smokeeater360
Full Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:32 pm
Location: 4b Western Wisconsin

Home made watering system.

I am looking at ways to utilize rain water collected from my rain gutters this coming summer and use to water my garden. I will be catching the water in a fiberglass stock tank and looking for other watering system options other then using a watering can to water my garden with. Any ideas?

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11121
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Home made watering system.

If you are using a stock tank you can collect more water, but to utilize a gravity system the tank needs to be set high and have a cover to keep vermin and rubbish out and slow evaporation. Instead it might be better to bury the tank and run the gutter into it so it won't take up as much room and you can put in a larger tank. Use a sump pump to pump it out and water from a hose if it can be connected to the sump. Most people have 55 gallon drums connected in a chain to collect water in the rainy season, but one barrel only hold between 50-53 gallons of water. That does not go far. Unless it rains a bit all year you will have water when you don't need it and a limited supply when you do. Rain water is a supplement, but for most of us, it does not supply all of the water needs in summer. My board of water supply does not recommend catchment water for vegetable gardens, only for ornamentals since it is considered non-potable water.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

smokeeater360
Full Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:32 pm
Location: 4b Western Wisconsin

Re: Home made watering system.

Thank you imafan for your input.

I already have had ideas of attaching a small pump of sorts to the tank so as to be able to "pump" the water to the garden. The edge of the garden is approximately 20-30' from where I plan on setting the tank up for collecting the water. I am looking more for suggestions of how to set up the system in the garden area for the delivery of the water.

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Home made watering system.

smokeeater360, if you will put your location and zone information in your information page, it will help us to understand what your challenges are. Things vary considerably around the country and in the areas the people on the forum come from. In this high dry country, no use worrying about summer rain water, we are not likely to get any at all. Today its raining on top of 30 inches of snow, ya we have water. Too cold for anything to grow.

Ideas? How large is your garden? A garden hose connected to the stock tank? Would beat a can.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Home made watering system.

Back in the old days, out on the farm, we would divert water from the creek and bring it in a ditch to the garden. The garden was cultivated with a cultivator that left furrows between the rows. The water was then carefully divided to run a little stream down between each row. It took some tending, but certainly got the job done.

On the lot I live now, no stream available to try that, but our irrigation water comes from a reservoir up the canyon, down a canal and then into a pipeline. The canal is enough above me that the water in the pipe has enough pressure on it to run rain-birds. So here is how I now irrigate:

Image
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Home made watering system.

You would need a pump to run a rain-bird from a tank. Running a pump costs money remember. You don't want to spend more pumping than the crop will bring. Without knowing more about your garden, how big it is, and whether you grow for sale, for home use, or just for fun...... hard to advise.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.
Contact: Website

Re: Home made watering system.

I tried that 35 years ago this is what I learned. My house was only 1500 sq ft I put a 55 gallon barrel under each down spout total of 5 barrels. A small rain would fill all 5 barrels and over flow them for a few minutes. A big thunder storm would fill all 5 barrels in 1 minute and over flow them for 15 to 20 minutes. Do the math a rain will produce 300 to 6000 gallons of water. After several failed experiments I found something that worked. I used a tile spade to dig a 5" wide 8"deep ditch around the house and to the garden. Put 3" PVC pipe in the ditch to the garden. Gutter down spout puts water in the 3" pipe and water comes up in the garden. Build a 12" tall dirt levee around the garden. A small rain would water my 25"x40" garden, a large rain would turn the garden into a pond for 2 days.
Last edited by Gary350 on Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27487
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Home made watering system.

If you will be able to manage to sequester ALL of the rain from down spouts, make sure to look around and see if there are any existing trees, shrubs, plants that are depending on the downspout and make appropriate provisions

In our front yard, thick roots from the nearly 30 year old weeping cherry that is 15 to 20 feet away have grown along the edge of the concrete driveway all the way to the garage roof downspout (and occasionally shoots up watersprouts in the foundation planting along the garage). I'm pretty sure that is how the tree gets through the significant summer droughts.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
ID jit
Green Thumb
Posts: 340
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:00 pm
Location: SE New England: zone twilight or 5b... hard for me to tell some days.

Re: Home made watering system.

If you are really invested in gathering, storing and using rain water, have you considered constructing a variation of a roman cistern?

Construction is fairly simple, basically a big hole, pond liner and pea stone. You could bury it under your garden, and then use a smaller pump and drip lines to water your garden with the stored water.

8' x 8' x 16' = 1,024 cubic feet = 7660.052 US Gallons
I don't believe we can resist the things which make no sense - I believe.

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”