How to Collect Rainwater for Your Garden

Anytime is a good time to recycle, especially when it’s one of our most precious elements – water! 

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water flowing into rain barrel

Conserve water and irrigate your garden inexpensively by creating a rainwater collection system. In times of summer drought and water restrictions in various states, recycling rainwater is an important – and helpful – practice.

By collecting rainwater when it falls, gardeners have a ready (and inexpensive) resource to irrigate plants.  It’s simple to recycle your rainwater by creating a collection system. Here’s how in six simple steps.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Plastic or metal buckets – as many buckets as there are gutter downspouts. (Small enough to fit beneath the downspout, but large enough to collect sufficient rain water.)
  • Metal screen sheet(s) to fit over bucket tops.
  • Wire cutters or other tool to cut metal screen sheet(s).
  • One or more large plastic or metal barrels or trash cans for storage (storage containers require lids)

How to collect rainwater:

1. Place buckets.

Locate a bucket beneath each gutter downspout to collect draining water from the roof.

2. Stabilize buckets.

Ensure the bucket will not tip over. If necessary, dig a shallow hole for the bucket to sit in or secure it by placing rocks along the outside base.

3. Secure metal screens.

Cut and secure the metal screen sheet(s) to fit over the top of each bucket. This prevents leaves and other debris from collecting inside.

4. Store rainwater.

After rainfall, dump the rainwater from each bucket into the storage container and cover with a lid. It is extremely important to keep the water covered, as stagnant water attracts mosquitoes and other undesirable pests.

5. Clean up.

Store buckets and their screens in a dry place to discourage mold and pests and to keep your yard clean.

6. Irrigate as needed.

When needed, fill one of your buckets from the rainwater storage container and water your plants free of charge!

For information on watering needs for your Encore Azaleas, click here.

To browse the Encore Azalea Collection, click here.

Encore Azalea is the best azalea you’ll ever plant. Encore Azaleas are the world’s best-selling re-blooming azalea with rich, colorful blooms in spring, summer and fall. Encore Azaleas have 33 varieties of bloom colors and sizes to choose from and thrive equally well in high filtered shade or sunny locations – unlike any other azalea in the world. Find a retailer near you at

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