last year’s washout I really hope the remedial work would pay off. It has. There is no getting away from the fact it will always be wet in this area. It’s about finding the right solution to managing it. I think I’ve found it. Thanks again 😊

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