Saturday, July 10, 2010


“All of life grows at one's own door step." -- Lao Tzu

All gardeners look out there windows today and release a collective sigh of relief.


Desperate, thirsty plants are expressing their version of relief as well. After such a stretch of scorching dry heat, many people are contemplating the benefits of rain barrels.

"Anyone with a roof on planet Earth can harvest rain water. From Mexico City to Calcutta or Los Angeles to Beijing. One inch of rain fall on a 1,000 foot surface will yield approximately 500 gallons of soft, untreated rain water. It’s a huge source of water as close as your nearest down spout. So liberate your down spout today and harvest the rain!"

-Dan Borba
Harvesting Rain Water Since 1999

In the simplest set-up, a rain barrel with an open top is placed underneath a gutter downspout, catching rainwater runoff from the roof. We carry rain barrels that hold 50 gallons of water and have screening devices for keeping out debris and insects. The tanks are made from polyethylene and are dark colors to prevent algae growth. They rain barrels cost $135 and we offer matching stands ($65).

(If you pay for municipal water, how much will your water bill be this quarter after watering your parched garden every evening?)

"The rain just goes so much further. I feel like for every five or so gallons of municipal water, one or two gallons of rainwater will do the same thing. My plants are so happy now," says one rain-collecting gardener, Ms. Gregory.

Greener plants were not, however, the original motivator that prompted Ms. Gregory to investigate rain harvesting. "Rain is free, and what pushed me at first was the cost of water," she says. "We keep track of what we use, factored out what we needed, and have found this is a practical solution."

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