Rain Water Harvesting

January is the time to put your garden in order.  Our onion sets, seed potatoes and garden seeds have arrived. This is also the time to put out pre-emergent for sticker burrs. Click here to go to the Farmer’s Almanac website to determine the last frost date for your area.

Jeff asked “Are you a supporter of capturing rain water? And if so, is it really worth the effort?”

Alan’s Answer: Water is a resource we can not afford to ignore, with the drought we’re currently in, conserving rainwater is a necessity!

Rainwater can be used to hand water plants, provide drip irrigation for house foundations, and provide drinking water for livestock, pets, and bird baths.

Many of us already capture rain water by having stock tanks on our land.  If you fall in to this category you may consider digging it deeper if it went dry this past summer.  Others of us live in town and do not own land large enough for a stock tank.  We should consider purchasing rain barrels and capturing run off from our roofs and gutters.

The standard formula is one inch of rain will provide about 0.6 gallons of water per square foot of surface. So if you have a 2000 square foot home with 4 downspouts, you can put a rain barrel at each down spout and collect  a total of 1200 gallons of rain (2000/ 4 barrels X .6) during a rainstorm.

Now go look at your water bill and see how much water you consumed and the cost per gallon.

A very simple use would be to set up a 55 gallon rain barrel at a downspout from your roof.  Attach a  soaker hose to the rain barrel. And now you can water the foundation to help prevent shifting, even during a water restriction period.   For information on water resources check out Dotty Woodson with Texas AgriLife Extension http://dallas.tamu.edu/faculty-and-staff/extension-program-specialists/dotty-woodson.

Visit our website to see questions Alan has answered or to leave a question for Alan. We’ll publish them on our website and in our newsletter next month.  Thanks!