Catching the Rain
Rain has made only sporadic appearances this winter. And as spring approaches, the importance of water conservation is once again in the spotlight. One of the many ways to offset water usage, and possibly retaining the beauty of your garden with a clear conscience, is by collecting rainwater.
On average, for every inch of rain that falls on a 1,000-square-foot home, as much as 600 gallons of water can be caught (by strategically positioning reservoirs under downspouts). One of the most basic ways is using a rain barrel. Holding up to 50 to 60 gallons, these barrels can be found at most larger hardware stores and come in a variety of styles, usually with some sort of downspout diverter (or intake line) and spigot.
For larger amounts of water storage, there are cisterns. Historically these have been underground tanks, but several companies sell a variety of tank sizes that can be placed outside either for more general home and day-to-day use, or near the garden for direct irrigation.