Puddles, perils and Puzzlement

Dear Mother Nature, what exactly is one playing at? Look what you have done now!

We’ve had blistering and balmy days earlier in the year, followed by Olympic sport type rain. The situation does not appear to be changing any time soon. As such, it is hard to not be demoralised and despondent. The productivity of this year has left a lot to be desired. With the exception of garlic, onions and shallots, not a lot else has come off. In autumn, at least there is an opportunity to get an early start. With overwintering, it’s a bolt on to whatever you might grown in the spring or summer. Arguably, it can be risky. Especially, if as now, the weather throws you all the curved balls it can muster.

Image Am tempted to get a metre stick, and see just how deep these puddles are. I really would, though the worry is, that I fall in, and will have difficulties coming back out again.

Donned the red Wellingtons this morning, to survey the damage done by the over night deluge. A deluge, that has in fact been passing over the sceptred for the last few days. Above and below is the sight that I was met with. Submerged, soggy and really quite slippery under foot. It was a mission to get there, with the path leading up to the plot very boggy. It was not high heel wearing terrain! The half plot is right at the end of the site, and for some time was very unloved. What is evident, is that drainage not just on the plot, but also on that section of the site is an issue. Mine is not the only plot to be somewhere under water.

Image The raised beds are there, in the hope that in being raised; there is a reduced risk of flooding. The ground that does remain, is however going to be sodden. GYO-ing is then severely handicapped. As it stands-the water anyway!-it is difficult to ascertain whether things are drowned, dead and defunct. With the sheer volume of standing water, the persistent precipitation, and the fairly erratic weather; the likelihood is that the clay is going to eat anything and everything. This time last year, it was much drier. The overwintering garlic shallots, onions and even broadbeans had been sown. They were starting to send up shoots. This year, a few had been starting to grow shoots. With the mud and water, any of these are now a little difficult to see.

In the cold light of autumn and winter, the plot does look miserable. The one light at the end of the tunnel, would be that by Spring, there could be change. If there is drier weather between now and then, the greedy clay may not get fed so much. This year. as a first year allotmenteer, has been challenging. It is not just hobbitland, a vast majority of gardeners have faced the same adversities and challenges. And with that, it is no good being morose and defeatist. This year, all being well, has been a fluke. The product of freak climatic conditions.

Let’s just hope the water drains!

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit

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