Thursday, November 29, 2007

The waters are rising...

About this time of year, things get distinctly soggy up at the allotment. This is typical: the last trench of the bed I'm double-digging at the moment, about a spade's depth and dry when I left it, but a day later the water table is high enough to fill it from underneath.

I've also got soup-plates attaching to my wellies every time I go in there, and I keep having to take days off because the soil is simply too wet to work. It does it no good in any case - as soon as you tread on soggy soil you squeeze out the air pockets, compacting it so that when it dries out it becomes a hard pan that nothing will grow in (and which is murder to cultivate).

Luckily though my allotment has a split personality: on one side (the lower side - particularly the end that's towards the middle of the site) it gets like this very very quickly in the year - that's where the double-dug bed in the picture is sited. At the other end, on the left-hand side, though, it stays more or less dry-ish until about February, so I've now transferred to that end and am double-digging another bed there. Nice to have a choice in the matter!

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