Save That Rain Water

I live in the country and we don't have public water. Living with your own well teaches you to be prudent with your use of water. We had one well go dry years ago and drilling a new one is very costly. Because of this we limit what we do with our water. Washing cars or watering the garden are not options. Therefore, we have been using water barrels to collect rain water and we use this for all our gardening needs.

There are various types of commercially available water barrels and there are plain old 55 gallon barrels. We use mainly commercial barrels and only one regular 55 gallon barrel. We were able to obtain all of them locally, and even though the commercial barrels are pricey, we save on the shipping which seems to really add a lot to the price.

In total, we have four (4) 75 gallon water barrels and three (3) 55 gallon water barrels. This provides us with a total of four-hundred and sixty-five (465) gallons of water for all our gardens. This may seem like a lot, but when it doesn't rain for some time, it goes fast.

We place our water barrels under various downspouts all around the property. This allows us to catch water from various roofs, but also gives us water for gardens in various locations around our home. Here are some photos of our various barrels.

This a water barrel at the front of the backside of the house. It provides 75 gallons
of water for the flower gardens around the front of the house.

This water barrel is at the rear of the house by the screened-in porch. It provides 55 gallons
of water for where it is needed.

These are two 75 gallon water barrels at the front corner of the garage and are connected
 together, whereby the barrel on the left overflows into the barrel on the right. These
provide water for local plants as well as additional water for the vegetable garden.

This is a view of the previous barrels from the rear, where they are positioned against a raised
bed. The overflow for the second barrel is fed directly into the raised bed via a flat hose with
holes punched in it at intervals.

These two barrels are at the rear corner of the garage. Both are 55 gallon and a hose between
the  barrels allow both to stay relatively equal with water. As you dispense from the front barrel
 the second barrel refills the first through the siphon effect.

This is a 75 gallon water barrel at the rear of the potting shed, which is closest to the vegetable
garden. At first only one side of the roof had a gutter, but because of its small size, it didn't
always fill the barrel when it rained. I added an additional gutter on the back side and,
between the two downspouts, they now fill the barrel much faster.

A closer view of the dual downspout system that feeds the water barrel at the rear of the potting shed.

As you can see, you can become rather creative with water barrels by utilizing the various roofs available on your property. Being the barrel at the rear of the potting shed is the closest to the vegetable garden, this is where I will be adding additional water barrels so water doesn't have to be carried as often from barrels further from the garden.

Our water barrels provide us with the water we need for out gardens.

Rainwater is free for the taking and can really make a difference for your garden, especially if you don't have public water. As a caution to readers, there are some States that have determined that "They" own the rainwater and do not allow you to collect it. Make sure you check the legality in your State before setting up a rain collection system.

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Copyright © 2014 by John D. McCann