Garden Tip: Converting the Rainy Day Blues

Today marks our first spring rain, and even though this weekend’s weather was far more pleasant, the wet weather does have its merits: What would our flowers be without water? That said, it's still hard to keep from getting the blues on days like this.

So how can we turn rainy days into happy ones? By trying to catch the drops as they fall instead of attempting to avoid them. Rain barrels allow us to do just this and better the environment at the same time.

A rain barrel is a structure that collects and stores rainwater from a rooftop that would otherwise become runoff and travel into storm drains and streams. The water collected from this simple storm water management system can be used for a number of purposes, including garden and lawn watering, improved energy efficiency and Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) reduction.

Rain barrels are sold at most home-improvement stores, but building your own is fairly simple and much less expensive. Take a look at this video, composed by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which effectively demonstrates the process of rain barrel construction:

Still interested, but a little unsure of your barrel-building skills? This Saturday, March 27, the Lancaster Environmental Center will be hosting a Rain Barrel Workshop. For more information or to reserve your spot contact Matt Kofroth at or 717.299.5361 ext. 124.