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Selecting Rain Barrels

Save money and be kind to your garden and the environment by capturing rainwater and putting it to work in your landscape.

You can make your own rain barrel or purchase one.  In either case there are some features to consider when adding a rain barrel to your landscape.

Make sure the top is covered to keep out debris and mosquitoes.  Some come equipped with a solid lid with an opening just big enough to accommodate the downspout.  Others use a screen to keep out debris, while letting in the rain.

The spigot should be low on the barrel so water does not stagnate at the bottom.  Use the spigot to fill watering cans or attach a hose for watering.  An overflow outlet is necessary for periods of heavy rain and for interlocking several barrels. 

A downspout diverter is another way to manage rain barrel overflows.  When the rain barrels are full this device diverts the water back to the downspout where it is carried away from your home’s foundation.

The choices are many, making it easy for you to conserve water and grow a beautiful landscape. 

A bit more information:  Start your conversion to rain barrels one downspout at a time.  You can capture as much as 650 gallons of water from 1,000 square feet of roof in a one inch rainfall.  This can be a lot to manage when first adjusting to this change of habit.  Taking little steps allows you to successfully match the use of rain barrels and other rain harvesting techniques to your gardening style and schedule. 

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