Rain barrels

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

My son got interested in rain barrels. He made a couple calls...and when I got home tonight there were two big white drums under my deck.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Sally, I've got one heck of a rain barrel, I collect part of mine in a 25k gal. pool. LOL I hope he has you set up by the fall swap, I'd love to see it. Ric

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

LOL your barrel- got me beat!
These are 30 gallons. I'm going to look online for fittings that may use the existing threaded openings... seems like they must make pumps for these barrels, what else might they have-- can I turn them upside down, use sturdy made fitting that screw into these openings for the drainage? And then cut a large hole in the bottom (now top) for a screened entry? Could be awesome...or NOT ROFL.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

The large plug has a smaller threaded part inside- Mark cobbled together a couple plumbing parts from our 20 years of projects in a used house and voila, we have a hose bibb. But note, this requires the barrel turned upside down on a base- which we have to build anyway so that whatever tap on the barrel would be above ground level. And for which, more scraps from more projects around the old house are readily available.

Looks like we'll be posting pictures sometime this week.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Look at this
and then quick tell me whats the first thing that comes to your mind.

I could never hang one of those on my house.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

It gets better- The large plugs in my barrel lid are called bung plugs. Must be a male dominated industry.

This place has lots of parts and ideas- some not so practical INHO for example, the giant flat cone to collect water without a roof edge? Fills the barrel with 8-9 inches of rain. If you GET that much rain the last thing you need for a while is a 50 gal barrel of it- am I right?

central, NJ(Zone 6b)


oh my too funny

I want to get a rain barrel, I'll add that to my list

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

geex Jen, you HAVE seen the price range right? The 120$ urn from Gardners Supply is one of the cheapest. Have you seen better prices locally?

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

it's crazy though, amazon.com you can find some high $80s and overstock has 1 for $103

Yep, best bet, making your own

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

We have a local guy that sells used 55gal. (mostly used for drink concentrates) PVC barrels for $10 ea. We have 8-10 we use to hold the cover on the pool up during the winter. I'm thinking of using a couple for rain barrels out front. Most are black or blue, but Krylon paint works well on them. I cut them in half and cut 2" holes in them for growing containers for the garden. I "camoed" my potato pots so they are not outstanding in contrast to the garden. Ric

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Those used 55 gal are the best bet cost wise. I need to call our local Pepsi plant and see if they are selling them. I have read notes online about it but don't know if they are current information.
Good other use idea Ric. Let no big barrel go to waste, that's for sure.
One of my son's inquiries replied that their 30 gal barrels are recycled/ reused- good to know its not trashed. I find online sources for reconditioned barrels- for 30 bucks.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Last night's rain yielded 25 galllons in my barel. The flow rate from the drain garden hose on it was about 1/2 gal per minute. So it would take me nearly an hour to move the hose around and use the rain barrel to water individual areas in the vegetable garden. I could do that along with weeding or harvesting. A bigger drain tap would help of course. I can't elevate the barrel because it gets water from the shed roof edge.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

We only got 1/10"of rain last night, but I think about a foot of lightning. LOL Ric

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

LOL Ric!!
Fifteen yr old and I ventured out to see the rain barrel's progress. One bolt, lit up the ground like daytime. I was looking down, he looked up and saw an amazing bolt, he said. It was far away by that time.

Warrenton, VA

Watch out, Ric! It's a comin' yer way RIGHT NOW! I just got blasted with a severe thunderstorm!
Oh, as far as buying rainbarrels, is that like spending MUCH MORE to get an electric car, only to find that the batteries are very expensive, and with the doggone lightning wiping out power, well, there (doesn't) go your electric car...

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

We had a 10-15 min downpour last evening, didn't amount to squat. Everything was so hot it just vaporized making in seem worse. We had fog this morning at 77*F. Today we were overcast at least 50% of the day, so the temp and humidity sort of balanced out. As temps rose it became drier. We may get some over night thunder storms and tomorrow is to be overcast, cooler, and no rain predicted. Ric

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

I wanna rain barrel now - getting the DIY ones to work seems...well...complicated though....ugh

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

YUK Ric. We are right now getting a slow rain shower and it is making a steam bath - can I dream that the plants can suck something up from it? Won't get to the roots.

Chantell- Don't even worry about a rain barrel. As this weather shows, whatever you had in May would be long gone and no rain to refill it. And takes up needed plant room in your yard. Somebody responded nicely to my article and said Go big or go home!. If you're going to really use rain, you need significant storage capacity. a la Ric, 25 K gal.

We looked again at putting one by the driveway. But we don't want to cut into the downspout. I wondered if we can take the elbow apart, up high, and just move it aside, then run a second down tube of some kind into a barrel. I think there's potential. But its not worth it at the moment.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Yep, no rain = no need for rain barrel!

When our rains do come there is the increasing possibility that they will be deluges rather than that gentle soaking rain we gardeners love. So how to conserve some of what falls on our land for the benefit of our spot before it all runs off into the Bay or elsewhere?

Just like we don't keep umbrellas continuously open, I'm thinking there are collapsible/stashable "collectors" for rain water...How about using one of those cheap hard plastic kiddie pools under a downspout for doggie drinks and bathing and plant watering?

As a kid, then when camping and living on our sail boat, we always collected what ever rainwater we could in whatever we had handy for bathing/washing, or a 'solar shower' fill up. Nothing like soft rain water for a remarkable shampoo!

Lots of ways and gadgets for moving water we collect around our yards. I'm happy that my downspout empties into the area that supports my ostrich fern colony and other thirsties (tropicals). The rock and lanscape timbers direct the downspout water to disperse over a wide area without flooding or eroding just that in the direct path.

Sally, it sounds like those barrels your son scored have an opening on the top that would fit a screw on hand operated pump so you coule 'empty' the rain collected from the top rather than depend on ( what many do not have) a great enough down hill flow to reach our gardens from a spigot from the bottom or a syphon. I got mine at Ace and emptied 100 gals of heating oil in under 15 mins. The source for barrels may also be a source for the pumping aperatus that fits them.

Warrenton, VA

We have an old 1950's cinderblock cottage. There is a low spot in the gutter that gushes water during a rain. I bought a long plastic planter and placed it underneath. Voila! I get alot of water, and can use the planter if I wish, as well. Have to think of dual purposes as we have so little room...

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Talk about water re-directing.....
This corner has a downspout--which comes from the gutters.
However---there is always such a copious amount of water running into my corner bed,
and right down to the foundation, that I resorted to purchasing one of those fold-up
downspout directors--more or less like fancy, schmancy splash-pan.

Because it does not really reach to the corner of the siding---I had to improvise.
Tried forever to find a rectangular funnel. Nope!
So--I cut off the top of a juice bottle and inserted it into the purchased downspout and positioned it so--
that it would collect all the water that sheets down from the siding and dumps it out outside the flower bed--
instead of right down to the foundation. Hope you "get" what i am talking about........

Here is the resourceful creation......HEY! It works!!!
The guys that were just here and replaced all my gutters and downspouts were kind enough
to screw this contraption in place. Mucho Gracias!

Thumbnail by Gitagal Thumbnail by Gitagal
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

QUE bueno, Gita!

Thanks for the ace pump tip coleup! Saving the water is one thing, MOVING it is another.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I like this site
especially the very unobtrusive downspout connector kit they sell.

Warrenton, VA

Hey Gita! Where's the DUCT TAPE? I dunno know about you...LOL! I'm just messing with ya! You did a GREAT job, and one truly to be proud of. I know that I'm proud of you! You really hit the heart of things - going green with all your recycling, and that it works, is a huge benefit. Way to go!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I like this site
because it explains a specific question I had a hard time answering elsewhere, AND sells good looking drip/ soaker hose systems that work with rain barrels (low pressure)

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Do you have the store 'Tuesday Morning' down there?

I just received an email from the for rain barrel 45gal 69.99
Looks EXACTLY like this one

great deal right????
I have to go get one!!!!!

central, NJ(Zone 6b)


Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Sorry Jen,
Yep, good deal there!
I personally won't be buying any, just not in the budget.

I added a coffee filter into my rain barrel fill area and it seems it helps keep the water clear. I'm hoping they fill up again with this weekend rain.

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

Beware of translucent rain barrels like you might get from Coca Cola. They get enough light to grow copious amounts of green algae.

I live in an area where rain is likely to be feast or famine. Saving it in rain barrels allows me to get more use out of the 5 inches that fall at once, then nothing for 2 months. Here in the city, most rainfall just runs off into the storm drains and heads for the Gulf before it can soak in to the ground where it is needed.

I have 6 rain barrels, two "pretty" ones I got at a discount and 4 that I fitted out myself from discarded food shpping containers like olives and vanilla. I spray painted with Krylon Fusion. I cut my downspouts to fit and where necessary used the flexible downspout directors to direct the water into the opening on the barrel. My arboretum conducts "how to build a rainbarrel" classes and the.y supply the class, barrels and fixtures for $55. I took the class and built some for me and some for my neighbors who could not attend.

I love the idea of camo-ing the barrels. Im going to do a couple of mine that way! Thanks, Ric

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Sally do you have Tuesday Morning stores down there???

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Thanks for the advice.
Have you found the algae would be a problem Ric? Gums up the works?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Jen, yes we do. But i have 60 gallons worth of recycled barrel and that's enough for now. It's just not cost effective for me on well water.

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