Rain Barrel Update

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And to make the rain barrels even better, Hubby set up the third barrel while I wad out of town for work! Now we have three barrels, and they are built around the corner of the garage.

This way, they take up less space, and when we build the greenhouse they will be easily accessible for watering all of my future plants! Hubby even put in an overflow hole on the third barrel which will flow into the original concrete downspout collection thing, to prevent erosion of the soil below the rain barrel. Best. Husband. Ever.

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Rain Barrel DIY

I have been wanting a greenhouse for the longest time, and finally Hubby and I are in a position that we are price shopping, and trying to get ideas for building one. This is incredibly exciting for me! I plan on having a beautiful greenhouse that has room to store all of our yard tools like the lawn mower and weed eater, as well as my extra pots, shelves for potted plants, a sink for washing out my used pots, and an area to store my composter, because one of the dogs has decided that is HIS. And trust me, no one else wants to touch it after he has “claimed it”.  So, inside the greenhouse it goes!

We had a great weekend planned.  Saturday we were going to the City Wide Garage sales that Needville does twice a year. It’s pretty great – they print out a map of all the houses that registered to have a garage sale that weekend, and they even have a little description of what will be there. So much fun! However, the sales in the Spring are usually better (Spring Cleaning and all) so the ones last weekend were pretty disappointing. We spent a whopping $0.75. I bought a necklace for $0.50 and Hubby bought a meat thermometer for the grill for $0.25. I know. Big Spenders.

But after the garage sales, we made the best of it by getting some barrels to make rain barrels. We know of a man who owns a car wash and always has his extra plastic drums for sale. This time he didn’t have any of the big 55-gallon blue drums.

 

All he had were three 15-gallon plastic drums that contained car wax. All we had to do was wash them out and they were good to go! And the best part was, he could never find anyone that wanted those containers, so he gave them to us for free! My favorite word!

We set them off to the side as a “we’ll get to it” project, and went tra-la-la through the rest of the day. The next day, I had tickets for the Houston Home and Garden Show. Yes, I was dragging my husband to the Home and Garden Show, but the idea was to get Greenhouse ideas, and hopefully speak with a greenhouse company, to get some ideas on pricing, design, and where we can save money the best.

There was not a single greenhouse company there.

There was ONE landscaping company there.

That was the ONLY “garden” related vendor at the Home and GARDEN show. We were so disappointed. Instead, we got hasseled by every salesman asking if we wanted to replace our windows, build a new home, remodel our existing home, built a deck, or put in a jacuzzi. We were there for less than an hour. So again, to make the best of our day, Hubby tried to find any kind of greenhouse company we could in the GPS (no, we still don’t have smart phones, get off my back!) but couldn’t really find much. So instead we went to Home Depot and got all the stuff we needed to make rain barrels!

Spigots, a down-spout funnel, 1 inch PVC, approx. 2 feet long, and Epoxy

$26 later, we had what we needed to make 2 super awesome rain barrels.  We had a third container, but didn’t think we would need it. Our plan was save it for later, or give it away, but we would figure it out later.

As we planned this out, we realized how easy this really would be. I pointed out where I wanted holes drilled, and Hubby drilled them.

The spigots didn’t fit right off the bat from drilling because the drill bit measured the inside diameter of the hole in the pipe, not the outside diameter of the pipe itself. So we had to do some redneck engineering on that, but got it done.

A little redneck engineering never hurt anybody

After we got the holes to the right size in two barrels, I mixed up the epoxy and squished the spigots into place, and Hubby drilled screws in also, to cover all the bases. While I was doing that, Hubby was attaching screen to the top of the barrel to prevent debris from getting into the barrels.

Ready…Set…Cure!

Next we cut holes near the top of the barrels to attach them together via PVC pipe, and put them outside to hook up to the gutter.

Hubby, flattening out the area where we were going to put the barrels.

Once we got the down-spout funnel attached to the gutter, we attempted to use caulking and glue it to the top of the barrel. Then we caulked the PVC pipe on the outside of the barrel to prevent leaking.

Then it started to rain.

Rain filling the rain barrels

We thought, ‘wow what a perfect time to test them out!’ Of course, the caulking hadn’t had time to dry, but it turned out not to matter. The rain barrels filled up and began to over-flow within just a couple hours! We sat on the porch watching the rain, enjoying how much water we were going to save by watering the yard and my plants with rainwater, when the first barrel filled and began to run over into the second barrel, just as we planned. We were over-joyed! The project worked, it was easy, and cheap! And then the second barrel started to over-flow. ‘Good thing we have that other barrel!’  And then we hooked up a hose to the second barrel to let it drain into the yard. And then the first rain barrel started to over-flow. We ended up having to leave both spigots open and draining into the yard to that we wouldn’t get a massive flood into the house because of the barrels’ location! For several hours, Hubby and I would run outside into the pouring rain, check to make sure nothing had broken loose or that there wasn’t about to be a tidal wave of rainwater headed toward the house, and then run back inside, laughing hysterically.

We are planning on going from car wash to car wash asking the attendants for empty containers, and lining the garage and probably the fence with rain barrels. Or at least making the one we already have into a rain barrel. Baby steps, people.

Step one toward building an amazing greenhouse, get a water source to that part of the yard. Check. And apparently, very successfully.

Step two toward building an amazing greenhouse, find a greenhouse no one wants, and take it 🙂

Think that’s how it will work out? Who knows….people get rid of weird stuff

 

Shiner standing in the rain, wondering why we are standing in the rain and yelling at him to get out of the rain.