|Tuesday Tools & Products: Rain Barrels|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Tuesday, 29 May 2012|
Rain barrels are an important part of environmentally friendly gardening, which is why we discuss them quite a bit here at The Daily Dirt. So for those new subscribers, here’s the low down on why rain barrels are an important elements in the garden.
Whether it's made from a recycled food grade plastic barrel, a do it yourself model made from a trash bin, or a refurbished whiskey barrel, a rain barrel is one gardening practice that makes complete sense. Rain barrels are not just for gardeners in arid or rainy climates either. Using barrels to collect rainwater saves everyone money on their water bill and it's an easy way to do your share in making gardens greener.
Rain barrels are quite simple, consisting of a barrel, a lid to keep mosquitoes and critters out, an overflow spout or drain, and a spigot or hose connection. A rain barrel is placed under the downspout(s) to collect rainwater that normally flows into a storm sewer or onto the lawn. The water is recycled and used to water your plants and vegetable garden.
Some municipalities such as Seattle encourage the use of rain barrels and offer discounted prices on 50 gallon rain barrels for residents. Rain barrels are sold in several sizes, but typically hold 50, 60, 65, and 80 gallons of water. Refurbished white oak whiskey barrels for example, hold 53 gallons and are 35 inches high with a diameter of 24 inches and are the heaviest of the rain barrels, weighing in at about 125 pounds. Plastic models are lighter weight. A couple of the models have built in pumps as well.
For more information on rain barrels, how to make inexpensive rain barrels, and how some of our readers made their own rain barrels use the search button at the top right of the page. Happy reading!