Choosing a Water Butt for your Garden

As gardeners, we have a duty to conserve our natural resources and thereby protect our environment. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to collect rainwater in water butts and use it for watering the garden. In fact, I use rainwater to water my greenhouse as well. It really is very easy and doesn’t need a huge investment or to look ugly.

Rainwater butts (or barrels) come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.Which one you choose depends upon your taste and how large your roof and garden are. Fitting them couldn’t be easier.

First the types of butts and positioning of them. Harcostar are one of the most reliable and well known of the makers of Rainwater Butts. They guarantee their butts for five years so should anything go wrong (and that is highly unlikely) you know you are covered.

As I have already said, the type of butt depends upon your taste. They sell ex-distillery oak barrels complete with brass verdigris tap.

Oak Barrel Water Butt

It holds 50 gallons of water which is enough for many needs. However should you need a greater capacity, you could always link into another barrel.  They also sell three different taps to go with the barrel,a traditional looking tap, one with a snail as a handle and one with a frog as a handle. This could give your barrel a funky look if you so desire.

Less expensive, but mimicking the oak distery barrel look is a heavy duty polythene oak effect barrel.

Imitation Oak Water Butt

It comes complete with child safety lid and cut out section for inlet pipe. This one hold 52 gallons of water.

If you like the traditional green barrels, there is plenty of choice, depending upon the place you want to put it and the shape you want. Harcostar make a Giant tank and rainwater trap which holds 150 gallons of rainwater.

Giant Rainwater Tank

For a tank this size it is remarkably unobtrusive. Unlike most of the barrels, this one is rectangular in shape and has two positions for the tap, at ground level and above ground.

In fact I have two rainwater butts. I have a traditional green barrel by my back door which collects water from one roof. It is very useful as it has a flat top which I can use to put parcels on whilst opening the dor. My cats also sit on it waiting to be let in.  I also have a much larger water butt by the side of the house which I use to water my greenhouse. This is done by having a pump in it fitted to a hose which is then fed into the greenhouse. This can then be connected to your greenhouse watering system or like mine, just used with a spray on the end. Although, I do use it with a drip system when I go away on holiday. How useful is that!

Collecting rainwater to use on your garden is useful in a number of ways. You get pure water without the added chemicals mixed into tap water. It’s free, and with most houses now on water meters, this is always useful and you can feel good that you are doing your bit towards saving the environment but not using treated water.

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