Monday, May 11, 2009

Betty's got a barrell!

I'm singin' in the rain because last Sunday (May 3) I FINALLY took matters into my own hands and installed the rain barrel I've had sitting around for over a month my green friends. Completed SOLO I am proud to add.

The delay? Well that would just turn out to be a long list of really good excuses. But Sean Tubbs of Cville Tomorrow made me feel better today when he said, "I am seeing Betty everywhere." Ah-ha. That's why you haven't seen me installing my rain barrel.

Step one: I chose a strategic spot, the southeast corner of our home so that we don't have to use any county water this year for our veggie/flower garden. Instead we will use the collected rain fall.

Step two: I gathered/purchased all necessary supplies. It's not just the barrel you need but a connector piece, a flexible drain hose, a saw, a tightening ring (I'm quite sure these are NOT the official terms), cinderblocks to give it some height for easy access, and a piece of particle board or other wood platform. The cheapest place for the cinderblocks would be the Ivy MUC Landfill facility (tip from Brian Buckley - Thanks!), but I didn't want to consume all that gas to get there, so I bought mine along with the other stuff at Martin's Hardware (about 4 bucks each). I think everything together cost me 25 dollars.

There are handy-dandy products that attach neatly and snug, and if that's your preference it will cost anywhere from 20-50 dollars, at least when I looked. The only downside of rigging my own was that now I have a five foot section of drain hose that doesn't have a home (email me and I will give it to you FREE).

Step three: Saw off the gutter and then start attaching the parts. Set your barrel atop the platform, setting on the cinderblocks. You're set.

After just four days of rain last week, it's full! The garden is not exactly in full swing yet.

I will confess to you all right now I only DREAM of being an amazing gardener/green thumb. The only thing green about my thumb is I can use it along with the pointer finger of my right hand to write checks to better gardeners whose plants I purchase (only to kill them with improper watering or pretending the deer won't come eat them!). That or type articles to inspire others to use THEIR green thumb.

Happy harvesting!

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