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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saving Money For Next Year's Vegetable Garden: Collecting Rain Water in Barrels

West Nile StoryIn the Northern Hemisphere, we're in the rainy season right now. (The suggestions in this post apply to the Southern Hemisphere, too.) If you've decided to have a little garden for your vegetables, it's probably a little late this year. But if you've got the space and the means, get yourself a good rain barrel (available at garden supply and home improvement stores). It's a perfect time to collect rainwater, and using a fine mesh screen you can filter out dirt and mosquitos (they breed in large bodies of water and carry West Nile Virus). Position your barrel underneath the drainpipe, if you live in a house. Or if you have a friend or neighbour that lives in a house, ask them if they'd mind. You can keep the water in the barrel all year. Just make sure that before winter comes, cover the barrel before the water level reaches the top. You'll want to leave several inches of space, since ice expands. BTW, if you can't find a barrel you like, the Center for Watershed Protection has a 2-pg PDF brochure on building a rain barrel.

When the spring thaw comes, if you have a barrel with a spout, fill up a bucket to water your seedlings with. Having a barrel with a faucet's probably a good idea if you've got the barrel over with a friend. That way, you won't have to move the barrel around. And just think, with all the "conserve water" days that some communities had this year (at least in North America), your garden will be nice and lush and you won't have to break the law, or spend money on water. And the money you save growing your own vegetables and herbs will pay back the cost of the barrel, probably in one growing season.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash,

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  • From Canada
  • Writer, author, former magazine editor and publisher, amateur photog, amateur composer, online writer/ blogger, online publisher, freelancer

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