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Level Playing Field

The Somerset Levels and Moors are now inundated with rainwater. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the area, The Levels and Moors are low lying wetlands in central Somerset, situated between the Mendip and Quantock Hills. Extra massive pumps have recently been brought in and installed at Curry Moor to pump millions of gallons of water off the Levels to protect them and their wildlife inhabitants. Pumping out at a rate of 1250 gallons per second, it is expected to take at least 2 weeks to complete the pumping, if further rain doesn't halt the pumping operations.

The Levels

Somerset Levels
The Levels
Images Used With Permission of Eugene Birchall Under The Creative Commons License

Back to the plots. Due to the continuing wet weather, apart from 2 afternoons, (Saturday & Sunday), last weekend was the only time I got to work down the plots for a few hours. The soil was to wet to work on when I arrived at the allotments, so I constructed a roof over my large manure bin, using old pallets. Covering the pallets with a pond liner which allowed rainwater to flow off  into a plastic water tank behind the manure bin. By the time this was done the soil surface on my 2nd plot was drying slightly but only where the Potatoes were earthed up. I managed to loosen up the soil on the ridges using a hoe, weeding them at the same time. I used walking boards between the ridges to avoid compacting the wet soil in between the ridges. By tea time I had completed 10 ridges and loosened the soil to let air & warmth into it.
On Sunday afternoon I concentrated on running a cultivator over the middle area of my 2nd plot to loosen up the soil and remove the few weeds growing in that area. The Strawberry bed was still far too wet to walk on even using boards, so the drier areas, I could reach from the paths were hoed over. After checking the various seedlings still in my sheds & cold frames I left for home, hoping that the coming week would see some much needed sunshine and no more rain.

Rainwater Harvesting
Harvesting more Rainwater
Wet Sprouts
Sprouts Like the Extra Rain


Compacted soil
Rain Compacted Soil
Blackcurrants Will They Ripen With No Sun

100% cloud cover again for most of this week along with the accompanying rain put paid to further progress on the plots, until this afternoon. Last nights national & local weather forecasts were wrong yet again for this area with heavy rain overnight and lighter rain for most of this morning. I arrived down the plot just after 1 o'clock this afternoon as the sun finally broke through the cloud. The temperature rose rapidly and within minutes birds were singing in the adjacent hedgerows, several small white butterflies were fluttering about and many flying insects were taking to the air. Half a dozen male & female Blackbirds were hopping about carrying hoards of slugs & worms in their beaks. The dreaded Wood Pigeons had left their saturated roosts in the nearby Ash trees and were eying up various Brassicas for their lunch. Steam was rising from most of the shed roofs as the sunlight warmed things up. What looked like a pleasant afternoon was soon interrupted by more showers. I did manage to get some more weeding done and 2 rows of Runner beans planted out from their pots in the shed. I left for home at about 4 P.M. as the ground was still too wet to achieve much else.

Runner beans
Runner Beans Finally Planted Out
Beautifully Coloured Creature

Coloured Slug
A Coat of Many Colours

There's always tomorrow??


  1. At least you are managing to get some jobs done despite the weather - I am sure it won't last forever.

  2. Hi Elaine, thanks for the comment. It's been a good day today. Sunny all afternoon. Managed to get the grass cut down the plots, it took 3 hours. Good news for this area, we are officially off the drought list. Not surprised though.

  3. Glad to hear the sun finally shone on you and your plot!
    What is that creature? Looks like a moth which is still half in a crysalis?

    1. Thanks Belinda. The last 3 days weather has been excellent, sunny, warm and breezy. So I've been down the plots getting things back to normal after the flooding etc. Nearly done. I haven't got a clue what the creature is. It's head is similar to a Ruby Tiger moth but the colouring seems wrong, plus it's wings were not fully formed??

    2. Can't be certain, due to the unformed wings, but it could be the rare Jersey Tiger Moth.

  4. Ooh nice! It's tricky with moths/butterflies - they're so interesting but the caterpillars are so destructive!

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