Posted: Jun 09, 2014 8:00 AM
 
No matter what climate you live in, most gardeners will occasionally need to hand water to keep their gardens growing. Rather than paying for water out of the tap, harness the runoff from your roof with your very own DIY rain barrel.

allParenting DIY rain barrel supplies

Supplies:

  • Large plastic barrel
  • Spray paint
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Hose spigot
  • Silicone plumbing tape
  • Screen
  • Scissors
  • Zip ties
  • Bricks or landscape pavers
  • Hacksaw
  • Flexible downspout

Directions:

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 1

First you will need a large barrel. I was able to pick one up from a local car wash for $15. Thoroughly rinse out the barrel, then let it dry.

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 2

Next, decide if you want to paint your rain barrel. Mine is in a location where it is visible to my neighbors, so I decided to give it a coat of spray paint. Painting has the added benefit of keeping sunlight out of the barrel, which will help reduce algae growth.

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 3

Once the paint has dried, use a drill bit to drill a hole near the bottom of the barrel. Make sure that the hole you create is no larger than the thread on the hose spigot.

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 4

Wrap a piece of silicone plumbing tape around the thread of the hose spigot.

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 5

Screw the hose spigot into the hole in the barrel. It should fit snugly without any leaks.

Note^If you have any leaking around the spigot, you can reinforce the seal with some clear silicone caulk.

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 6

Remove 1 of the screw-on caps from the barrel. Cut a piece of screen that is about 1 inch larger than the opening all the way around.

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 7

Use a zip tie to secure the screen to the opening of the barrel, then trim away the excess zip tie with scissors. The screen is important to keep debris and mosquitoes out of the rain barrel.

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 8

Find a level spot near a downspout where you will place your rain barrel. Stack a few bricks or landscape pavers to elevate the rain barrel. Place the empty rain barrel on top of the pavers.

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 9

Use a hack saw to cut off the downspout above the rain barrel.

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 10

Attach the flexible tubing to the downspout, then position the other end over the opening in the rain barrel.

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 11

The opening on the flexible tubing was just slightly larger than the barrel opening, so I used a zip tie to compress it and make it small enough to fit over the opening.

allParenting DIY rain barrel step 12

Add some pretty flowers to the top of the barrel for decoration, then wait for the next rainfall to begin harvesting your own rain water.

Rain barrel tips^

  • Rain barrel water should be for landscaping use only.
  • To keep algae at bay, you can add a few drops of bleach to your rain barrel. Once it is diluted it should not be harmful to your garden.
  • If you live in a cold climate, empty your rain barrel during a cold snap to avoid cracking from freezing water.

allParenting DIY rain barrel

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