I admit that when I saw two rain barrels installed in our community garden, I thought it was a quaint nod to sustainability but would probably not be used considering how close they were to the virtually unlimited water supply that was well-distributed via an underground piping system and six spigots throughout the garden, eliminating the need to carry water. I've changed my tune, however, now that I planted seeds a month before the garden water supply is functional.
|One of two rain barrels in the American Family community garden.|
With this year's particularly early spring, I planted radishes, cilantro, arugula and snap peas a good month before the water in our garden would be connected to the nearby fire hydrant. While it hasn't been a particularly dry spring, I wanted to be sure my seeds and later seedlings had plenty of water to thrive, which is where those rain barrels came in handy.
|Radishes hiding under row cover - keeps bugs out, heat and moisture in.|
During our early April garden cleanup, I installed the rain barrels. A week later, I planted seeds and didn't need to wonder where I'd get water. This week I soaked in some transplants from the herb garden I am leaving when I move at the end of April. So even if the barrels aren't heavily relied upon during the summer when water is aplenty, for at least a month in the spring, they are welcome source of water.
|Sprouting snap peas.|
|I soaked in transplanted anice hyssop, summer savory, greek oregano and garlic chives (not in the photo).|