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Drought Insurance for Your Organic Garden

Posted by admin on Nov 16, 2009 under organic garden

Water is getting scarce and I sometimes worry about having enough for my organic garden. This year was particularly bad because we have had three years of drought. The community I live in restricted water usage and I was worried that I would not have enough water to keep all of my plants alive. So, with my husbands help, I built a rain collection system to help with watering my organic garden.

My husband and I cut the downspouts on two of our gutters and screwed flexible hosing on to the downspouts which directed rainfall into two 55-gallon barrels. These barrels were elevated off the ground by about 10 inches by putting cinder blocks under the barrels. We cut a one inch hole at the bottom of each barrel and connected a faucet to each one. The added elevation allowed me to either connect a hose to the faucet or to put a bucket under the faucet. Now, with what little rain we had been getting, I had additional water for my organic garden.

I was amazed at how quickly those barrels filled when it did rain. It’s amazing how much rainfall is shed off the top of your house. Making this rain collection system was easy and I now know we should have done it a long time ago. It is a simple way to save water (and money) even if you don’t have a drought.

In case you decide to build a similar system, here are some additional tips:

Save yourself some work. Place the barrels as close as you can to your organic garden.

Try to place the barrels in a shaded area. Water evaporates quickly in the sun.

If you can, obtain an offset diverter. Connect this to your downspout so that you can divert the rainfall either into the barrel or onto the ground. This is helpful once your barrels are full of water.

Cut several 1″ holes towards the top of the barrels. This will allow water to drain from the barrels when they are full. Glue screen over these holes to keep mosquitoes and other insects out.

Place organic BT dunks in the water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

Establish a friendly overflow. These barrels will fill up quickly when it rains. Keep the overflow away from the foundation of your house.

These rain barrels have been a big help in keeping my organic garden alive. For added help, watch this video:



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  1. rik2u Said,

    For over 20 years now I have tried to be as “earth friendly” as possible. I started my own Victory Garden, Compost pile, rainwater harvesting, making my own rain barrels, planted Florida natural plants to help preserve my land from errossion.

    Now, I’ve got a great idea for everyone that is using their rain gutters to channel water into their rain barrels or cisterns. I used to hate cleaning my rain gutters until I went on line about a month ago and found a brand new raing gutter cleaning attachment for my wet/dry vac that actually vacuums all gutter debris, wet or dry, directly into my vac canister while I stay safely on the ground.

    When my canister gets full I simply dump all the debris into my compost pile or put around my plants as an extra layer of mulch, lessening the need for additional water during the dry season here in Florida.

    My gutters run cleaner, faster, and no stagnannt water to lure mosquitoes that breed West Nile Virus. I can’t get over how simple, easy, clean, and safe this new tool is and how it has cut my cleaning time in half.

    My Gutter Clutter Buster is the best gutter cleaning tool on the market today and I highly recommend it to all my friends, family, and associates. It would also make a great tool to start up a home business. If you live in an area where senior citizens live, or professionals that don’t have time to clean their gutters you could sure make some money with this tool. Very little investment needed to start up a business.

    Anyway, I sure hope my friends check out their web site at http://www.GutterClutterBuster.com and see if this great new tool can satisfy their needs as it has us. Happy Rainwater Harvesting !

  2. Water Saving Tips For Organic Growing | Organic Gardening How To Blog Said,

    […] I’ve previously written a “How To” article on this and you can read it at Drought Insurance For Your Organic Garden. If your collection system is big enough, you may never need to use city or well […]

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