Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Do you have a way to store Rain?

This mish mash of buckets and bins were, until today, my rain catchers and
since we haven't had much rain in the past couple of years (aka extreme
drought) I never really thought much about catching and storing rainwater
to use on the plants.

Say 'Hello' to my new Rain Barrels! Yep - I got 2 of these lovely blue barrels!
A few weeks ago I started a class with our County Master Gardeners and
County Agriculture Extension office and have been learning how to
redesign our yard to take advantage of EarthKind Landscape principals
(formerly, at least partially, xeriscape -no cactus, though.). One of the
main ideas is that harvesting rain water is the best way to provide water
for the plants in your yard and rain barrels are perfect for that.

Well, I had heard of rain barrels, certainly, but it never occurred to me
to use them in Sunny South Texas - I mean, it almost never rains. Well,
it did last week and it rained so much I filled all my 'rain buckets' and
a full sized trash can lined with a 55 gallon plastic trash bag twice- it
collapsed from the full weight of the water and then I set it up, leaned it
against a post and it refilled almost to the top! I have been using the
water I collected to water my potted plants, citrus trees and tomato plants.

So, after having lost a whole trash can full of water I decided that
was not the way to go and started researching rain barrels. The
Master Gardener presenters in my class showed pictures of their
lovely set-ups and they shared the benefits and how-tos and as a
result I started to pay more attention to the drainage in our yard
in order to find the perfect place for my rain barrels.The barrels
I found online at Home Depot and Lowes were only available
online in our area and they were much more expensive than I
wanted to invest. So, my incredibly smart Husband suggested I
check on CraigsList.com for them.

I was amazed to find someone listing them almost immediately.
He was a few towns over but not too far away and his price was
perfect (less than half of the fancy online barrels that I would
have to pay extra for shipping on) and he seemed very pleasant
on the phone.

That was Thursday of last week. I asked him for 2 barrels and
he said "I'll have them made for you by Tuesday morning." Well,
it is Tuesday morning and I am very pleased to show my 2 new
rain barrels!

They have faucets at the bottom that are threaded for a hose coupling and
the tops have a plastic flower pot with mesh and rocks to act as a filter. I
can make a flexible downspout to connect right into the flower pot on top
and the water will be filtered before draining into my lovely blue barrels.
The dark color will keep algae from forming inside and they are pretty
lightweight until filled with water. These barrels held soy sauce so they
are food grade plastics.

Cool, huh? Now, I just have to get the rain gutters around our patio up so I
can take full advantage of the next rain and have less of a flooding
problem in our back yard. Oh, if the blue color is not to your liking, just
plant a couple of plants around the barrel site to cover up the color or use
a plastic spray paint (like Krylon's Fusion for Plastic) to spray it a color
you prefer.

Of course, just because I am putting in rain barrels to cut down on our
need for heavily chlorinated City water for our landscaping and to cut
back our expenses by using 'Free' Rain Water does not in any way mean
or indicate that I believe there is such a thing as Global Warming nor
do I want to be involved in any sort of discussion about it.
Because I don't. Seriously. Period.


On a lighter note, since you made it through such a super long post and
just in case you didn't get enough Halloween cuteness from my last 3 posts...
I give you...

Frightening aren't they? LOL! Yep, they would probably lick you to death
or run your arms off playing 'throw the squeeky toy'!
Whimsy (l) is 7.5 yrs old and Wiley (r)is only 7 months old but his feet
are so tiny that we are pretty sure he won't be getting much bigger.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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