Make Rain Barrels a Fun Feature of Your Garden — Not an Ugly Tool to Hide!
With weather becoming highly changeable in recent years, it’s a good idea to be prepared for just about anything. Sure we can get sopping wet weather, but we can also get dry spells too. And those dry spells can last longer or happen more frequently nowadays. Keep your plants watered and save on water bills or wells by adding a rain barrel to your garden. The benefits are many — the least of which is no longer having to haul, drag and then recoil a hose pipe!
Set up the rain barrel by the house under the downspout that channels water from the eaves-trough. You can also add a rain barrel if you have a larger garden with a shed. Read here for helpful tips in setting one up.
But don’t be turned off if the conventional plastic models don’t suit your style! There are new shopping options plus many ways to turn a potential eyesore into an attractive or funky element in any garden.
While there is nothing wrong with the plastic barrel look — especially when creatively surrounded by plants with texture and colour — you still might want to dress it up as with these covering ideas.
If you like the wood theme, consider reusing an old wine barrel. It’s a classic look that blends in beautifully with most any garden.
If you have an artistic side or want to give your kids a place to express themselves then check these out for inspiration!
There are now more options when buying a rain barrel, from styled plastic to ceramic that also allow for plants grown at the top.
Whatever the garden or location, a rain barrel can be a fun, attractive addition to your space, and a great step toward making your garden wildlife-friendly!
I have several rainbarrels. How do I ensure that the insides are clean and don’t carry bacteria.
My first rainbarrel’s design only has a narrow tube leading from the downspout into the barrel.. I disconnect this for the winter and try to empty the barrel as much as possible. Though I’m sure that there is sediment from the roof shingles at the bottom, since there is no mesh covering the small receptacle into the barrel.
Any suggestion please.
I am not sure there is any way to ensure there is no bacteria in the rain barrel. I think the key thing is to minimize the chances of any harmful ones growing which I do at home by using it regularly. If I felt a need I would fully empty maybe once in the summer by using it up and tipping out the last bit I couldn’t reach and letting it dry out before it refills. You could also give it a quick rinse with the hose. In the fall, I turn it upside down completely so it drains and dries.
As to the roof shingle material or oils going into the barrel, you will notice the sediment at the bottom of the barrel once you get to empty it. As to the oil, that tends to be more of a problem after a heat wave, from what I have seen, in which case the first rain after a heat wave you might want the water to go to the lawn vs the barrel.
Either way, you might want to use the water for ornamental plants vs edible ones just to be on the safe side.
I hope this helps!