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Save Water With a Homemade Rain Barrel

Caring for Your Rain Barrel

Once it’s built, you can pretty much set it and forget it, but rain barrels do need a little bit of maintenance from time to time.

First, you’ll want to check the screen on top occasionally to make sure it’s still secure and that it doesn’t have any holes or tears. That little piece of screen keeps rodents and insects from getting into your rain barrel. Mosquitoes in particular are attracted to all of that standing water, and you don’t want them laying eggs in there!

This isn’t so much a concern at this time of year, but you do want to make sure to drain the water from your barrel if temperatures are going to get below freezing. The expanding water can cause the plastic to crack, damaging your barrel.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to let that water sit for too long. Try to use the water you’ve collected within a week.

About once a year, it’s a good idea to clean out your barrel. Give it a good scrub with a hard bristled brush and a 1:1 solution of water and white vinegar. This will help prevent your barrel from taking on a funky smell and ensure that you’re not spreading any bacteria into your garden. This is especially important if you’re using your collected water to maintain food plants.

Do any of you use a rain barrel for your gardens? We’d love to hear your tips and experiences in the comments!

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!

69 comments

+ add your own
12:08PM PDT on Aug 21, 2015

Thanks Becky.

3:09PM PDT on Jun 25, 2015

Thanks Becky.

2:39AM PDT on May 24, 2015

Soon they will make it illegal too :)

2:18AM PDT on May 24, 2015

The amount of natural rainfall that is lost, when it rains, or floods, is staggering.

9:40PM PDT on May 23, 2015

It only helps if you have rain! We have been quite shy on our share.

12:42PM PDT on May 23, 2015

I remember my grandma having a rain barrel.

5:10AM PDT on May 23, 2015

Everyone should have at least one!

3:57AM PDT on May 23, 2015

Make good use of our natural resources and our nature

10:41AM PDT on May 22, 2015

Thanks for sharing.

12:25AM PDT on May 20, 2015

thanks

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