Make-Do Monday: Makeshift Rain Barrel

Although  it really isn’t high on the priority list, we would like a rain barrel.   Our gutters are in bad shape and do to be replaced this summer, but for now they leak at the seams.  A lot.

It has been really dry here.  Sandy soil doesn’t help moisture matters either.  We water the main plantings at least every other day to keep them looking good.  Before we got some rain that was predicted and much anticipated, Dan was straightening things up in the shed when he uncovered an old kitchen garbage can, the tall 13 gallon size.  He put it at he corner of the house under a particularly leaky seam.  It was almost full after that rain.  We used it up quickly that week to water the garden.

Our makeshift rain barrel after a recent rain.

Our makeshift rain barrel after a recent rain.

So there it still sits, looking a bit odd when all is dry and the sun is out.  When it rains it makes a decent substitute for a rain barrel until the gutters get replaced and we move a real rain barrel up the priority list.

How do you make-do?  Check out some other clever make-do solutions at Ann’s every Monday.



Filed under Gardening, Making Do

8 responses to “Make-Do Monday: Makeshift Rain Barrel

  1. I was just reading a NYTimes story that said it’s now legal to collect rain in Colorado (it was against the law until now). So I was thinking about rain barrels when, voila, your link popped up for Make-do Mondays! I want to do this, too–use “harvested” water, as the article described it, to water the garden. What a great, practical, ecological solution that makes-do three ways (helping out the leaky gutters while providing much-needed water for the garden–making-do with a “found” container). Great post!

    • smalltownsimplehome

      Thanks Ann, I love your make-do Mondays! Some county agencies here in MN even sell rain barrels, so it never occurred to me that it might not be accepted in other areas. I have two square foot garden raised beds that I water with a couple of five gallon buckets of water instead of a hose or sprinkler so the rain barrel works great all over my yard for pots of things and the gardens. We only use sprinklers when it gets really dry and the lawn needs it. Good luck setting something up…I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it work.

  2. Pingback: Make-Do Mondays: Fountain Grass «

  3. Carla

    We have saved water by the 2 following methods, and while they didn’t save a huge amount, I figure that any savings that doesn’t cost me anything or have a lot of time invested is good:

    1. My husband planted elephant ear bulbs next to the air conditioner drain. They were some of the biggest ones we ever had (and we never watered them with the hose).
    2. I wash dishes by hand and it takes a little while for the hot water to get to the kitchen from the hot water heater. So while I run the water from the hot tap into an empty, clean milk jug and use it to water outside plants. It takes nearly 2 gallons for the water to get hot. And on busy days I wash the dishes 3 times, so that’s a savings of 2-6 gallons a day =60+ gallons a month.

    • smalltownsimplehome

      Thanks for stopping by Carla! I like your tips. I usually capture that cold water when I’m waiting for the hot to finally get to the tap, but sometimes just don’t think of it.

  4. Cool Make-Do! I keep thinking we need rain barrels and this year it would have been awesome. We almost had the wettest June ever in Utah, at least in Salt Lake City. I live south of there, but still we had tons of rain too.

    We would still be watering with rainwater instead of using our hoses and sprinklers.

    Thanks for sharing. Maybe we will both get our systems made for the next big rains? I doubt I will, because mine has to be totally done with Make-Do-ness. Just the way it has to be……

    Good luck with your system. And thanks so much for letting us see how you and your husband made-do.

    • smalltownsimplehome

      Thanks for stopping by! We do a LOT in the make-do fashion too, so I understand. We’ve wanted a rain barrel for quite some time but I still don’t think we’ll get it all set up this year. Once we get our new gutters we might have to scrounge around for a little shorter container and then leave the last piece of downspout off so we can at least still collect a little rain. It has been surprising how fast it fills, even in a light rain.

  5. Pingback: Garden Update: July 3 « Small Town ~ Simple Home

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