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Save Water With a Homemade Rain Barrel

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Gardening season is here! Whether you’re growing edibles, flowers, or anything in between, those plants are bound to be thirsty as temperatures heat up. A rain barrel is a great way to keep your plants hydrated in between downpours without tapping into the municipal water system.

Survival Weekly shared an awesome video showing a simple, cheap way to construct your own rain barrel out of a 55 gallon food-grade drum:


Rain Barrel Tips

If you can’t get ahold of a drum like his with the fancy two-part lid, don’t fret! You just need to cut your screen a little bit wider on all sides, and you can secure it with a gigantic, heavy duty rubber band.

Once it’s built, the best place to install is underneath your gutter’s downspout. Not only does this help you catch the maximum amount of water, but by diverting it from falling on your property, you can prevent that heavy flow of water from eroding the land around the downspout.

It also helps to have your rain barrel seated up off of the ground. The higher you have it, the more water pressure you’ll get from the spigot at the bottom.

He mentions attaching garden hose to the downspout. Another way to take advantage of your rain barrel is to attach that hose to irrigation tubing that you run through your garden beds. The local hardware store or garden center should carry irrigation tube to fit your needs.

Next: Caring for Your Rain Barrel

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Read more: Lawns & Gardens, Nature, , , , , ,

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by eastpole

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

58 comments

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6:16AM PDT on May 19, 2014

It is not an easy thing to do in our subdivision :-(

1:58PM PDT on Jul 6, 2011

Only one problem with rain barrels are the chemicals that are in some roofing materials. Our roof is treated for moss control, which is a real problem in our area. I am reluctant to use the water for food plants but would really like to keep gold fish in a water barrel.

2:41AM PST on Jan 14, 2011

useful article, thank you)))

3:13PM PDT on Sep 22, 2010

It's so fashionable now days to have a butt, I mean water butt that is.

7:46AM PDT on Jun 18, 2010

Love it! I have a couple suitable barrels and screening, now I just need to pick up the hardware - and my garden (and my well) will thank me ;-)

4:35PM PDT on Jun 10, 2010

Have had one for 26years in my garden. We call them rain butts in England.

10:49AM PDT on Jun 7, 2010

rain barrels and sisturns, anything that collects rain water is acceptabe, your garden will thrive better using collected water verses tapwater, the chemicals that are put into the public water has advers effects on your yard and garden, clorine is a toxin although it keeps us healthy in moderation but it damages your plants

12:32PM PDT on Jun 6, 2010

Water barrels are a fantastic eco product. I wouldn't be without mine.

12:10AM PDT on Jun 6, 2010

Anyone with a roof over his head, should be able to make some kind of rain barrel.
Very good for the environment.
People that have no access to clean drinking water, could boil this rainwater and drink it with very little danger!

9:36AM PDT on Jun 3, 2010

The screen on the barrel is very, very important. The spread of West Nile Fever here in the north has been mainly due to folks' practices of leaving out standing water where the infected insects can breed -- this includes water barrels, ponds, bird baths, etc. It is very important that water features either be completely screened in or else free-flowing so that the eggs can't hatch and/or larva can't survive. That's why almost all new water features put in nowadays include a fountain or a pump to circulate the water....

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