Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rain barrel and flower bed dilemma

Here's my new rain barrel. The day after David installed it we had a downpour and the barrel was completely filled (all 80 gallons!). The spigot handle is a bit tough to turn, so I need to devise some way to make it easier on my hands. And the water comes out slowly, so I either need to be patient for my watering can to fill or, as David prefers, open the barrel lid and plunge in the can. I'd also like to put something under the spigot to set the can on...maybe gravel?

Here is the backyard flower bed David dug the Bermuda grass out of. We were deliberating how to fill it for planting (landscaping cloth or plastic and then soil, or soil amendments mixed with the existing clay?). Then it rained and we discovered that it floods. Will plant roots soak up that much water? Or will it make them all rot? Should we put down rocks?


Diane said...

Do you think that opening the lid makes the water come out any faster? Maybe it needs air? For the flower bed, maybe you'll need to raise it some, over some draining material like gravel or vermiculite?

Hunter T said...

Just putting gravel in the existing hole won't help it drain any better... much like filling a clay pot with rocks. I'd think about doing some more digging. If you could dig a ditch connecting it to a lower lying area, then fill that with gravel, you would improve the drainage greatly. Lots of peat moss and compost added to your clay should make it a good growing medium. Good luck!