(Family Features) Gardeners typically understand plenty of water, good ground and a steady stream of sunshine all play vital roles in the food production process.
However, on those hot, dry days when there isn’t any rain in sight, harvesting rain and storing it may be a perfect solution. A tried-and-true gadget like a rain barrel allows for the collection of rainwater from a home’s gutter system for later use.
Not only are rain barrels budget-friendly and good for the environment, they’re also good for your plants and crops. Rainwater is chemical-free, non-chlorinated, naturally soft, oxygen rich and warmer than water coming from the hose or sprinkler. That means flowers, trees, vegetables and shrubs may be more vibrant and hearty when irrigated with rainwater.
The nuts and bolts of making a rain barrel are simple. All it takes are three holes cut into a 55-gallon barrel and a few supplies from the hardware store:
- A small hole is cut into the side of the barrel, just 2 1/2 inches from the bottom. A brass adapter is then inserted so a hose can be attached for easy watering.
- The second hole allows excess water to drain away if the barrel gets too full. It is made approximately 4 inches from the top of the barrel, directly above the hose adapter.
- Drill a large hole into the top 2 inches from the side of the barrel. This hole must align with a downspout in your home’s guttering system. It is often fitted with a screen to filter out sticks, leaves and other debris.
Instead of a rain barrel, create a simple collection system by placing any recycled, water-tight container directly under a downspout. Buckets, trash cans and large pots make for easy collection containers.
Find more solutions for your garden at eLivingtoday.com.
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