Water Conservation in the Garden – Use a Rain Barrel to Harvest Rainwater

If you are a keen gardener or aspiring to be one then there are a couple of things you will want to have set up to help your garden grow and thrive.

The first is one that we hear of so often – a compost bin or a compost area somewhere in your garden.  I find I like this to be close to the vegetable area and the potting bench, like the business area of the garden.

Now the other thing that you may not hear much about is – using a rain barrel or barrels to collect the rain water.


Have you ever watched while you stand and hose your lawn with water from the main supply to your home.  It is usually during a dry spell and the grass is or has become a not so nice shade of brown.  You can water the lawn this way for days on end and it will hardly change colour.  But….get a nice shower of rain and the change is immediate, you can almost watch it happen.

So that magic rain water, your lawn, your plants have a special bond with it.  It carries all the nutrients and whatever else magic that your plants need.

So imagine having your very own rain shower on tap so to speak.

Sure you can install a rain water tank but this can be out of reach for several reasons – budget, space are the main ones.

Rain barrels are the answer – you can have these positioned throughout your garden.  You can even get fancy and install taps in them or just fill the watering can via a dipper or bucket.

The best place to position the rain barrel is under a downpipe from your shed or house so it collects the rain water from the roof.  Even a barrel sitting out in the middle of the vegie garden can collect rain water for you.

You can get rain barrels at most home improvement or hardware stores also garden centres should stock a variety too..

It doesn’t have to be a special barrel, you can get a plastic or metal rubbish/trash bin/can.  These are inexpensive and have lids that you can cut a hole in to take the end of the downpipe.  Or, if you are collecting without a downpipe then turn the lid upside down, cut a hole in the lower part of it and let the water run through that.

It is a good idea to check out the commercial rain barrels to see how they are set up.  Of course they have advantages over a simple rain collection container. You may be able to copy them and improve your system.

The main thing is to get set up and start collecting that precious water that your plants will thank you for by showing you how well they can grow and your vegies will surprise you with how their taste has improved.

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