We should never underestimate the power of nature and for once the weather forecast was right, last Friday (22 June) it rained and it rained, it was relentless, heavy and windy too. The rain began at 9am and I believe continued until 1am Saturday morning. Amber weather warnings were issued and flood alerts were put out. Living in Ribchester, which is situated in a valley on a flood plain, we are used to flooding, it is an annual occurrence, but this one was quite bad.
On Monday and Wednesday last week I managed to get on the allotment knowing that rain was forecast for the end of the week (but not just how much) I weeded the onion and garlic beds and also between the potatoes all these were growing well and I was very pleased with their progress. I dug over the small bed and planted out my four courgette plants and also dug the large bed at the back and planted my pumpkins all were nicely tucked in with a liberal sprinkling of chicken manure. I was pleased with my efforts and the plot was looking great although there was still plenty to do, as always.
My allotment is in a lovely spot, surrounded by the River Ribble on one side and Duddel Brook on two of the other sides, making it very prone to flooding, usually this occurs in Winter which is not too bad but the Summer floods affect the crops the most, last August we had a flash flood, the onions which were nearly ready for harvesting and the potatoes were the worst affected. Water got into the onions and with the warm temperatures they started to rot, I picked them and put them in the greenhouse to dry out but over half had to be thrown away, soon after potato blight spread through the potato crop.
This time the flood water had covered the allotments up to a depth of 6 foot, it was not a pretty sight on Saturday morning, plants had been flattened, debris was stuck in trees and fences, sheds had been moved and everything was covered in a layer of muddy silt, our shed had been lifted up and was now resting on the bench. There is not a lot that can be done we will have to wait and see how our crops respond and hope that we get a hot dry summer. I am lucky that it was only my allotment that was flooded and not my house it must be a devastating and frightening experience for those affected in this way.
Although it is very disheartening I still love my environment and gardening