Rain,

I don’t mind. Shine, the weather’s fine.

As a gardener, I love when it rains. It means I don’t have to do any of the watering for a while. I need to set up a drip system, but for now I hand water everything. Many times that means I’m out in my garden 9:00 at night after getting everyone to bed. Luckily in the middle of summer it’s still light out. But right now it means watering in the dark.

Last year we bought a rain barrel. I researched on-line about making our own, but I really wanted to make sure that our container was food grade plastic. If you’re using a rain barrel just for flowers or your lawn, any plastic container could work, but I’d still be cautious as plastic that heats up leaches out many bad chemicals. Since it would still take time to find a food grade container, we decided to buy from a local business. And they are actually just up the street from us. Check out Rain Barrels Iowa for more information about collecting and using rain water. Here is a diagram from their website explaining an average household’s water usage and how a rain barrel can really help.

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Steve made a great stand for the rain barrel, which is a used jalapeno barrel. We added a diverter to the downspout, so we can easily switch when rain goes into the barrel or straight out of downspout. The rain barrel also has an overflow outlet for when it fills. And it seems that it doesn’t take much for it to fill!

What can you use the water for in your rain barrel? Every kind of non-potable use. Water your veggie or flower garden. Water your houseplants, wash your windows or your car. You can even use it for laundry. I use it for my woodland garden (lots of ferns and hostas), as well as over in the fairy garden where a hose doesn’t reach. I also fill a container to sprinkle over my compost pile.

So while some people grumble about rain, I relish in it. I know my gardens are getting a good soaking and the rain barrel is filling up. Plus, after living in Portland, OR for 16 years I find the rain (and humidity) is really good for my skin and hair.

Rain, I don’t mind.

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