Using Rain Barrels to Survive Droughts
Using Rain Barrels to Survive Droughts – If you’re a gardener that has an unlimited supply of water, consider yourself lucky! There are many gardeners who live in drought zones where the garden and lawn watering rules are very constrictive to the health of gardens and plants.
Many people just give up when they find out how few gallons of water they are permitted to use, but some people have just found ways to cope with less water. There are many ways to optimize one’s garden to conserve water while still keeping it lush.
Ways To Optimize Plant Watering:
1.) Drip Irrigation – Use of a pipe or hose with small holes to gradually seep water into the roots of the plant. Keeping the roots moist not wet.
2.) Plant Like Plants Together – Place plants in groups of equal watering needs to prevent wasting water on plants that don’t need it and also use compost or mulch to insulate the water and prevent drainage.
3.) Collect Rain Water – One of the best ways to keep your garden alive during a drought is to take preventative measures. Occasionally, a drought will be predicted far in advance, or those already experiencing a drought will be given a few
weeks of heavy rain. Collect the rainwater in a barrel to use the water as needed.
When this occurs, you should take the opportunity to set up several rain barrels. Many people think this would be time consuming and a silly thing to do. But it can save you many gallons of water and hardly requires any work.
What To Use For Barrels
1.) Use your own garbage cans.
2.) Purchase a few 55 gallon plastic drums for a home improvement store.
Cover Top With Screen When Collecting
You will probably want to cover the top of the barrel with a screen of some sort to filter out any unwanted leaves or debris that might fall off the roof of your house. The debris will end up settling and rotting in the bottom of your barrels otherwise.
Best Place To Put Rain Barrels
Ok, you have your barrels where do you place them?
1.) Catch the Drips and Run Offs – Usually during rainfall, there is one corner or segment of the house that rain tends to pour off of. If you are taking the simple
approach to barrel placement, just place the barrel under all the places where you see large amounts of drips.
However, while this might be the easiest way to place them, you won’t see very high volumes of rain in the barrels.
2.) Tweak Your Gutter System – If you want to take a more complicated approach to place the barrels, you should consider tweaking your gutter system a bit.
It will yield you with the most rainwater.
Remove an individual segment and place a rain barrel under that section at each corner. An excellent choice is to cut a hole in the middle of a cover of a cheap garbage can and use Flex-Drain Downspout Extension off the gutter section to redirect the water to the garbage can.
So essentially your entire house acts as a catcher for the rain, instead of just a few feet. This is how to maximize the amount of water your rain barrel will catch.
Empty All Water Into One Barrel
After a heavy rainfall, each individual barrel probably won’t see very much rain. If it looks like it won’t be raining more any time soon, it’s a good idea to empty each barrel into one main central barrel. Seal the barrel and save it out of the way, for whenever you may need it.
Then the next time it starts to rain, you’ll be able to quickly put all your catching barrels into place without having to lug around all the water you’ve accumulated so far. It makes life that much easier!
Frugal Idea? Nah. It Is Not Just For Droughts
The use of rain barrels to survive droughts and cut down on watering cuts might sound like a frugal idea. However, when you’re in the middle of a drought and you’re unable to spare that extra couple of gallons for your garden due to city allotment, you’ll be grateful for the time you spent on collecting all that rain.
All it takes is a few trips out in the backyard every time it starts to sprinkle, and you’ll be a very happy gardener when water isn’t so abundant. Even for those that are not in a drought, we can all appreciate a lower water bill.