22 Feb 2012

Summer DIY Projects

Posted by bcsands

The beach isn’t always an enticing prospect thanks to this cool wet summer. So why not use the time to get on with a few useful projects that take full advantage of the rain? And then you’ll be ready to relax when the sun finally does come out!

Lay turf

Cool wet weather is ideal for laying turf. The earth is cool and moist, which is just how turf likes it – and damp soil is also easier than sunbaked earth for you to loosen and dig before you lay the turf.

New turf needs to be watered daily, ideally for two weeks, but if you lay it in a rainy season you can sit back and let nature do the watering without worrying about council watering restrictions.

Four weeks after laying new turf, you should fertilise it with a complete fertiliser. Watch the skies carefully and fertilise just before rain – new lawns are easily burnt by fertiliser, but a heavy rainshower will water it in well and save you using the hose.

Check your drainage

Heavy rain will pinpoint any drainage issues around your home. After a heavy shower check under your house for any pooling water that might indicate that you should improve your drainage. Do the same thing outside – when it rains heavily is the water following clear routes to stormwater drains or is there any risk of pooling or even water overflowing into your home? Make sure the water is running away freely and where you want it to go– unblock any drains or gutters that might have become blocked.

Clean out your gutters

You can wait for a dry day to do this one – but it’s a good idea to make sure that your gutters are clear of old leaves and other debris. You don’t want this to wash into your stormwater pipes, because it could end up blocking them.

Plant a vegetable or flower garden

Watering vegetables and annuals is a tedious job – but this year it’s hardly necessary. The generous rainfall takes care of it for you. The soil is also nice and damp, ideal conditions for young shoots to thrive in.

Rainy conditions are also ideal for potted plants – just be sure to remove any saucers or trays from under the pots. You want the water to be able to drain away freely.

Mulch and weed

Unfortunately weeds like the damp wet conditions as much as other plants, so you will still have to keep on top of them. Make life easier for yourself by laying down a thick layer of mulch to discourage them. Mulch will also help to lock the moisture into your soil when the sun finally does come out.

Install a rainwater tank

It’s raining now, but there is no guarantee that it will continue – this is Australia, after all. So why not take advantage of the big wet by installing a rainwater tank? It’s gratifying to see your investment fill up fast and you’ll be ready for when the sun comes out again.

And if all else fails…wash your hair

Yes, seriously. Rainwater is a ‘soft’ water  and doesn’t contain as many minerals as the water that comes from your tap. Collect rainwater in buckets or bowls and use it to rinse your hair for extra softness and bounce!

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