Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rain at last!

It's been another one of those hot, dry, depressing Perth summers but at last the heavens opened this week. We had 18mm on Sunday night and 19mm today. Before that the only rainfall we'd had this year was 13mm in one day of January. People who don't live here probably can't understand why I say depressing for Perth's   summer weather. Most people associate sunny skies with being happy and grey skies with being sad, but you just have to live here a while to know how eight weeks of sunny weather with temps over 30C most days and not a drop of rain can get to you. Perth just had the hottest summer on record (until next year?), with averages of 31, 32 and 34C for December, January and February respectively. Gardening is almost impossible in these conditions with Perth's sandy soils, especially since the heat saps your energy for getting stuff done in the garden. So we've been hunkering down and praying for cool weather and rain. The grey skies and storms came today and we rejoiced.

The garden is soaking up the rain and my favourite thing to do on these days is watch the tank filling from inside the house. We now have over 6,000L in the tank, which I'll leave a week or so to settle before we turn it on.

Long live the rain...


  1. I found your blog after reading your bit on the Gardening Australia website. We've been living in the 'burbs (Sydney) for just a year and the garden finally feels like it's starting to come together a bit.

    My next big goal is a nice big water tank. Are there any good resources for helping me choose size/installer/brand etc? Anything you wish you had known (or were glad you knew) when you got yours?

  2. Hi Keda. I have so many tips on rain water tanks. Firstly read my posts on the topic ( eg I would recommend 9,000L tank minimum, but I'm not in Sydney so do your sums first (catchment area x monthly rainfall x 0.8 gives amount of rainfall potentially harvested per month), also calculate roughly how much you use. There are spreadsheets on the web which can help you work out a good sized tank, google rainwater tank sizing spreadsheet. Remember if you don't have space right next to the house for a large tank you can always position the tank away from the house and have a 'wet' system, although you either need a sloping block for this or to install an underground tank. I would also recommend you plumb everything in to the tank (all of house plus retic) since that way you lose less to overflow. My preference for tanks is plastic, easy to install on a sand pad and also the cheapest. Make sure your gutters are sound, if not it's good to get new ones. And lastly keep gutters clean and install filters on every down pipe. Good luck with it.

  3. When we're enduring hot temperatures like these, rain would surely seem heaven sent! I surely love looking at your plants since they all look healthy and well-loved!