Drought problems can wreak havoc on any garden. If you have drought problems where you live, or if you are looking to cut your water bill, consider adding a rain barrel system to your home. Rain barrels are a simple way of collecting non-chemically treated rain water for other uses such as your garden. Also, homeowners can place the barrel under a down spout to direct water into the barrel increasing the amount of water caught. It doesn't get much better than that!

A typical wood or plastic rain barrel will hold anywhere from 40-80 gallons of water. On average this will be enough to keep any garden growing. Another option for homeowners are flexible water tanks. These tanks can hold up to 5,000 gallons and are often called "onion tanks" or rectangular "pillow tanks." These types of tanks are recommended for low and wide spaces like underneath a deck or crawl space.

If you are motivated to start collecting rainwater here are a few items that you will need to make your system successful:

  • You need to invest in gutters if you don't already have them on your home. Gutters are an essential part in directing your downspout to the barrel to collect water.
  • The rain barrel or tank. You can purchase a pre-made barrel for approximately $100 or a do-it yourself kit from you local hardware store starting for around $50.00.
  • A screen to filter out leaves, pine needles, or any other debris found on your roof. Simply mount a removable screen to the top of the barrel or at the bottom of the downspout. And remember to keep your gutters clean. Clean gutters will cut down on debris and clogs to your rain barrel.
  • A lid to protect your rain barrel from mosquitoes breeding in the water and to keep other small animals and children out of the barrel.
  • Last but not least, you will need a distribution device. Attach a spigot with an on/off valve or a short hose to the bottom of the barrel. This will allow you to access the water and use where needed.

Looking to get started? If a drought busting rain barrel system is right for you think about contacting the locally owned and operated Mr. Handyman in your area - were ready to help you cross of this home improvement project from your to-do list.