Here in Southern California our average rainfall is twelve inches. With the looming cloud over of us whispering "water rationing" it is wise to take advantage of our precious rains. Why not try to collect, contain, and utilize your precious rain water for your garden. Here are six easy tips I use, that I would like to share with you.
1) If you hear on the news of an incoming rainstorm or showers, turn off your irrigation water. The news has gotten quite accurate reporting on all the details of rain coming, enough to give you advance warning to prepare.
2) I have a compost bin, actually three to be exact, that I add to everyday and make fabulous "worm worthy" compost for my garden. That is another post subject on its own. They are stackable and have a removable lid. When I hear it is going to rain, I remove the lids from all of my compost bins to catch all of the rain and moisture. Compost needs to be kept moist, and what better way then a fresh rain. After the storm, I put the lids back on.
3) Install an actual rain barrel or large urn under one of your convenient downspouts to collect water. In the photo, there is actually a plastic 33 gallon barrel within the beautiful wooden barrel, adorned with succulents on its top. My dear neighbor gave me this vintage barrel, that I slipped over a new plastic barrel. If you look closely you can see the downspout which is coming off of a storage shed rain gutter. I went one step further, and connected a hose at the bottom of the barrel with an on/off valve. The lath structure by the rain barrel is actually my potting shed. I have the ability to fill a watering can from my collected rain water barrel, inside my potting shed. It does not take much rain to fill a barrel. You will be surprised.
4) If you can not install an actual rain barrel of some type, put your watering cans, or something similiar under your rain spouts or gutters.
5) Place your easily moveable pots and containers out in the open air to receive the rain. Rain water has a lot of nutrients in it, that our irrigation water does not. Give your plants that extra boost.
6) Once again, when you hear rain. Prepare. Clean your bird baths, and empty them. The rains will fill them with fresh rain water and your wild birds will enjoy the treat.
I would love to hear your green tips for rainy days...in comments.