It’s a little late in the season but we finally got our rain barrel put together. While I didn’t have any hand in the construction of the barrel, I left that work for the husband, the concept is fairly simple and can be put together in under a hour.
With how hot it gets here in North Carolina we go through a ton of water making sure the garden doesn’t dry out, so having an extra source of FREE water is such a huge help. We got this 55 gallon barrel from a friend for $0. The most important thing when finding a barrel to use is that you make sure it is food grade. Remember this water is going onto plants that you’ll be eating so you don’t want a barrel that used to hold chemicals. Then we grabbed a simple garden spigot, a flexible down spout to attach to our current gutter, and pvc piping for our overflow.
Luckily we got the barrel put together just in time for a couple days of pouring rain. I was shocked when only two days later the barrel was full! A hose can be attached to the spigot for watering but remember that the pressure will not be as strong as from outside faucet. I’ve been using the water for all our potted plants on the deck and to fill the chickens waterer. An additional benefit is being able to give our pets fresh, untreated water.
After seeing how quickly this barrel filled up I think next year we’ll be adding a secondary barrel to be able to conserve and reuse even more water.