Hurricane Dolores – the same one whose moisture just ravaged I-10 near the California/Arizona border spawned some isolated storms in SF Bay Area. Those storms arrived around 1AM on Sunday morning as signified by a tweet from @NWSBayArea.
— NWSBayArea (@NWSBayArea) July 19, 2015
It woke me up. Pounding rain on the roof, windows open, utter bliss. A few days before I had setup my rain barrels under the downspouts on our cabana. One was dry as of a month ago, the other was very close to going dry as well. The down pour was quick, as you can see by the cell in the photo above. It might have lasted 2.5 minutes. In those 2.5 minutes however, one barrel captured 1.75″ rain.
The water is pretty clear, the barrel is dirty. So what will I do with this free water?
I use it on my potted pepper plants and potted lemon and lime trees. Each wine bottle will supply the plant with about 10-15 days of water (depends on how hot and dry it is outside).
Tilting the barrel was the only way to get the water into the empty (and re-usable) wine bottles which I insert into teracota stakes which are buried in the pots. These stakes work by being inserted near the root zone of the plant. The moisture is transfered through the teracota and to the roots. The plant will only use as much as it needs, the rest stays in the wine bottle as a reservoir. When the bottle is empty and the stake is dry, its time to re-fill the bottle. Easy for someone that doesn’t have lots room or an irrigation station for potted plants. Plus, all the guess work is removed for when to water the plants.
I was able to fill 7 – 750ml wine bottles or 1.4 US gallons. I still had water left over. See the pictures below of all the different pots/planters those wine bottles went into.
I still had left over water in the barrel, now much cleaner than before.
The point is it’s the middle of July and it rained. I captured what I could off one small roof into a blue rain bin. I have now saved and reused this water in the garden versus letting it run down the street. This saves the need for water from the tap, saving the cost to treat and pump that water to the house.
Everyone should take part in rain water harvesting. It reduces our dependence on potable water which saves our water supplies. I highly recommend it!