With the dry conditions we've had over the last month, I've already gone through 50 gallons of rain barrel water this growing season in preventing my vegetable beds from getting too thirsty.
So adding to the *arsenal* if you will, I installed a more decorative 75 gallon model purchased from Sam's Club. It didn't take long, about two hours, clearing the desired area; tamping the dirt down; putting in some sand and dry setting a few layers of brick for a foundation (this elevates the rain barrel up high enough to fit a bucket under the tap); cutting the gutter to fit. I then installed the tap per the directions and that's it - a rain barrel to aid in watering the yard and garden.
The total cost was $80, so this thing will pay for itself before the summer is done - provided we get enough rain of course. My gut (and it's substantial) is telling me we're in for a dry summer.
The benefits of adding a rain barrel to your landscape are many.
- You get to water your garden using a free source (once you're recovered the cost of the barrel), you'll greatly reduce your water bill.
- You get to water your garden using a natural source, it's much, much better for your plants than tap water - they don't need chlorine or fluoride.
- You're not unnecessarily using conditioned water that's made uniquely for your family
- You decrease wear and tear on the household water infrastructure as well as public works
Did you know that during the summer months, nearly 40 percent of the monthly water bill for some families can be attributed to watering the lawn, the garden, washing the car?.... Yes, you can even use rain barrel water to wash the car.
Next up on the list of things to do, installing a pump to the spicket!
Here's a picture of last year's installation, it's a 50 gallon barrel, this one paid for itself last year. This was purchased at Menard's for around $55, the cost for concrete block and some bricks was around $20. We didn't have to water our vegetable garden or flower beds last year using the household outdoor faucet. In between rains, this baby did the trick.