A few weeks ago one of our readers, landscape architect Owen Dell, sent me a link to his blog where he takes on rain barrels. It’s a great analysis of the (im)practicalities of rain barrels and it got me to wondering how many of our readers (and my GP colleagues) use these as supplemental sources of irrigation water?
I have two in our back yard that were made from old olive oil containers retrofitted for collecting and dispensing water. They’re hooked together so that when one fills, the rain is diverted to the second.
We use this water pretty much for watering container plants, especially those on our south-facing front porch that require watering every other day during the summer. The barrels each hold 55 gallons and are always full during the winter and spring. We drain them almost dry over the summer, but even a brief rain results in several gallons collected.
So I think they’re a pretty good deal, since we use relatively little water from the hose to keep our container plants happy. But Owen brings up some valid points in his analysis, as do commenters on his blog.
What do you all think?