Storm weeding

This is the absolute best kind of weeding there is.  After a period of sustained torrential rain the soil becomes so moist deep down that even the nastiest weed like dock weed slips right out of the ground with the entire tap root attached.   This is my bright side to a few days of horrible stormy weather.

This was the bed I was most afraid of… it was jam packed with weeds, but in next to no time it was free from the burden of all except the plants that were supposed to be there

It was probably the worst storm we have had in ages.  I was going to say all year, but the year isn’t even a week old yet and it is the only storm we have had… thankfully.  Although I’m not in a hurry to have another one.  It should have been expected, summer holidays are normally ruined by bad weather, although it was late – it normally comes between Christmas and New Year when the maximum number of people are sleeping in tents.

Windswept popcorn
I’ve done the best I could to bring the popcorn back to an upright position, however I think the damage has been done.

I thought it was going to be one of those storms in a teacup that the boffins get wrong and then the media pick up on it in a slow news week.  Everyone gets all excited and secures all their stuff so it won’t blow away and then it fizzles out somewhere over the Pacific Ocean and we get a few spits and spots and a gentle huff and our trust in the boffins is eroded.  These storms normally have a name and memes appear everywhere – especially when it comes to nothing.  So when the mounting panic was being conveyed on the public, they didn’t even give this storm a name.   Judging by the damage it did to most of the country… it should have had a name.  It was just referred to as a Severe Storm.  This didn’t do it justice.

Sowing carrots
The soil was so light and fluffy, I decided to sow a row of carrots… it just seemed like the right thing to do when presented with great soil conditions!

After drought like conditions for weeks and weeks, it started to rain gently and gardeners everywhere rejoiced.  I thought ‘this is nice.’  But it didn’t stop, it got heavier and heavier like some kind of malfunctioning gadget.  It rained for days.  I wouldn’t have minded it so much if that was all the storm had to offer.  But it brought along some wind.  The kind of wind that leaves you wide eyed at 3:00 in the morning hoping and praying the roof stays on, the greenhouse stays up and no harm comes to the garden.  By 4:30 you are convinced there is nothing left of the garden and anxiously wait for the light of day so you can survey the damage.  The wind always sounds worst in the dark.  But I don’t think winds in excess of 85km per hour ever sound pleasant.   We even had the power out for several hours, reminding us how dependent we are on it for everything – even flushing the loo because the water pump wasn’t working.

Cover crop
I even popped in a lupin cover crop to help restore the nutrients to the bed the onions were in. They were there for such a long time.

Just to add insult to injury there was a ‘Wolf Moon’.   I don’t even know what a Wolf Moon is, but it is apparently one of those once in a lifetime super moons that we’ve been getting a lot of lately.   It only comes around once in a blue moon… But it wreaked havoc with the beaches and on top of the storms there were king tides that penetrated in land further than any high tide before, egged on by the nameless storm.

Day broke and the reports began coming in over the internet of the damage done to other places, corn flattened, tomatoes broken, trees felled, roads washed away, homes flooded.  From the minor damage to the major damage, this storm wasn’t mucking around.  Maybe it was upset because it didn’t have a name.

Ripening tomatoes
Not only did the tomato plants come through the storm unscathed they have started to ripen. I did pick the ones that looked close to being ready before the storm in case they split with all the water.

I didn’t even want to look at the garden.  I couldn’t face it.  However I needn’t have worried.  It was barely touched.  Well it did have a few minor dings.  A small lemon branch broke, a lily plant lost its container – I have no idea where it went, but the plant is still there.  The corn looked like it had been blown in one direction and then re-righted when the wind changed direction.  The popcorn didn’t fair so well – it was mostly horizontal.  The timing couldn’t have been worse – the tassels were out dropping pollen on the silks.  I’m not expecting them to be fully pollinated this year.  But all in all everything else was fine.  Phew.

It is exciting to see melons growing, even if I don’t get to eat this one.

The garden still needed a bit of attention though.  Over the holiday period and with all the packing we’ve been doing, some weeds crept into my recently pristine garden.  I was dreading taking care of them as the soil had sun baked to concrete-esk style and removing even the smallest weed would have been difficult.  However, thanks to the storm with no name, the soil was soft, crumbly and wonderful and weeding was actually a pleasure.  Even the most stubborn dock slipped out with its tap root fully intact.  It was like the storm scared it stupid and it just surrendered.  I was able to whip around the weediest beds in super-fast speed and the garden once again looks great.  There is still a little bit to do to restore complete control, but I’m hoping to get onto this before the sun bakes the soil once again and the weeds become stuck fast.

Come again soon – the moving day is approaching fast.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

NB:  In spite of all the rain, we are still not out of the woods yet with the water saving, so as soon as things calm down and the sun comes out again – check with your council to see where you are at with the watering restrictions.

8 thoughts on “Storm weeding

  1. What is going on? Everyone is getting such severe weather except for us. Switzerland got a nasty storm. New England is wickedly cold. Parts of Australia are wickedly hot; all while you got your crazy storm. We are getting very little. The weather is nice; too nice. This last storm was wet, but not very wet. The last storm was in November. December was dry. All this good weather is bad.

    1. It is rather disturbing – it was a nasty storm but just one of many about the place. I don’t think I would have coped well with the Australian heat – that is just too much. As gardeners I think we notice the weather more than the average person and can see more clearly what is amiss. : o)

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