My Handy Rain Barrel

There is a patch of day lillies at the back edge of the yard. I keep them watered as needed by using my rain barrel. The deer have walked by the lily patch so often they have worn a path. Most years, they eat the fresh buds before they bloom, robbing me of the pleasure of seeing them in their glory. This year was no exception. Maybe I need a tall fence.

A few years ago, our city offered to pay home owners half of the cost of rain barrels, butterfly gardens, rain water retention projects, etc., up to $750. I considered installation of a barrel before I read the announcement in the city newsletter. That news prompted me to go ahead with the plan.

This is my small garden arrangement on the south side of the house. There are two terraces full of rich soil. I rotate my crops of pole beans, basil, tomatoes, peppers, etc. Because it is on the south side of the house, the soil dries quickly. Watering is needed often. I got tired of dragging a hose to the garden and returning it. So, I put the barrel at the high end near the down spout with a hose attached I can leave in place.

I cut the down spout off and attached the flexible section. When the barrel is low, I can place that flexible piece on the barrel to catch more water with the next rain. It takes 0.1″ of rain to add 12″ of water to the barrel. There are overflow hoses at the top of the barrel. There is a shut off valve where the watering hose is attached near the bottom. The top has a screen filter to keep creatures out and mosquitoes from being a problem. I am very happy with the set up. The total cost with shipping was about $120. The city verified the plan ahead of time, gave me the go ahead, and paid half upon inspection when done.

The upper terrace this year has Celebrity tomatoes. I like them for their flavor and size. The plants are growing very well this year. It has been a very good year for the garden. The tomato crop will be abundant. We will freeze bags of them for use in the winter months. There is also some sweet basil on the near side of the tomato plants. And, there are a few leaves of rhubarb in front of the basil. I have harvested 3 batches of the rhubarb.

The lower terrace has pole beans and cherry tomatoes. They are all excellent this year. Do you see the wire fencing in front of the pole beans? Deer love to eat bean leaves. So far, no problem with that.

The great thing about this arrangement is how easy it is to water. I can pull the hose to the plants and give them a drink. It takes only a few minutes. No more dragging hoses around the corner from the faucet.

How about your gardens? Do you have some useful arrangements to make your life easier? What is going on with you today? I’d like to hear from you.

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9 thoughts on “My Handy Rain Barrel

    • Thanks. I have two critter challenges, deer and chipmunks. The chipmunks burrow all around under things. So far, it is a stalemate. The Bill Murray imagery is funny.

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  1. Wow, I love your rain barrel design! Well done! I like gardening, but with my lifestyle of moving around so often it’s kinda impractical to have one myself. I have to be satisfied with taking part in the gardens wherever I happen to be currently living – such as the gardens I was fortunate enough to have use of while I was house-sitting this summer. NOTHING tastes as good as home grown veggies!

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  2. Fabulous lily~ wow. The Chicago Botanic Garden has had success with stringing black string around areas they want to keep deer out of. They put it about shoulder height, and then probably lower too. The deer can’t see what they are brushing up against and freak out and leave. Or so I’m told.

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