I need some ideas on getting rain water on a bed next to house

wertach zone 7-B SCJanuary 28, 2013

I have an old brick house with a brick raised flower bed on the east side. I planted cool season veggies, carrots, cabbage, and onions in it last year.

They produced very good but I had to water them often because the rain water goes in to the gutter and off to the side. I could put a rain barrel on the gutter with an overflow and a spigot at the bottom. But Sweet Thing nixed that idea! I am afraid that if I remove the gutter water may go in to my crawl space or rot something.

Is there some kind of diverter that I could buy or build to place in the gutter down spout to get some of that water on the bed without flooding it and possibly causing water to go under the house?

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You need to work harder on your spouse. The rain barrel is the best idea. How about an ornamental screen that you can plant with flowering vines?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 2:42PM
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I don't get it. What is wrong with just attaching a downspout extension that goes to the garden? There are downspouts extension that are normally rolled, and extend when water is in the line, then retract again, but I would do everything underground. There is an how-to on thisoldhouse.com.

I dislike rain barrels. Last year we had no rain until early August, then 2 inches in a day. 2 inches on the roof is equivalent to 8 barrels. All that for one storm? An extension is cheaper, and carries just as much water, and more when we have 3 inches.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Maybe a little pricey, but how about a decorative rain barrel like this one I got at Amazon? I don't know how to link directly, but it's called Algreen 81111 Cascata Rain Water Collection and Storage System, 65-Gallon, Dark Brown. I have one right next to my front door & I get a lot of compliments on it. We used a copper rain chain with it & it looks really nice. There's an optional planter on top of the rain barrel. It's pretty shallow, but the mint that I've planted in it doesn't seem to mind (like mint is selective about where it grows!)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 3:23PM
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I agree with others that a rain barrel is the way to go. Yes, if it's full then the overflow will be diverted.

Try one of the big box home centers if there is one close to you. The biggest expense when ordering online is the freight. They're a little large for UPS unless you get a collapsible one. I know that Home Depot carries rain barrels and I would imagine that Lowes does also.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 3:56PM
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I would cut into the side of the downspout and insert a funnel made just a bit smaller than the ID and hook it to a soaker hose.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:44PM
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As a native southerner, I must suggest looking into the termite treatment history of your house before growing edible crops right next to the foundation. Most houses have been treated with Dursban (now banned) in the past, as well chlordane and other chemicals you might not want in your edible bed.

Sinking plastic containers into the bed would retain moisture and eliminate risk of contamination.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:53AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Years ago I had a flat green plastic hose, three or four inches broad, with large holes every few inches. It fit on the bottom of the downspout and took the water to more useful places. Don't recall what it was called. Don't recall having seen once since -- 1994 I think.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:11PM
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1 55 gallon barrel = one inch watering for two 4X12 beds. You need a pump, a favorable slope to the garden or have the barrel high off the ground. More than one barrel: you need to daisy-chain them. Drip will not work well with barrels. That is why sending all the water in one shot is better. It is no work once it is done, and it is all the water.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:35PM
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yes, there are downspout diverters out there.

And as Kranberriz6 stated...you could build something with a simple funnel and a hose.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:12PM
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