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Now And Then

10 days ago the main road between Taunton, where I live, and Glastonbury (across the Somerset Levels), was passable for the first time since the flooding began across Somerset, before Christmas. Many householders not far from here are just returning to their flooded properties for the first time this week. It still takes a lot of imagination to realize just how much rainwater has been soaked up into the ground. As my regular readers will know, both my plots are at the lower south end of a gentle slope on our allotments. The weather for the past 2 weeks or so has been without rain, mostly sunny and breezy, except for the past few days with some rain and hail showers and lowering temperatures Sowing and planting this year for me is later than usual, as most of the soil on my plots is still wet and compacted. Having prepared all the beds, ready for sowing and planting by the end of last November,  I am currently having to repeat most of that preparation. The soil on most of the plots has been well compacted by rain and flooding since November last. Aerating,  turning and lifting the soil on the majority of beds is a priority at the moment so that it eventually dries out proportionately. Since the heavy Winter rain stopped I have spent most days down my plots resurrecting the soil conditions of last November. For the first time in 5 years I had carried out very few visits to my plots over the Winter period and D.I.Y at home became a priority, out of the rain.

From November 3rd 2013 the following calendar of unplanned events unfolded.
3rd & 4th November 13 (raining).
5th November 13 - cleaned bamboo canes, composted 2014 Brassicas bed N1 Plot.
6th 7th 8th 9th November 13 (raining).
10th November 13 - Removed Runner bean plants & their supports (canes) N1 Plot.
11th November (raining).
12th November 13 - 2nd batch of Onion sets planted, tidied up rubbish from plots.
13th November 13 - Filled final raised bed with soil N2 Plot.
14th November 13 - Cold weather stayed home.
15th November 13 - Cleared walkway around shed N2 Plot of debris, constructed a rainwater butt, cleaned more bamboo canes.
16th November 13 - Broad beans sown N2 Plot.
17th November to 29th November 13 - (raining).
30th November to 5th December 13 - Digging L-Shaped bed N1 Plot, leaf clearing, cane cleaning.
9th December to 13th December 13- Fence painting back garden.
14th to 18th December 13 - (raining).
18th to 26th December 13 - Christmas arrangements, (mainly raining).
27th December 13 - Checked plots for flooding and other damage, (raining).
28th December 13 - Tidied up debris and compost heaps.
29th December 13 to 1st January 14 - (raining).
2nd January 14 - Checked plots added more compost to Brassicas bed N1 Plot.
3rd January 14 to 6th February 14 - (raining).
7th February 14 - Checked on plots.
8th February 14 to 14th February 14 - (raining).
15th February 14 - Checked on plots.
16th February 14 to 18th February 14 (Sunny).
19th February 14 - Dug 1st Runner bean trench. Turned compost heaps.
20th & 21st February 14 - (rained).
22nd February 14 - Runner beans potted up.
23rd to 26th February 14 - D.I. Y.
27th & 28th February 14 - Heavy overnight rain.
1st March 14 - Ground too wet to work on again.
2nd March 14 - Fine weather a.m. Potting p.m.
3rd & 4th March 14 - (raining) D.I.Y.
5th to 8th March 14 - Turned and lifted roots bed N1 Plot.
10th March 14 - Thinned overwintered Onions, turned Leek/Onion bed N1 Plot.
11th March 14 - Fixed some storm damage both plots.
12th & 13th March 14 - Cleared main bed N2 Plot of annual weeds.
14th March 14 - Cleared Brassica bed of annual weeds. Dug 2nd Runner bean trench.
15th March 14 - Strimming grass, rotorvating, weeding, potting.
16th March 14 - Rotorvating, Pea sowing.
17th March 14 - Top bed (Roots) turned N1 Plot.
18th March 14 - Potting various seeds. (weather damp & drizzly).
19th March 14 -Turning top bed (Roots) N1 Plot, potting seeds, turned soil in raised beds & weeded.
20th March 14 - Turning top bed (Roots) N1 Plot, potting seeds. Added more soil to the last raised bed.
21st March 14 - Planted Primroses in front garden border a.m. Turning top bed (Roots) N1 Plot, p.m.
22nd March 14 - Turning top bed (Roots) N1 Plot. (Sunny, breezy, cold, hailstones).

During the "rainy season days" 57 individual D.I.Y. tasks were completed around my house and on my cars and garage, plus another 23. The list goes on.

Roots Bed 2014 N1 Plot
2014 Roots Bed N1 Plot Weeded Turned & Lifted Drying Out Well 22/3/14

Leek & Onion Bed N1 Plot
Leek & Onion Bed N1 Plot Still Wet Compacted From Flooding (22/3/14)

Leeks 2014
Leeks Looking Good Now They Have Had Some Sunshine (22/3/14)

Rhubarb Looking Good N2 Plot (22/3/14)
Strawberry Bed N1 Plot After Being Flooded
Strawberry Bed N1 Plot Being Aerated/Lifted After It Was Flooded You May Be Able to See the Green Algae On the Area of Soil Which Hasn't Been Dug  (22/3/14)
N1 Roots Bed (2013) Drying Out Nicely
Last Years Roots Bed Top of N1 Plot This is in Good Condition Despite Being Waterlogged (22/3/14)
Moss Replaced the Grass Areas
Where There Was Grass Paths Now It's Moss Lower Part of N1 Plot (22/3/14)
Daffodils Cowslips Bluebells
Bluebells Daffodils & Cowslip on the Drainage Ditch Bank Bed (22/3/14)
There Are Still Quite a Few Caterpillars Around Despite the Wet Weather (22/3/14)
My Old Car Back in Action Down the Plot
One of the D.I.Y. Tasks I Mentioned, My Old Astra Up and Running Again With the Back Seats Removed. Ideal for Lugging Allotment Equipment Around In and Other Tools etc (22/3/14)

There's Always Tomorrow!!


  1. You sure have been busy and all your hard work will pay off. It's a shame you have to rework the soil due to all that rain! Happy gardening days are ahead Rooko!

    1. Hi Miss Lady Bug, Hopefully the rework will pay off later, after all if the soil is not in the correct condition the plants will know. First Runner bean showing through today, by the way.

  2. Did you say you were "Retired", Rooko? All that lots sounds like hard work to me!

    1. I said after last year when I finished cleaning N2 Plot that there would be no more digging. Unfortunately the Winter weather said differently. Not looking forward to the snow clearing at Easter though.

  3. Replies
    1. I still think your plots are by far better than my efforts.


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