Welcome rain falls at last

Last week’s wonderful rain was a lifesaver for the garden. In our gauge we recorded 91mm, then 18.5mm and 19mm, plus some follow up showers and more lovely rain forecast for this week. Before that we had very much below-average rainfall since the beginning of July – nearly four months of keeping the garden alive with tap water.

We’re lucky. Even though reticulated water is simply not as good for plants as rainwater, at least we have ready access to it. I feel for those gardeners who rely on tank water alone. It’s better for the garden, but one has to be so selective about which plants get the precious drop.

The rain has been coming as thundershowers, mainly, which means that it is very patchy. Some areas will have had much more than us, and others less. I hope you have all harvested and preserved whatever rain fell, rather than letting it run away down the gutter.

While you can save water by leading run-off into ponds and by ensuring your garden is properly mulched, the water tank is king. These days there is such a range of sizes, shapes and types of water storage that everyone should be able to fit it in somewhere.

Prices vary widely, but you might be able to get one or more rebates to help with the cost. If you are on town water, but plumb a tank into the house for toilet flushing or laundry use, you can access all the taxpayer-funded incentives.

There are federal rebates and others offered by state government and water authorities – they vary from one shire to another, so check on your council’s website. There is nothing to prevent you from using the tank water on your garden, too, though you might need a pump to get adequate pressure for your watering system.


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