Plan Ahead with a Rain Barrel
Investing in a rain barrel is one of the best things you can do. Right now, with all of the rain that we’ve had, it may not seem necessary to run out and pick up a barrel to capture and store rainwater. This is where a little foresight comes in handy; by the time August hits, you’ll be wondering why Mother Nature couldn’t have spread the downpours throughout the summer.
The Two Main Benefits
Ecological: rain water is oxygen-charged. As it travels through the air, a rain droplet picks up the important molecules that organisms use to survive. When you pour this water onto your garden plants or into your containers, the oxygen is picked up by the roots and used by the plant to grow more roots, new shoots, or brilliantly coloured flowers.
The water is also warmer. And you may have heard me say this before but I can’t stress it enough: a warm shower is better than a cold one. Your plants will definitely agree. If your plants wanted to be cold, they’d be blooming in the winter!
Financial: it’s free water! You’re catching the water before it runs off your roof, seeps into the soil, and back to the city. There’s no money spent per litre and no money spent pumping it back out of the ground if you live on a well.
Under a downspout works best. Your roof and eaves are already doing the funneling for you. Just place the barrel under a spout and watch the water level rise.
- Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. To avoid this, place a screen on top to cover the opening.
- Keep the barrel free of debris. This is done with the aforementioned screen but you must also keep the screen clean as leaves will prevent the water from flowing into the barrel.
- Empty your rain barrel every fall. As the temperatures drop, remaining water will freeze and expand to the point where it may damage the barrel.
Work towards watering your garden entirely with rain water this year and see the difference it makes!