When it Rains, it Pours – or Not

Wasn’t I just complaining about how much rain we’ve been getting?

Yeah, that’s what I thought…

Well, the truth is that we were getting a lot of rain – which if one is prone to doing some gardening – can be a good thing.

About 5 years ago we purchased three 50-gallon rain barrels.  An environmental and financial good idea.  Water with the rainfall, save some cash and divert some of the water from the over-worked storm sewers.  And for 5 years it’s been a very win-win situation.

One of the lessons we have learned is that during a typical summer rain storm, the amount of roof run-off into the gutters then into the rain barrels is amazing.  50 gallons fills in virtually no time at all.  After about a 2 hour steady rain – 150 gallons of rain water is at our service.

Only on very rare occasions have we had to resort to dragging out the dreaded hose to water our flowers and vegetables.  When droughts happen, 150 gallons of rain water seems to get used almost as quickly as the barrels got filled up.

With all of the vegetable garden expansion we’ve done over the past two summers, along with sacrificing more and more lawn for additional bed space and berry bush plantings – we have a lot more green stuff to water, so the need for additional rain water collection became especially apparent.  We have been tearing through and draining the rain barrels faster than ever before.  Fortunately we did have a pretty wet Spring, but more rain barrels were needed – there was no doubt about that.

So we purchased and combined 3 more barrels into our system – doubling our capacity.

two behind our garage and

two more beside our deck.

We have a third set on the driveway side of the house as well – but I think you get the picture 🙂

Our now 300 gallon rain water capacity should serve us well as we move into the heat of summer 2011.


All we need now is some actual rain to fill them…


6 Responses to “When it Rains, it Pours – or Not”

  1. 1 Holyoke Home July 8, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    We got some rain here in western Massachusetts today, did you get some of that? We really need to get on board the rain barrel wagon. It makes SO MUCH sense!

  2. 2 Michele July 8, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    We had 5 minutes of rain this morning, nothing to write home about. If you get them you wont regret it. Check around your area if anyone has used food grade 50-60 gal barrels. Installing is very easy.

  3. 3 Kate July 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Rain barrels seem like such a good idea to me. We don’t have one, but I’d like to get one. I need to find out if our HOA would approve it though. I don’t see any in our neighborhood though so I’m not sure…

  4. 4 Michele July 16, 2011 at 2:13 PM


    We are one of a few in our whole city who does this – but always check with codes and such. Our city needs for as much water as possible to stay out of the storm drains which is why this is allowed.

  5. 5 Karen Anne July 19, 2011 at 7:01 AM

    Our town actually sells rain barrels cheaply to residents.

  6. 6 Michele July 19, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Karen Anne….you are soooo lucky, we found them kinda cheap in a city not far from here.

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