8th July 2012 at 2:51 pm #21390
hi, thank you for your replies to my last question, now i have another!
some areas of the field seem quite boggy and have those clumpy rushes growing there. we plan to create at least two ponds but will still be left with some further boggy bits. what are our options?
– could we fill in boggy depressions with topsoil? would the wetness stay low so that the upper soil was usable?
– does bogginess matter that much? i once wwoofed in west of ireland where people had only slightly raised beds (with rushes growing through here and there as weeds) and veg was growing fine
– is there anything that will grow particularly well in wetter conditions??
nb we are in the pennines so not all that warm either!8th July 2012 at 7:15 pm #23262
It sounds wet and this weather is revealing a lot of potential ponds! Just filling in with topsoil will not exactly solve the problem, although you may create an area that is raised enough for roots to be above the water table. I wonder if it was a drier period when you were in ireland?
Having said that, the beds of my experiment have water trickling past them at the moment, in the paths, and the beds are 6-8in high, with healthy growth. Could you source compost rather than topsoil?
This year’s best vegetables here have been brassicas, broad beans, peas, lettuce, sorrel, beetroot and chard. All of those should do well in cooler weather and I would not try summer beans or cucurbits. Use fleece to bring on young plants.8th July 2012 at 8:37 pm #23261
thanks, and it’s good to hear what grows well despite the wet. i think we’ll have to experiment in the boggy areas with irish-style heaped raised beds so that the paths can help it to run off. lots to learn!9th July 2012 at 2:43 pm #23260
I was talking to a fellow allotment holder who likes to read up on different ways of growing crops. he said that the incas apparently grow their potatoes by making a slightly raised bed surrounded by a ‘moat’ of water, this is supposed to keep the potatoes well watered and help to keep pests away. Dont know if it would work in UK climate but may be worth a try for the cost of a few seed potatoes?11th July 2012 at 2:32 pm #23259
A friend of mine has taken on a new allotment and when trying to harvest her new potatoes, she discovered her foot sank about 8″ as the ground was full of water by not draining away. The rest of the plot had drained as it is on a long slope. I had a look at it today and it seems the previous tenant landscaped the very long allotment but must have taken off the top soil of a lower section to add to the new upper section leaving the yellow clay sub-soil with a very thin layer of top soil where the potatoes are planted. She is wondering what to do. I have suggested double digging to break up the sub-soil but not sure what to advise for the thin layer of top soil. Should she buy bags of compost or top soil as well as adding manure for next year?
Big D11th July 2012 at 5:00 pm #23258
If there are potatoes growing to make a harvest, there must be some air and life in the soil.
I would not double dig when wet as you describe, in fact I would not dig at all and compost/manure on top will improve the soil steadily, drainage included, but keep off it until a little drier (hopefully next week….)11th July 2012 at 5:47 pm #23257
Many thanks Charles – she will be pleased to hear that there is no double digging required!!! I will pass your comments on.4th October 2017 at 12:07 pm #42655
We want to start to grow vegetables on ‘boggy ground’ – without digging and also without using animal products or animal manure. The land is clay soil and has ‘impeded-drainage’ but you don’t sink into it or anything – it’s just ‘wet’ when you dig into it. Any thoughts / suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks! Cheerio for now …
4th October 2017 at 8:45 pm #42671
- This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by Sonni.Reign.
Sonni.Reign I would simply add organic matter to the surface, to encourage soil life, which will improve the drainage, gradually.9th October 2017 at 7:25 pm #42758
Charles, Many thanks for the reply ! This is great – and confirms what another local organic vegetable grower said to us . Thank you .
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