First winter rain

As we are busy experiencing our first bout of winter rain, it seems a good time to reflect on the strangest summer we have had – with regards to rainfall, anyway, since we have been here.

Summer in Lara is normally a dry affair, and a time when we have to manage our water really, really carefully. Over the past few years we’ve learnt how to budget – the two small tanks up to December, and then one of the big 24 000l tanks each for January, February and March, and then we pray and hope the rain starts early in April; or we start ramping up a terrific water bill… Fortunately we have access to town water. So normally we start summer with full tanks (120kl) and by the end of March we have nothing left.

Stormy 2 editted

This summer started pretty “normal”… we came out of winter with our tanks about 90% full. Not an ideal situation, but we thought we would cope by topping up a bit with town water every month as we need it. Fortunately, the new day job would have covered that. However, this summer turned out very, very different, as this little graph shows:

Stormy rainfall

OK, 2019 was an extremely dry year, far below the average of 469mm (that is, the average since 2007). 2007 itself was also only 201.8mm. But, this year, despite being in a winter rainfall region, over the second half of summer we’ve already had basically a 1/3 of the maximum yearly rainfall in those 17 years, and April has hardly started. In fact, we never even opened the February and March tanks, apart from letting them top up to 100%. I must confess, towards the end of January I was getting a bit blaze with the water, not even turning the drip irrigation off if rain was forecasted. We literally rolled in water.

Of course, with the all the rains, everything grew in abundance, some too much! The kikuyu in the driveway, where I had so almost won the battle, came back with super-vengeance, and now it’s even worse than before! Fortunately, most of the young trees also benefited from the rain and grew nice and strong over the summer.

Stormy 5

So now we’re going into winter with tanks already 100% full. A sunrise over a soaking wet landscape, to me, is one of the most beautiful sights! Make no mistake; we are blissfully thankful for all the water and the great effect it has had on everything growing.

Stormy 3

About (207 Articles)
My name is Martin Rennhackkamp, I now live happily in Lara, Victoria, Australia with my wife, two children and two dogs. My interests, apart from the obvious Organic, Biodynamic and Permaculture Gardening and Farming, include sustainable living, surfing, horse-riding, a wide variety of music, dancing, nature, birds, reading, Christianity and a few other things which I never get to...

3 Comments on First winter rain

  1. The rain up here on the mid north coast has been fantastic & yes it fed everything including the weeds, haha. Just wondering with the water tanks. I love how you manage the usage. I am looking into getting them put in for everything. Did you put down any special ground cover before the tanks were put in, I’ve been researching & around here everyone’s tank is just on the ground but the manufacturers say not to do that. Just curious as to know what did you do. Its so great to see puddles isn’t it. Stay well.

    • // April 6, 2020 at 11:26 am // Reply

      These big tanks (24kl) at Homeland are just straight on clay soil (we cleared it nice and clean first), been OK for about 4 years now… but the new one at Dreamland they (different supplier) also insisted we put it on a fine crushed base.

  2. OK cool thank you so much we have a cement slab from an old shed & our soil is very much clay near the slab as I will be getting 2 tanks. I’m a little more chill about it now thankyou.

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