Rain Barrels for Christmas

comments (5) November 5th, 2010

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ChrisMcLaughlin Chris McLaughlin, contributor
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Rain barrels come in various styles - this is actually one of my favorites.
 
Photo by Ken_Mayer under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
Rain barrels let you take advantage of a free, natrual resource.
 
Photo by fireballsedai under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
Now this is a fancy rain barrel...
 
Photo by srqpix under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
Rain barrels come in various styles - this is actually one of my favorites.
 
Photo by Ken_Mayer under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.Click To Enlarge

Rain barrels come in various styles - this is actually one of my favorites.

 

Photo by Ken_Mayer under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.


I'm sorry that I had to resort to using the "C" word, but it got your attention, am I right?

Guess what's on my Christmas list besides garden hoses on steroids? Yup - rain barrels! I thought about asking for just one, but I really need two and it can't hurt to ask. Aside from compost bins - which I have in spades, I can't think of anything more useful for my gardens next season than rain barrels.

If you haven't had a chance to check one out, here's how they work. A cool, giant barrel (they come in many sizes and colors) are set up at the bottom of a down spout of your home. Some have screens at the water entrance to keep the water a bit cleaner as it's captured from the roof; some don't. In any case, the barrels have spigots attached near the bottom of the barrel for easy access to your harvested water during the warm months. 

Water from the sky is naturally soft and is mineral, chlorine, and chemical-free, which is excellent stuff for watering your landscape and garden. When rain water isn't collected, it falls from the roof and becomes storm water runoff...and why would we want to throw away this free, natural resource?

Video: How to Build a Rain Barrel Video:
How to Build a Rain Barrel


Be sure to look around and compare the prices and features of various rain barrels. Check your local hardware stores, garden centers, as well as the bigger chains like Home Depot. Don't forget to surf the net and flip through garden catalogs, too. If you're the handy sort or live with a handy sort; you can even construct your own! Winter after winter I've watched my fellow gardener clap their hands with joy at the arrival of their new rain barrels - this year is going to be my year

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posted in: rain barrels, natural resources

Comments (5)

randytyler2 writes: Nice home.
Posted: 1:38 am on May 16th
shawna88 writes: I disagree with Peter - although rain water is not potable, there are dozens of reasons to use it on our plants instead of the processed water from the city. #1 it has no chlorine added to it. Bottom line - we cannot possibly run our irrigation water through some sort of purification process - it's not going to happen because of the intensive expenses related to it. Rain water is free, using a rain barrel keeps the rain out of our storm water systems - it's better for communities all the way around!

Shawna
Posted: 10:05 am on November 7th
ChrisMcLaughlin writes: Thought I might add that not all states allow you to collect free rain. Go figure. So double check that you won't be tossed into jail or something before you install rain barrels, m'kay?
Posted: 12:43 pm on November 6th
ChrisMcLaughlin writes: You point is well-taken. However, most plants in the world don't get purified water and seem to make do. :D
Posted: 12:36 pm on November 6th
PeterGarnham writes: Unfortunately, rainwater isn't as pure as we might like to think. Acid rain kills trees, and water that runs down asphalt rooftops can contain a real mess of chemicals. Gutters are breeding grounds for many organisms, some harmful. Use rainwater with caution, and never ever drink it!
Posted: 12:20 pm on November 6th
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