Collecting Rainwater

Collecting rainwater in water barrels is not only beneficial to your garden but to the pocketbook as well. Just think how much water runs off the average roof, hundreds of gallons everytime it rains. I want my garden to look good in the summer, but the water bill just kept getting higher. I have been using water barrels for the past few years and I love them. My first investment was in 2 ready made rain barrels from an online gardening source. The cost was ridiculous. I started doing some research on how I could make my own rain barrels and save some money in the process. Here is a couple of the links I found for instructions on how to build a rain barrel. It was so easy we made four!

http://sarasota.extension.ufl.edu/Hort/Pubs/Rainbarrel.shtml

My husband purchased 4 used food quality barrels from a military surplus store for about $15.00 a piece. It is very important that they are food quality, ours were used to store olives. Any container that was used to store chemicals will probably have residue that could harm your plants and the environment. We invested about $30-$40 in parts that we purchased from our local home improvement store for an overall investment of $100.00 for 4 barrels. The parts are easy to find, they are just common plumbing parts. I don’t know if you have priced ready made rain barrels but they can be as much as $100.00 a piece. The project wasn’t too time consuming. It took about 1 1/2 hours to complete. As you can see the instructions go one step further and show adding a spigot with a hose to make filling your watering can easy. I fill my watering can by unscrewing the lid from the container and dipping the watering can in the top. You could also attach a hose to the spigot if you elevate the containers to run off the excess water when the containers overfill.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by janie on May 22, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    This is a great post, and timely too!

    I am a Master Gardener here in Texas and traveled across the State to take a course in harvesting rain water this past fall. I have rain barrells all over our property.

    Also, you can Google ‘Rain Gardens’ and look at the marvelous little gardens that can be built for little or no money, and conserve rain water while you make your plants happy. The idea behind the rain garden is to trap storm water off the roof, and allow it to percolate down into the soil, thus cleaning it of pollutants and retaining the nutrients in the soil. Both of these would likely wind up in streams and rivers otherwise.

    Hellllp! Get me down from this soapbox!

    I love your blog. Just the picture of that peony is enough to make me stop, but you have a real talent for putting plants together.

    Janie

    Reply

  2. Posted by Perennial Gardener on May 22, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Thank you! I know we are heading into a possible drought season in our area. We get tons of rain in the winter and spring here and then when we need it during the heat of summer, nothing! I am always looking for ways to conserve water. I look forward to watching your native garden grow. I try to plant things that are native to our area and can tolerate our crazy climate changes. I refuse to baby a plant to get it to survive. There are too many great plants out there.

    I am new to this whole blogging thing, my mom is Cooking in Cleveland and she loves my garden so she kind of persuaded me to start a garden blog. I am enjoying it immensely. I look forward to meeting other passionate gardeners like myself!

    Thank you for your compliment. I am not a master gardener, but I am passionate about gardening. I’m glad you like my combinations.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Jyoti Srivastava on May 22, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Beautiful peony shot!

    great post on collecting rauinwater.

    Reply

  4. Posted by OhioMom on May 22, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Great job on the rain barrels … and rain water is so much better for your plants.

    I am so proud of you 🙂

    Reply

  5. Posted by Perennial Gardener on May 22, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Thank you Jyoti. I’m glad you enjoyed the rain barrel posting as well as the Peony picture.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Perennial Gardener on May 22, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks Mom! I really am enjoying the blog. Thanks for encouraging me!

    Reply

  7. Posted by Aquabarrel on May 24, 2008 at 2:04 am

    For rain barrel kits with a great set of instructions check out http://www.aquabarrel.com you will also want to check out the downspout diverters – very useful for taking a rain barrel off-line for the winter time.

    Reply

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