At last! Some rain. 11mm on Friday evening, and another 11.5mm last night. A reasonable looking forecast for more rain on Wednesday -- should be great queueing to vote in the rain ;-) -- and maybe some more next weekend.
Does this mean the drought is finally over? The ground is still terribly dry, and the dams remain empty. Still, we remain optimistic, so I ran out and planted some stuff, just in time for last night's rain: a salad planting, and some Onions interplanted with Peas. I'm still not taking a chance with anything that's valuable or where I have very small seed-stocks. So things like Spelt and the new Chickpeas are going to have to wait until the water situation looks a little better.
I'm trying a little variation on my standard salad-planting... The normal pattern is about 1.5m of bed containing 3 rows of loose-leaf lettuces, all mixed-up, densely sown, and harvested with the sheep-shears. In between those rows go a row of Rocket and a row of Red Mustard -- we love the flavour combination. In the past I've tried to squeeze Radishes in, too, but in truth it doesn't work too well; the Radishes grow at such a different pace to the leaves that they're better off in their own space. This time I've cut down to 2 rows of Lettuces, a row each of the Rocket and Red Mustard, and put the Radishes into the middle row. We should get a better Lettuce/Rocket/Mustard ration that way, and the Radishes should just be separate enough. We're trying a Black Radish brought back from France by my parents... can't wait to taste it!
The Onions came out of their seed-tray just in time! I've only planted 3 rows so far, and put in another row each of shelling Peas ("Greenfeast") and yellow Snow Peas. The Peas should be long gone by the time the Onions want more space, and hopefully the Onions will be able to steal a little N from the Peas in their early days. It's a good theory anyway...
Its good to have some moisture on the ground again! Let's hope this is not just a flash in the pan.