I really love my homemade rain barrel. I used it all through the summer and my plants were very happy to have rain water instead of city water.
Typical to our weather up here in October, it has been raining for days, the ground is saturated and my rain barrel is overflowing. It started me thinking about what to do with all the rain water I’ve caught in my barrel. It is useless just to dump it out on saturated ground and I really don’t want to waste such a wonderful resource.
If I leave it in the barrel over winter, it will probably split the barrel, plus it will be of absolutely no use until Spring (or summer) when the giant ice cube finally thaws.
My solution? I will freeze the water in gallon containers!
By putting this nutrient rich water in small containers, I can leave them outside to freeze and dig them out of the snow when I need one.
Water expands when it freezes, so I’ll have to leave enough “head room” for the water to expand and not split the containers. By leaving them outside, I get free storage and freezer space! (Our winters get mighty cold)*
I always start seedlings in the house and I’ll bet they will grow faster and stronger with nature’s water than they will with the city’s water. This will be the first time I’ve tried this, but I feel confident it will work!
The only drawback to watering inside plants with rain water, is the odor. Rain water gets a little funky smelling, but I think the trade off is worth a little stink. Plus, the funky smell disappears after a while.
Now all I have to do is find a bunch of gallon jugs! Gonna have to ask the neighbors for their empty milk jugs. They’ll probably think I’m crazy, but that’s nothing new!
*Along the same line….remember to save your bean soaking water for use on your plants. If your plants don’t need watering at the time, just freeze the water and use it later. I would guess that freezing probably takes some of the nutrients out of the water, but it’s still going to be better than city water straight from the tap.