Spring has arrived in Texas and my flowers and garden are going crazy. I have high hopes this year, with the addition of our composting bin and two new rain barrels. I may even consider trying the lasagna gardening method… but more on that later. I went to a gardening class in Lewisville, and learned alot about gardening in Texas (far different than Montana). It turns out that rain barrels, not only help conserve water, but your garden and plants like rain water much better than treated water. We ended up ordering two barrels off of Amazon. With new laws being passed to encourage water conservation, most likely you will pay no tax or shipping. The state of Texas has passed a law that prohibits HOA’s to restrict the color/size or placement of rain barrels. Now anyone with any budget can make their home more environmentally friendly. I spent between $60 – $70, per barrel, but there are cheaper options. You can check out the DIY site www.hometalk.com, which has tutorials on how to make a rain barrel from a plastic garbage can.
Here’s how we installed our barrels:
1.) We built stands for each barrel to make it easier to use and will consider to link all the barrels together in the future to prevent overflow.
2.) Depending on the barrel you purchase, you may need to consider changing out the spigot. These barrels came with a plastic version that leaked.
3.) Use a hacksaw to cut your metal gutter at the needed level to divert the water into the barrel. Any home improvement stores will offer various arms to attach to your gutter.
How much $$ I save on my water bill has yet to be established and will of course depend on rainfall, but I can already see the difference for my plants and garden. I hope everyone will consider adding a rain barrel and trying a few seeds of your own. I will warn you, it’s addicting!