Today is my first day off work this week, and all I’ve been dreaming about is packing up my digging gear along with a hot flask of tea and heading to the allotment. Every day, I’ve been checking the weather forecast (as I suspect most allotment holders do) making sure it would be dry and fine so I would be able to continue digging and weeding the vegetable plots. Overnight, the weather changed. I woke up to the familiar pitter-patter of raindrops, bouncing off the windows, blighting my big digging plans for the day. But then I started wondering, would it be so bad to dig in the wet weather? Apart from the obvious soggy gardener, what would be so bad about digging in the rain?
Looking for a bit of advice I started searching the Internet to see what the general rule of thumb was in relation to wet weather digging. Most of the sites I came across were very much against digging while the ground is wet for fear of compacting the soil. Some, however, were a little more lenient and suggested standing on wooden boards to help distribute weight and avoiding standing on the wet ground. The soil I have at the allotment is mostly clay so the rain makes it really heavy to dig.
The question remained: Should I dig? One one hand, I don’t mind a bit of hard work and as long as it’s not really windy I can manage gardening in rubbish weather. On the other hand, I’ve worked really hard to get the allotment back into shape ready for growing this year and the ground is almost prepared for the spring. I really don’t want to chance wasting all the hours of effort put into the allotment. Reluctantly I decided not to dig. (The weather forecast shows its supposed to be bright tomorrow so I’ll keep my fingers crossed for that). Still not wanting to pass up a chance to get to the allotment, I thought I’d pop along anyway. Just to take a peak at it.
The beds I dug over last week are still looking good, but there’s still a long way to go to get all the planting areas prepared. The garlic is going strong. I’m pleased to see that the Elephant garlic is now starting to sprout with a little more vigour, and I’m delighted to see more spring bulbs starting to pop up in nature corner.
My son and I also hung up some bird feeders last weekend. It seems that some birds got a little greedy and pulled one of the feeders off! At least it appears they enjoyed their sunflower seed and mealworm feast.
So, what do we do when it’s too wet to dig? We plant more seeds!
I’d planned on sowing my tomato seeds next week but I decided it wouldn’t make that much difference to their overall productivity if I planted them a week early. So, feeling like a rebel I grabbed my hand trowel and got sowing. I’m not quite sure how it happened but in my seed ordering frenzy at Christmas I forgot to include tomato seeds. It’s as if someone somewhere knew I’d forgotten them because somehow I’ve now got 3 types of tomato seeds to grow!
The first ones are Tigerella which I received as part of a Christmas gift from my sister. These should have a distinctive stripe to them when they’re ripe. The second type I’ve got are called Nimbus. I received these as a free trial with my seed order from http://www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk, and the last type of tomato seeds I have are the popular Gardeners Delight. Again, these were free seeds but this time they were with a gardening magazine. I have no idea how I managed to forget to order tomato seeds as I love fresh tomatoes picked straight from the plant. Luckily I’ve now got 3 varieties so the only problem now is deciding where I’m going to plant them!