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Welcome burst of rain

Thirsty gardens appreciated the burst of rain Shepparton received on Thursday night, but surrounding towns and most farming areas missed out.

FIONA BROOM February 16, 2013 4:20am

Thirsty gardens appreciated the burst of rain Shepparton received on Thursday night, but surrounding towns and most farming areas missed out.

Between 9.30pm and 10pm nearly 14mm of rain was dumped on Shepparton, with 15.2mm recorded by 9am yesterday.

The rain was accompanied by thunder and lightning storms seen across the region, but the rain didn’t fall everywhere — 4.4mm was recorded at the Tatura weather station, but none elsewhere.

Sally Moseley from Shepparton’s Billabong Garden Complex said plants needed the nutrients fresh rain contained to survive.

She said it had been ‘‘shockingly’’ dry recently.

Just 3.2mm of rain was recorded in Shepparton for January from one day, 15.2mm fell in December and 7.6mm reached the soil in November.

‘‘You can water and water and water with tank or town water as much as you like, but it’s not the same as a decent shower,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s unbelievable actually. It just brings everything back to life.’’

Ms Moseley said gardeners had been desperately seeking ways to keep their plants alive.

She suggested people choose native plants that were hardy against the dry, while mulching was key to keeping in moisture and wetting agents could be used to help soil retain water.

‘‘We’ve been flat out today and I truly believe it’s just because people got enthusiastic after one night of a little bit of rain,’’ she said.

‘‘Everyone was saying, ‘Wasn’t it nice to see a drop of rain?’.

‘‘There was a bit of a buzz about it.’’

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