Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cool rain -- filling up the rain barrels

It’s raining this morning. And, that always means a struggle to get the dog to go for a walk. He hates when the droplets get into his ears. I love the rain, though – especially during the day – on a work day! And the plants need it. Things were getting a little dry. Rain perks up the droopy plants and makes the weeds easier to pull up.

It also fills up my rain barrels. I first became acquainted with rain barrels when I lived in Norway. My grandmother used the rainwater for washing – clothes, dishes, and us! Each morning, we got a ladle of water to wash with. It took a few tries to get the hang of washing my entire self with a ladle of water, but eventually, I was able to do it. I didn’t know it then, but I was learning a lot about water conservation. And, I’m sure those memories helped me decide to get a rain barrel of my own. (I’m up to 5 rain barrels this year.)

I don’t use my rain water for washing. I do use it for the gardens. And, with 16 beds, every drop counts! I’ve put down soaker hoses in each of the beds and then just run a hose from the nearest rain barrel to the bed and let it run.

I also use the water from my de-humidifier for the gardens. But, instead of lugging it up the stairs from the basement, I pour the water into the sump pump well and every few days, the sump pump kicks in and waters one of the gardens through the PVC pipe I configured to empty into the garden bed.

Anybody else have creative ways to water the garden? Or creative water conservation ideas?

1 comment:

Anna said...

This is my first year with rain barrels and they really do make the plants grow better as the water is soft and warm. I put fertilizer into the barrel to feed my roses and am delighted to see that the slope in the garden has a purpose at last by letting gravity drain the water for me. Rather than lugging a long hose around, I use a big garbage bin which fills up from the hose closest to my beds, fill it up and use a pail to really drench the needy plants. As I have plenty of trees, the soil is very dry by August, so additional deep waterings improve the plants tremendously. A soaker hose doesn't seep enough to do the job from a rain barrel.

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