Collecting rainwater for your garden


Last year I decided to buy a 54 gallon barrel to collect rainwater for my growing fruit orchard on the side of my house.  I have a sprinkler system but every couple of weeks I like to give the trees a good soaking.  I have an asian pear, five apple trees, two dwarf peach trees and a pear tree with multiple different varieties grafted on one tree.  I have chosen to make them espalier or festoon trees (training on a cable or bending the branches).  That will be a topic for another day but the tree buds are breaking and flowering so I will include a few photos today.

Back to the rain barrel.  The last little rain we had filled the barrel about half full.  Today’s precipitation filled the barrel all the way.

I purchased my barrel at Home Deport and it was easy to install.  The only thing you can really screw up when installing the barrell is not getting the fill tube level.  If it is slanted either toward the downspout or the barrel the diversion device will not work properly and your water will continue on to the ground.  When installed level it works great.  The barrel has a valve on the bottom that you can hook a hose to or simply elevate the barrel to fill a bucket.

The water from the roof is dirty and contains some contaminates and pollution.  I don’t think these materials will do much harm to fruit trees but I probably would not water root crops with it.  In a heavy storm you can open the barrel valve and let the first rain water flush out the system and then close the valve to fill for cleaner water.  The water could be purified for human use if absolutely needed.

The vegetables are growing and I will include a few pictures of the progress.

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About urbancompostsystems

I am a retired law enforcement officer who is an avid gardener. I have a compost bin business named Urban Compost Systems. I believe strongly in the concept of growing healthy food and I utilize chickens and redworms in my "compost system". The only ingredients that I need from outside my system are leaves in the fall and some supplemental grass clippings from neighbors. I make hundreds of gallons of compost in my four bin system. I thoroughly enjoy the summer bounty I get from my yard and I take great pride in knowing that I am using my yardwaste to make healthy compost for my yard.
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