The winter months (even the worryingly mild winter month we’re having at the moment) are no time to be tramping back and forth across your soil, causing compaction, squeezing essential air from the soil and risking waterlogged conditions in wetter months to come.
It is, however, an ideal time for catching up with all those maintenance jobs you’ve been putting off all year – especially anything that needs doing on a hard-standing area – when you were too busy with the actual sowing, planting, growing and harvesting to get round to them.
For me, down on plot #59, that means a list as long as my arm, mostly involving sorting the shed, cleaning the greenhouses, sweeping mulch off the concrete slab paths, that sort of thing.
Plus, a couple of one-offs, such as connecting up the two new slimline water-butts that a friend of mine at work was selling cheap (used once to store rainwater for a pond-fill, no longer needed). An hour or so with a cordless drill and various rainwater butt connector kits, and I’d slotted them nicely into our existing collection of butts and barrels, all now attached to the downpipes from our 6’x6′ greenhouse:
Add to those the large butt and barrel that I linked up to our new shed last year, and I estimated that we’ve got storage capacity for round about (does sums in head…) 1,600 to 1,800 litres of saved rainwater. Which should be enough to last at least a couple of weeks if there’s a prolonged dry spell next year.
How about you? Do you save rainwater on your plot? Do you rely on piped water? Or do you have an even more ingenious irrigation system set up? Let me know, via the comments.