Friday, March 20, 2009

DIY: Rain Barrels

we've been working on tilling a huge garden (30' x 30'!) next door. i've always thought it would be fun to have a vegetable garden and this is the first spring that we will be in the house. we moved in last summer and had a few little vegetable plants that the previous owners planted, but it wasn't much. this year we are doing it right with lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, beans and blueberries. i'm so excited! we've been talking about doing a rain barrel for a while to help water the garden too. well, two weekends ago my husband took it upon himself to make it happen. we went to the coca-cola bottling company and bought (2) 55 gallon barrels for $5 a piece (thanks monica for the tip!), rinsed them out and headed to home depot for some connectors and bits and pieces.

first, a level ground area was dug and concrete blocks were used for the foundation.
then, holes were drilled into the side of the barrel to line up with the flanges. a rubber washer was inserted inside the flange. another flange goes inside the barrel as well. we had to cut half of the top of the barrel off to get an arm in.

tighten the flanges together, caulk in between flanges if you want to. we didn't, but i've heard others have. 2 short 1/2" pipes with a spout in the middle link the barrels together so that they fill at the same rate. we used jb weld and caulk around the bolts on the outside of the flange to make sure it didn't leak and a flexible hose was attached to our downspout to divert rain into the barrels. we ended up taking out a few of the middle concrete blocks, which weren't needed, so that we could just put a 5 gallon bucket underneath to pour water into. all 110 gallons filled with the first rain! eureka it worked!


  1. this is wonderful!! i am so happy you did this, and so, so well! very excited about your garden!

  2. I am way excited to find a way to do this that's cheaper than the god-awful prices for the ready-made barrels. --Lee