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We usually complain when it rains, when we really should be embracing it. We should be saving rainwater for a sunny day - just like we save everything else for a rainy day. The dog days of summer will arrive soon enough and municipalities will issue watering restrictions. These restrictions can spell trouble for your garden if you have no other means of getting water to your plants than through your household water supply. However, if you’ve been collecting rainwater all along, your garden can be saved.
It wasn’t too long ago that rain barrels next to the side of a house or barn were common sights. During current times of environmental concern, they should be there again. There were never any good reasons to do away with them in the first place. Perhaps people thought that they were no longer needed when houses started being equipped with running water. Not having a rain barrel let other people know that you had achieved a certain status in the community. Or, maybe the wooden barrels used were considered eyesores. For whatever reason, not keeping the rain barrel was senseless.
Rainwater is the best water you can give your plants. It isn’t chemically modified (like your municipal tap water), it’s free and it’s always at the right temperature.
Collecting rainwater is quite simple. Although you can set buckets under your downspouts to catch the rain as it comes down, a rain barrel connected to your downspout is a much easier solution. And, for when it really pours (or if you want to catch every last drop of a rainfall), you can connect several barrels together. As one barrel gets full, excess rainwater will spill into the next barrel.
By saving rainwater for a sunny day, not only will you be protecting your garden from a potential summer drought, you will also ensure that your plants are getting the best possible water.
Article is courtesy of Lee Valley Tools Ltd.
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