Is there a rain barrel in your future? Should you ask for one for your birthday? Nothing says love like a rain barrel! How much water do you use on your landscaping? The water bill tells all.
Most Americans use 40% of their water on their lawn/outdoor plants. So if that water is nearly free from a rain barrel, you are saving about 40% on your water bill. All that free water is just running off your roof into the ground!
Do you have a vegetable garden? That 40% estimate does not include any water used to grow vegetables. If you have a vegetable garden of any size you should seriously consider a rain barrel. Those plants need a lot of water! Fruit trees grow bigger and better fruit with frequent watering too. You can even wash your car with rain water!
I’m lucky enough to live in a climate that gets enough rain most years to keep the lawn and outdoor plants growing well. Our gardens have only drought-tolerant perennials. I usually have a pot or two of geraniums by the front door that I can water easily with “gray water” from inside the house. We mulch about 6 inches deep around our shrubs to conserve rain water & never need to water them. We get enough rain to keep our lawn green most years and almost never have to water it. If a patch of lawn dies out we just reseed it in the fall. When our kids were small I’d set up the wading pool near an area that got dry all the time. When they were finished playing in the water we’d pour the water out over the dry spot.
Check the lawn centers and big hardware stores for sales on rain barrels this time of year. You can also find them online. A rain barrel could pay for itself in one growing season & continue saving water for you for many years to come! Be sure your rain barrel has a locked cover to prevent children from falling in. If you’re thinking a rain barrel is too ugly for your outdoor space you haven’t seen the latest designs–some look like beautiful pots.
So if your water bill is crazy high, say yes to the rain barrel! And enjoy the savings through the entire growing season year after year.