Fixing the Rain Barrel

Last fall as a wedding gift, someone bought us a rain barrel we were registered for.  I knew it would come in handy during the gardening season, and be a cost-efficient way to water the plants on the deck.  Now, I’ve seen tons of pictures where people hook up their hoses to the rain barrel and water their grass/plants that way.  See…

Well don’t be fooled.  It seems the only way to make this happen is to have a pump installed in the barrel to pump the water out, because no matter how high you raise the rain barrel, you won’t get enough force to actually run the water any distance through a hose.  We tried making that happen with this contraption…
 It failed.  So we moved the barrel back to the side of the house where it would collect water from the roof runoff.  From here I can water all the plants on the deck using a watering can instead of trying to run a hose off the barrel and water the garden out back.  But there was still a problem.  With the barrel sitting on the ground, there isn’t enough room to fit a watering can under the spout.  So, we needed to raise it up.  Here’s where we’ve had our barrel sitting collecting rain water that spills from the roof (notice we don’t have any gutters around the house).
June30-rain barrel (5)
Actually, let’s rewind for a second.  I thought maybe if we just attach a short hose to the spigot maybe we could still fill a watering can without needing to build a stand.  But no go.  Unless I kept the can tilted, the water stopped running when the hose level got above the spigot.  That was useless.
With some canine assistance, we got to work building a stand.  First we went to Lowe’s and bought 2 cinder blocks (which would hold most of the weight of the barrel) and 16 decorative cement blocks (ya know, for decorative purposes).  Next we leveled out our area.

Pretty level, huh?  Then we placed our decorative blocks around the cinder blocks in a semi-circle, and then unfortunately realized we were a couple of blocks short.  Another quick run to Lowe’s and we were good.  We laid the first layer down, and then the second layer staggered on top like brickwork.  Then we just had to chisel off 2 blocks on the edges to fit against the deck.  I thought maybe a screwdriver would help make more precise cuts, but in the end a good whack with the hammer turned out to work better.  Yes, it was slightly less accurate, but we Greg made it work.

 

We loaded the rain barrel onto the stand, and then filled in the open areas around the cinder blocks with pea gravel.  And again, we were a little short on pea gravel.  A 3rd bag would top us off. So we’ll add that later.  3 trips to Lowe’s in 1 day is just too much!

We didn’t want to rain barrel to hang right off the edge, so we cut the 4ft leader hose I had bought down to just a few inches so it fits right into the watering can.  Ta-da!  I’m so happy how it turned out.  I think it looks great!!  Oh, and did I mention it’s a blazing 103 degrees F outside today!!  Boy do we need some rain to break this heat wave and to refill our rain barrel!

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