Spring is the time for showers and it is also the time to consider catching and storing water for summer. Gardens, flowers and lawns often suffer during the hot months and are vulnerable to perishing without a sufficient water supply. Extra water can also come in handy for chores such as car washing. Now is the time to consider a rain barrel or garden.
A rain barrel is basically a tank that catches rainfall and runoff from roofs and gutters. It can be as small as 30 gallons or as large as 300 and comes with a screen that filters out undesirable debris such as insects, leaves and dirt. The stored water can be obtained through a tap, hose or spigot and directed right to the garden or lawn. Using a rainwater yield table can be helpful in determining what size barrel is needed. One good rainy day may produce many gallons of usable water.
An alternative to the collection barrel is a rain garden. These gardens are constructed in low areas, which then collect natural runoff from roadways and rooftops and other sources. While this water is not collected and saved as with a rain barrel, it is a quick and simple way to keep a garden properly watered.
When deciding between a rain garden or barrel, it can be useful to consult with a landscaper. The landscaper will assess the garden and determine what method will best suit its water needs and then install or create it. Rain gardens are complex in design and climate dependent regarding the types of plants and rainfall per season so its best to ask a professional’s advice before starting out to get the best results.
Rain barrels and gardens are also a great way to help the environment by not depleting municipal water supplies that are already too low in many areas. It’s easy to go green.