Years ago, my sister and I lived in the same subdivision. It was a new subdivision, and we each had yards about 1/4 of an acre. We lived in south St. Louis county where the soil was a nice, dense clay. Our summers were hot and humid, and it was work – and money – to have a nice lawn. When it rained, she said it was pennies from heaven.
Dan and I now live in St. Charles, MO. We’ve been here for 8+ years, and our home is on what is called a zero lot line. When looking at our house, the left side of our house is the property line. On the right side, the neighbor’s house is the property line. So, we have a small side yard on the right of our home. In the back, there is an alley right behind our single car attached garage. There is no backyard.
In the front, we have shrubs and mulch. On the side, we have river rock, a small patio and more shrubs and mulch. The only grass on our property is between the sidewalk and the street in front of our home. Our home is only one room wide, so there is hardly any grass! We love not having weekly yard work!
With the side yard and various planters and pots, I have enough to satisfy any inklings to plant and to grow. Our summers get very hot which requires daily watering for many of the plants. Having paid water bills for a number of years, I wanted a more economical solution.
So, I purchased a rain barrel.
I paid about $90 for it. It’s a lot, but I wanted a nice looking rain barrel. I also knew it would eventually pay for itself – which it has. In general, this rain barrel supplies enough leftover rain water for me to water everything in my pots and planters as well as a number of plants in the ground, including the rose bush seen here. This is our 8th year for the rain barrel, and I rarely use water from the house/hose for watering.
A surprise benefit of using my rain barrel was a large reduction in my use of Miracle Grow. The plants seem to thrive and grow much better with rain barrel water rather than tap water.
Each year, we do replace the plastic hose from the gutter to the barrel. This costs about 60 cents each year. Toward the end of fall, we drain the barrel and detach the front hose for the coming winter. I’ve thought about putting a 2nd rain barrel towards the front of the house, so I wouldn’t have to carry my watering can to the front 2 or 3 times an evening. However, it’s not that far, and it is more steps for me. Maybe someday.
A search online would, I am sure, give one many ideas on how to build a rain barrel. Back when I searched, I didn’t find many used ones for sale. However, there are many cute designs for sale online. I haven’t seen any another rain barrels in my neighborhood. Too bad – maybe someday.
I love my rain barrel, and I would say those pennies from heaven have turned into dollars.