Sure, the chooks resemble sodden, feathered rats and water trickles down your neck or gumboots at least provocation, but it’s a good time to snare snails, check which areas of the garden are not getting watered due to overhanging branches or undulations in the soil and combat those that flood.
Last year when it seemed to bucket down for days on end, I noticed that due to a slope I had not really paid attention to before, the excess water was collecting in the lower right hand back corner of my garden. This is where the chooks are penned and they were not impressed. Fortunately, their coop sits on stumps around 30 cm high, so the girls didn’t need gumboots, but it was a call to action.
On the advice of a plumber mate I dug a one meter square pit into the compacted clay soil (it took simply ages and all I can say is that it was good for upper body-buildng) and filled it will scorier – now the water drains into the roots of the darn leviathan Cyprus pine next door which I swear has grown twice my height since. On the plus side, the path I also put in which leads down to the pit and is covered in crushed cement pebbles, remains drained and dry despite the worst flooding. I did put down sand first but this just swam away somewhere during the next shower.
Keep your thumbs green when it pours:
* Don your raincoat and go looking for snails. Collect them in a bucket and feed them to your chooks- they love ‘em!
* Sharpen and oil tools. Yes, your metal spade, rake, trimmers, secateurs and trowel all need some TLC about now.
* Pull on some rubber gloves and clean out your gutters and drains and add the wonderful, rich leaf mulch to your compost.
* Check your worm farm and compost bins are not waterlogged.
* Tidy the garden shed – or in my case, I have no excuse for not clearing out all the gardening junk hiding under the deck. Wear gloves, it's spider time.
* Do an inventory on what you need to get from spring – bulbs, seeds, new tools?
* Every now and again look up at those big black clouds and appreciate what falling out of them. Remember the drought?