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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,059

    Garden remodeling; could be long.

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    Here in sunny Seattle there's a great program providing rebates for rain garden/rain barrel installs. I've convinced the HOA, and we're proceeding ahead to start. The project. Whether on your own or with utility rebates has anyone else installed a rain garden, cistern, rain barrels? How was your experience? Did you dot his yourselves or hire a contractor?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Since I live in a second floor condo apartment, gardens aren't an option for me. However I do live in a county that puts much effort into encouraging this sort of thing, and this is what they say on their website.

    http://environment.arlingtonva.us/st.../rain-gardens/

    Also note the links under "Resources" on the right side of the page.

    They also have a page on rain barrels, also with Resource links.

    http://environment.arlingtonva.us/st.../rain-barrels/

    Good luck!

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Be aware that (lack of) water pressure can be an issue, unless you stack your barrel very high (like directly under your second story gutter). You'll either need to just use the barrel to fill watering cans for hand watering, or get a pump. We had a "professional" install ours (and I do mean those quotes ), and it was supposed to be integrated into our irrigation system, but it turned out that wasn't possible because of the water pressure, so we wound up paying for a barrel that we rarely use, and just letting the grass die.

    You'll also want an inline filter to screen out algae and debris that can clog your hose. Those can be hard to find in some areas, but irrigation contractors should have them if your home improvement stores don't.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,600
    Oh dear, rain barrels will not work with regular sprinklers. But if you place them higher than the ground. Preferably 10" or more than you can easily fill your watering can. It will work with drip or soaker line without the pressure regulator but you will need to install a 150 mesh or 200 mesh filter.

    And as you found out, you do need a screen filter at the inlet to the rain barrel. Also do check for mosquito larvae growing in them from time to time. A thin layer of cooking oil will usually take care of them.

    before the water goes into the rain barrel
    do need something like this http://www.rainharvest.com/filtratio...ut-filters.asp

    when you want the water from the rain barrel to water your garden
    do need something like this http://www.dripworks.com/category/filters
    don't need http://www.dripworks.com/product/323...ure-regulators

    And no you can't connect into your existing irrigation system without check valves and few other things.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    471
    We have rain barrels under our eaves at the house-- one on each corner -- we use them to irrigate the kitchen vegetable garden. We also have a 1500 gallon one down at the barn that catches rainwater off the barn. We do use that for watering the squash and veggies that are fall harvest that we keep in that garden (we have a hand pump to get the water flowing in the hose), but we also have it just in case of fire. We have very real fire danger in the late summer and our nearest fire department is miles away (and is actually the US Forest Service).
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    ...but it turned out that wasn't possible because of the water pressure, so we wound up paying for a barrel that we rarely use, and just letting the grass die.
    This was pretty much our experience too. We had to re-do gutters on our old house and had them installed. We couldn't use a hose because of water pressure, and hand watering took much too much time for the veggie patches we had. We ended up basically letting them drain through because they were such bad mosquito breeding grounds (even with screens and such). Love them in theory, but not in practice.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,227
    the real question is what does crazy neighbor lady think about it.

    I’ve never used rain barrels but my building has an extensive rainwater harvesting system that helps with our water usage. I have a little more than 900 square feet of private outdoor patios with LOTS of potted plants, mostly drought tolerant and some herbs, on a moisture sensing drip system. I got rebates on the moisture sensors. With the ongoing drought here we now have rebates to remove lawns and replace the turf with drought tolerant plants. The rebates in my area are large enough that people replacing less than 1500 square feet of turf can do it for very little out of pocket money.

    Hoping your system works well….thinking your doing a rain garden may have made your mother smile....
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,059
    Quote Originally Posted by rebeccaC View Post
    the real question is what does crazy neighbor lady think about it. ...

    Hoping your system works well….thinking your doing a rain garden may have made your mother smile....
    Awww, thank you. Yes, she would have loved this. And the nutty neighbor? Who cares what she thinks.

    We're in the vetting process now, searching for just the right contractor.
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