Rain barrels can save you money on your water bill. I have estimated that I save an average of $10 per month on my bill for the April-November when I start watering about 20 pots of shrubs and perennials. In May the pots increase to 30 or so when I add annuals and hanging baskets that need watering at least every other day. In the heat of July and August I have saved much more because watering is necessary every day during temps of 95 and up.
Rain barrels are not pretty. I do not care because rain water is so much better for my plants. I believe plants do much better with rain water because there are no chemicals that could harm the plants. Call me crazy but if you basking in the 100 degree sun and someone sprays you with the hose what do you do? You scream and run away. So what do you think a plant feels?
My teenage son sometimes thinks I am a little weird but he also sees what our yard looks like and what the rest of the neighbors’ yards look like. I am the only house in our neighborhood of around 32 homes that is overflowing with a sea of flowers from the mailbox to the corner of my house. I love flowers…
OOPS I got off topic
Rain barrels are around $35-50 through many county extension offices. It is a great investment if you have potted plants and a garden. It is also a start to living with nature and protecting our water sources. You can paint rain barrels or you can build a screen around them. I choose not to despite my HOA rules on this subject.
My rain barrel sits atop a truck rim which is the perfect height (9″) to fit my galvanized watering can underneath the faucet. I have had these rain barrels for 8 years now and every so often I think “I should paint them or create a cover to hide them”. I am more about function and as long as my neighbors cannot see them I am not violating any covenant rules.
You can make a base for the rain barrel out of wood or set it on bricks. I found that truck tire rims work perfect because the barrels are not flat and the bottom is actually rounded. Do not set the barrel on the ground because you cannot get a jug or watering can under the faucet. Plus the extra 9″ or so is a little better on the back.
As for the downspouts, do not cut them until you have your base for the rain barrel and then measure and add at least a foot or more to include the angle of the elbow that attaches to the downspout which is directed onto the top of the rain barrel. Make sure the elbow fits tight so during a downpour it does not fall off. I do not have measurements because this is one project where gutter type, height of barrel, base, and even where you are going to situate it next to the downspout will affect the measurement.
You can buy those expensive ones at the home stores. They look nice and if they are in your budget then go for it! The savings on water in a year pays for the rain barrel. If you go to your extension office, you can make 2 for the price of 1 (had to throw that out there).
Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!
2015 copyrights material C Renee Fuller @ the Garden Frog Boutique