April showers might bring May flowers, but that rain can also be harnessed for use in the dry summer months that can follow, or rerouted to your garden. Avoid getting caught without enough water to water your lawn or wash your car in the dry months by harnessing April rainwater in a rain barrel or rain garden!
Rain barrels can be small and portable or large, built-in tanks that collect runoff water from places like gutters and roofs. The top of the barrel is covered with a screen to keep out dirt, debris, and insects. Water from the barrel can be accessed through a spigot, tap, or hose, depending on the type of barrel purchased. Rain barrels are sold in sizes ranging from 34 to 300 gallons. The necessary size can be determined by using a rainwater yield table such as the table. As the chart indicates, hundreds of gallons of usable rainwater runoff can be collected from just one rainy day!
Rain gardens are gardens built in a depression, which allows runoff from roofs, roads, and other built up areas to be directed towards the garden. Although the water will not be saved for later use, as is the case with rain barrels, rain gardens allow for an easier and efficient, natural watering method.
A landscaper can help you determine whether a rain barrel or rain garden will fit your rain harvesting needs. Landscapers can also install a rain barrel, or design and plant a rain garden. The type of plants, size, and depression needed to create a successful rain garden are precise and dependent on the climate where you live, so it's best to employ a landscaper to help ensure a beautiful and functional rain garden.
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