Earth Day is April 22, 2011. To celebrate, it's time for the 2nd Annual "Gardeners' Sustainable Living Project" started by Jan at Thanks for Today garden blog. Garden bloggers all across the world are sharing their sustainable garden practices.
Coincidentally, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water contacted me and shared a series of tips on water usage and rain barrels. Here is one:
Use rainwater from your rain barrel to keep your yard green. Rainwater is ideal for yards, gardens, and flowerpots. Rain barrels can be purchased at your local hardware or garden supply store. Better yet, many local government programs offer them at reduced prices. For more information visit http://www.anacostia.net. Rain barrels are part pollution preventer and a money saver wrapped into one easy-to-install device.
I have found my own English rain barrel that I installed over five years ago to be invaluable. During our late summer droughts, it helps store water for keeping all my container plantings going. Further, it lets me reach a distant corner of the garden without installing another hose hook-up.
If you haven't already done so, consider adding a rain barrel to your own garden. I think you'll be very happy with this low-cost, easy device and so will our local watershed.
Pictured here is a rain barrel in Rockville, MD. Photo courtest of the EPA.