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.
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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