THE red soil has turned to mud at Wellington Point farm as heavy rains hampered preparation for strawberry season.
Early varieties of berries are in the ground and soaking up the rain, but workers braved the boggy conditions on Thursday morning to continue planting.
Parts of the Redlands have copped more than 850mm of rain so far this year, with January, March and April exceeding average rainfall.
Farm manager Adrian Lynch said it was the wettest summer in years.
"Mother Nature always wins," he said.
"You can control certain elements but you can't control 600mm of rain.
"Whether it's dry or wet, it dictates when and where you do things."
He said the frequent downpours were a headache but would be a blessing down the track.
"Rain's always good - it's short term pain, long-term gain," Mr Lynch said.
"I'd rather have a bit of mud for a few weeks than dust, that's for sure.
"It helps with the establishment of our plants. If they're happy and they establish well, it sets you up for a good year with production."
It was a far cry from the 2019 season, during which some parts of the south-east had their driest year on record.
The farm has planted 50 per cent more strawberries this year, with about 14 kilometres of plants in rows.
The rain has delayed some preparations, but workers took advantage of Thursday morning's blue skies to keep planting ahead of their busy season.
"It was frustrating ... You know you should be out doing things because it's that time of year but you're stuck in the shed doing maintenance instead," Mr Lynch said.
"It's time for the rain to stop and the sun to come out so things can start growing."
He said early varieties of strawberries would be ready in late May, with peak season from June to October.