Too Wet to Work, Let there be Light!

Well I’ve not posted for a while because not a lot of gardening has been going on. The last part of November was pretty wet to say the least. December isn’t being much better – as I write we’ve got heavy rain and wind gusting to 50 mph

Sunshine After Rain

Sunshine After The Rain – Pretty but pretty cold too!

12 days ago we had the wind gusting to around 60 mph and it poured with rain. I mean it was like a power shower in the sky. We ended up with 105 mm in 24 hours – that’s just over 4 inches in real money!

Think of it this way, each square yard got over 18 gallons, 85 litres to be precise, in just a day. We’d had a fair bit of rain before the storm and things were fairly damp to start with.

The soil can only absorb so much water before the sponge is full. The more humus the soil contains and the deeper the top soil is, the more water it can hold. Trees also improve the ability of the soil to hold water but it’s going to be some years yet before our tree plantings grow enough to make a real difference.

There’s information using trees in flood control strategies on the Woodland Trust website and lots of other places on the web. My own small-scale flood strategy is simply to plant as many trees as I can around the place and improve the soil as best I can.

A stream by the house!

Thursday morning the rain had stopped but the land was sodden. The hill behind us drained down towards us, overwhelming the land drain and soakaway and pouring out of the base of the retaining wall behind the house.

So we had a stream running down the side of the house, over a gulley that couldn’t cope and then across the front patio until it found another drain. That finally stopped the following morning.

Working wet soil

There’s not much you can do on wet soil. It’s unworkable, puddling and claggy, sticking to your boots. Even if you could work it, the weather that followed on was cold with drizzle. A biting wind completed the set adding to cold with the wind chill.

With short, dark days and rotten weather I wouldn’t really fancy going outside at all but the hens need looking to whatever the weather and so it’s wrap up warm and brave the elements.

Bringing light to the darkness.

loft light

Loft Light from Ebay

The chicken feed is kept at the back of the converted pig-sty shed and despite there being 2 windows, it is pretty dark at the back. I’d got a cheap solar powered light but even when fully charged, it hardly puts out enough light to attract a moth.

After a bit of searching on Ebay I found this battery-powered loft light. It takes 3 D cells but you can use rechargeable batteries in it.

It’s as bright as a 30w light and takes just a couple of minutes to fix. Perfect for a shed. It was twice the price of the solar powered light – £16.00 but this actually does the job.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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