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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 any case there are some features to consider.

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.

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

A bit more information: Start with a call to your local municipality. Some have restrictions on harvesting rain water while others provide rebates when you install a rain barrel. Consider converting one downspout at a time. You can capture as much as 623 gallons of water from 1000 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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