People usually use rain barrels for collecting rainwater. Typically, these rain collectors can hold between 30 and 100 gallons of rainwater runoff at a time.
Then, you can use that rainwater to water your plants lawn and landscaping in the garden. It is not considered potable water, and is meant for using on the exterior of the home.
Rain barrels are not that expensive to buy, and they are even cheaper it you decide to build one yourself. That said, money is money, and as long as we’re going to invest in a rain collection system, we might as well get the most use out of it that we can.
#1: Let rain barrels do some of the irrigation work for you.
Many of the rain barrels we see in pictures or catalogues have an attached hose for watering. (Besides being convenient for watering, an attached hose also prevents mosquitoes from accessing your water barrel fro the spigot – note to self.)
Anyways, Instead of connecting a hose, you might consider
attaching a drip irrigation system to the spigot and have it water a nearby garden. You could attach a battery-operated timer, but keep in mind that the water pressure will not be a strong as from a regular garden spigot. Position your rain barrel at a higher elevation and adjust the drip feeders accordingly.
#2 How to use a rain barrel as a water feature in your backyard
I have to admit, I kind of got this idea from someone else. This person had turned the top of her decorative planter into a bird bath instead of adding soil and plants to it. The birds loved it. I think this is a great way to make a rain barrel do double duty – and you don’t have to buy a bird bath!
Another solution is to add a water fountain pump to create your own trickling fountain in your backyard. This creates soothing sounds and is especially nice if you are trying to drown out other noises. There are even fountain pump kits with solar panels so that you don’t have to have an electrical outlet nearby. Plus – they are much less expensive (under $20) than buying a water feature by itself.
#3: How to use your rain barrel as a garden
Grow some stuff…
As you’ve probably noticed, there are several styles of decorative rain barrels that features garden planters on top. Of course, you can grow whatever you like. However, herb gardens or strawberry planters are especially nice to have. Plus, because they are elevated off the ground, you don’t have to worry so much about critters getting into them.