I have been planning to add additional rainwater collection to my home garden. As I have planned the expansion of the front garden to include additional perennial plants, fruit production and annual vegetable production I needed to plan for additional water consumption. I have two rain barrels that supply much of the water needs of the back garden, but the front garden relied on the hose or numerous trips to the back garden to fill the watering can….laborious!!
I prefer not to use city water on the garden when I can. Of course, this isn’t always possible or practical, but my approach to sustainability is not a complete off the grid lifestyle, but simply an avoidance of consumption when possible and a gentler, respectful relationship with nature. I recently had the opportunity to procure a third rain barrel for the house and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
I am trying to adopt a more frugal lifestyle so I didn’t want to spend untold fortunes on a rain barrel. Rain collection is now becoming more popular with numerous companies creating and marketing their products. The price of a reasonable looking rain barrel has gone up quite a bit in the last few years and I quite simply had been priced out of the market.
But fortune prevailed, over the weekend while running errands we came across a rain barrel that closely matched the color of the house, was an appropriate size and was on a spectacular sale. Along with a merchandise credit for the store, we left with a new rain barrel and diverter kit for a nice low price! The color was important as this rain barrel needed to blend in with the front of the house based on its placement and also needed to be inconspicuous from the street for my own aesthetics.
When we got home we installed it right away to make sure we captured rain from an impending storm. We drilled the appropriate holes in the barrel for the spigot and the diverter. We also put a makeshift plug into the other top hole of the barrel to prevent overspill. Next we installed the diverter onto the downspout. These diverters allow the rain barrel to fill to the top but then once full, allows the excess water to spill over and continue through the downspout (one day I would like to design a way for that excess water to be collected or pooled in a rain garden or something useful, but that is another day).
Once the diverter was installed, we could put the whole assembly in place on top of some masonry bricks for level placement and stability. This also allows the barrel to be high enough for the future installation of a gravity fed drip irrigation line which will deliver a steady supply of water to the front garden. For now, it simply makes it easier to use the watering can without having to haul water from the back of the yard to the front yard! Ahhh, the simple things in life…and as if on cue, we have had a couple of great storms to fill all the barrels to the brim!
Consider adding rain water collection to your garden!