Have you ever noticed the way that everything outside seems much greener after a nice long rain?  It’s not just your imagination; there really is something special going on when grass and plants are able to drink the rainwater that nature provides.

Unless you live in a rural area, your tap water is probably treated with all sorts of chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride.  Watering your plants with this water is okay, but your gardens will be so much greener if they are drinking rainwater!   Using rain barrels to capture that rainwater each time you get a nice hard rain is a great way to conserve water, cut down on your water bill, and make your plants much greener, healthier, and happier.

Here at our home, we have a number of rain barrels.  The rain gutters are set up so that they direct the water into the top of the barrel, as shown in the picture above and below.

We use the water for watering all our potted plants, both indoors and outdoors.  Right now, we water our garden using soaker hoses on a timer from the city water faucet, but we plan to shift the soaker hoses over to a rain barrel soon, in time for the fall garden.

We notice a significant difference between the plants when they receive rainwater versus city water. They are greener, healthier-looking, produce more blossoms, and don’t need to be watered quite as often, either.

The rain barrel above is set up a little differently than the one previous.  You can see the bottom edge of the gutter a few inches above the barrel.  The top is open to the air but covered with a mesh screen, to keep bugs and leaves out.

You can purchase rain barrels at any home improvement store, or online at Amazon

.  However, many cities offer rebate programs for purchasing rain barrels. Check with your local water utility.

You can also make your own rain barrel system!  Here is a great video tutorial.

Do you have tips and tricks to share regarding rain water collection systems?  Have you ever used rain barrels?