April showers have brought us May flowers, and there will be plenty of other outdoor blooms and greenery to maintain in the months to come. More rain may be on the way, and with domestic water shortages continuing in many parts of the country, the time is right to think about collecting that rainwater to irrigate your yard.
Rainwater collection is actually a time-honored tradition, dating back to the days before municipal water facilities. Although rainwater isn’t for drinking or watering edibles, it’s perfect for use with your lawn and landscaping. Start with a rainwater collection area, also known as your roof. Transport rainwater to a collection point via clean, clear roof gutters and downspouts. Gutters with riveted seams are best, since they don’t leach lead into the water.
Finally, position a rain barrel beneath a downspout to collect rainwater. Your local home center or nursery should have nice a range of high-tech, toxin-free resin, fiberglass and concrete barrels, all designed to inhibit algae growth. Most are also equipped with a spigot so you can hook up your hose or garden soaker for easy, convenient watering. From there, enjoy the free water supply, courtesy of Mother Nature. Your landscaping and your wallet will thank you!