How to set up a backyard rain barrel

May 15, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. ET
Image: Amy Vowles/SheKnows

It's amazing how much water can be collected from just one rainstorm. Don't waste tap water keeping your garden green. Instead, make the most of those rainy days by harvesting water for your garden with your own backyard rain barrel.

Having a rain barrel in your backyard is a great way to keep your garden green while still being eco-friendly. If a rain barrel install is on your summer to-do list, follow these easy steps to get the job done right.

Supplies:

  • Rain barrel
  • Plumbing tape
  • Landscape bricks
  • Hacksaw
  • Flexible downspout
  • Decorative plants

Directions:

1. Put the rain barrel together

Set up your rain barrel

I ordered my rain barrel from Amazon, and it came with a few pieces that needed to be put together after it arrived. Install the spigot to the front of your rain barrel by wrapping a bit of plumbing tape around the thread of the spigot, then screw it into the front of the barrel.

2. Elevate the rain barrel

Elevate the rain barrel

In order to get enough water pressure for the water to make its way down the hose, you will want to elevate your rain barrel. Elevating it 2- to 3-feet high is a good place to start. I used 4 layers of landscaping brick to get my rain barrel up off the ground.

3. Ready the downspout

Rain barrel downspout

You will need to modify your downspout to connect it to the rain barrel. Use a hacksaw to cut the downspout a few feet above the top of the rain barrel.

4. Connect the rain barrel

Connect the rain barrel

Use a piece of flexible downspout tubing to direct the water from the metal downspout to the top of the rain barrel.

5. Make it pretty

Flowers in rain barrel

A rain barrel doesn't have to be totally utilitarian. Make it pretty by adding some flowers to the top. Many rain barrels have a designated spot for planting flowers. If yours doesn't, just set a pretty pot of flowers on top of the rain barrel.

6. Water your garden

Rain barrel set up

Once everything is all set up, all you have to do is wait for a good rainfall, and you'll be able to keep your garden green all summer long.

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