Collecting Rainwater for Your Garden

If your home has gutters, it’s easy to collect rainwater for use in your garden. Simply modify the downspouts so they direct water into a rain barrel, then use the water in the barrel to water your garden or houseplants. This not only conserves water but reduces the energy needed to process and pump it to your home. For more ways to save water, read our article on Water Conservation in the Home.


Any time you can get natural resources for free, grab it and run! Of course, I’m not talking about plugging in to your neighbor’s power supply, but if you’re not harvesting your rainwater, then you’re losing out on gallons of free water every year. All you need is your roof and rain gutters. It’s also a good idea to install a leaf guard to remove any excess debris from the water before it hits the downspout. From there, divert the downspout to a rain barrel or any other type of storage container. The most common use for this harvested rain is watering your garden or other plants. The best part is you’re going to be reducing the amount of chemicals and energy needed to treat and transport water to your home, and saving valuable drinking water, which will reduce your water bills and the volume of water taken from the environment.


  1. My wife and I loved the segment on Thinking Green aired on Saturday 30 May 2009 where the showed the home made water barrel cather. We were hoping it would be on the link and directions on how to recreate this not a link on how and where to buy supplies from a dealer. If it is on the link we could not find it. We would appreciate any help you could give us in this area.
    Robert and Ramona Mayo

    • Hi Robert,
      You may be thinking of Joe Truini’s Simple Solution segment in our (687) Small Town Green episode in which he showed how to make a rain barrel from items available at a home improvement store. We have not posted it as a separate video clip yet, but you can watch it on the full length video and read about it at the bottom of the article.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here