Sunday's beautiful weather allowed my wife and I to get out and take care of some of the gardening chores around the house. One of which was finally rolling out the barrel -- and setting up a rain barrel in our backyard.

I hadn't heard much about rain barrels until last year, when we first looked into setting one up. I knew it was a container that collected rain water (as the name would imply), but I didn't know much else. I didn't quite understand why you'd want to use a rain barrel -- figuring it must take a REALLY long time for a barrel to fill up, it you just left it to fill up with rain. Well, as I learned, a rain barrel doesn't just sit out in the open to collect rainfall. A rain barrel actually collects rainwater from your roof by tapping into your gutters and downspouts, and stores it later, when it's then available to water your lawn, garden or trees.  It can save money on your water bill, along with helping to eliminate excessive groundwater run-off.

Our barrel was pretty simple to set up. Once our barrel was delivered (my wife ordered it online), we bought 4 concrete blocks for it to sit on, along with a plastic diverter for our downspout. Now, the next time it rains, some of the water that would have just run down the hill to our backyard will be collected in the barrel. We then just attach a hose, and viola, and water our garden to our hearts' content-- without adding to the charge on our water bill!

RPU even offers a quick rebate if you set up a water barrel. You can get more information HERE.