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It is Not the Prettiest Garden Accessory....

But it is super functional so our rain barrel has a new place in our garden. What is a rain barrel? It is a giant barrel that collects water from your downspout. You then use this water for your plants, lawn or some other non-drinking water activity. So you conserve water at the same time you are not flooding your yards. It is amazing how fast it fills up with just one downspout. It only took one rain storm to fill the entire thing, so I will have a lot of watering to do. Here it is hidden behind the deck-
I have been thinking about getting a rain barrel for awhile since I do so much watering over the summer and our sump pump is constantly running when we have any rain. And maybe I will even admit I was jumping on the "going green" bandwagon. If you look for them online they are expensive and I was not going to spend $100 on something just to save some water, bandwagon or not. So when I got an email that they were doing a free workshop at the local high school I signed up. Or rather I signed us up.....I was worried that I would not be able to carry it to my car by myself so Derek got roped in under the pretense of "It will be fun!" I don't think he fell for it but he did go with me. What a good husband:).

The process was very quick and easy and we did not actually have to crawl into the barrel to install the spigot like This Young House did. But it wouldn't have been bad if we had to since our rain barrel contained Mountain Dew syrup in it's former life and you can still smell the sugary sweetness.

So how did we make a rain barrel in less than 10 minutes? We drilled two for the spigot and one for the overflow hose and then screwed in the accessories. We drilled the spigot hole as low as possible and the overflow hole as high as possible.

The plastic pieces were provided as part of the workshop but looked like something you could pick up at your local hardware store. The spigot did leak slightly after the first rain, but Derek fixed it very easily with a little plumber's tape.

The top of the barrel was already cut and had a black plastic flower pot in it. We added a screen on top to keep out mosquitoes and other dirt that runs off the roof. That was the extent of the rainbarrel making, so it was very quick and easy. They did say you can paint them and I am thinking that I might try that next year to make it blend in more. Or maybe covering it with bamboo fencing...... oh the possibilities

So we brought it home and carried it to the backyard. Then we set it up on cinder blocks and Derek diverted the downspout so that the water runs into the barrel. If you are installing one, make sure it is on level ground so it does not tip over. They are very heavy obviously once they have water in them and you don't want gallons and gallons of water spilling all over your yard.

Can't wait to get watering without turning on the hose!
1 comment on "It is Not the Prettiest Garden Accessory...."
  1. Yay!! That's so awesome!
    We made one of these a few years back and our plants and grass couldn't get enough of that yummy rain water. We added another rain barrel but this time we did a 300 gallon. Found it on Craigslist for $100 and we bought a $20 pump so we could hook up our sprinkler. Works great!