Thursday, June 21, 2007

Something I've Learned

I installed a rain barrel two years ago, and I've often been glad for the use of it.

It started life as a proper Kentucky whiskey keg, with an uneven top that the plastic drain insert doesn't fit evenly into. But, I figured, "that don't make no never mind." The water always seemed get into it any how.

So this past Monday I was planting out, and pretty much drained the barrel dry. No problem: It rained a good clip on Tuesday and really bucketed down this afternoon. I watched the water splashing out of the downspout and slopping over the rim. "Gosh, that barrel really must be full! Too bad I don't have two of them in tandem!"

But this evening, I put in the Japanese eggplants I bought yesterday at K-Mart, and the edging marigolds that've been sitting since last Thursday. I went to wash off my trowel at the rain barrel, and about nothing came out of the hose. Wha . . . ?

Poked my camera down inside, and this is what I found:

Practically empty!

So here's what I learned: If your plastic drain grid doesn't fit evenly, take the silly thing off in a downpour! Otherwise, it'll just channel the water over the edge and you'll lose it all.

(I don't even want to think about what all that runoff water is doing to the footing of my porch pillar . . .)

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