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Using Gallon Drums to Protect Valuable Plants and Shrubs

Posted by John Graff on 10/17/2013 to Keeping Plants Healthy
A gallon drum is a type of container that stores and captures rainwater draining from a person’s roof. A gallon drum typically ranges from 80 to 50 gallons and has a spigot for helping to fill watering cans. At the same time, it has a connection for a soaker hose. Combining the use of gallon drums with appropriate plant mulching and selection helps promote water conservation. Aside from that, the use of gallon drums benefits an individual’s community, garden and home.

Money Saver

Using gallon drums helps many homeowners save money on their water bills. This is because lawn and garden irrigation accounts for 40 percent of residential water use during summer time. Through the use of gallon drums, homeowners can provide adequate protection for their plants while saving 1,300 gallons of water during the growing season. It also makes sure that they are adequately supplied with the water that they need during the summer. According to the Southwest Florida Water Management Council, a half-inch of rain fills a typical 55 to 50 gallon drum. 

At the same time, connecting multiple barrels maximizes the capability to capture rainwater. Aside from that, gallon drums provide owners with a free source of irrigation without relying on the area’s water supply.

Healthy Soil and Plants

Another main advantage of using gallon drums is that it helps promote healthy soil and plants. Tap water contains fluoride compounds and inorganic ions that can accumulate in the soil over time and have the potential to harm microorganisms and plants roots in the soil. However, this is not the case for rainwater.

This is because it does not contain additives that are commonly found in tap water. Because of this, obtaining water through gallon drums benefits the plants found in the garden by cleaning the soil of any salt buildup. This enables people to promote an environment that is conducive to root development in plants.

Helps Reduce Runoff

Using gallon drums to protect plants and shrubs also helps in the reduction of storm runoff. When it rains, runoff picks up pesticides, oil, fertilizer and other kinds of contaminants from landscapes and hard surfaces. If storm runoff is not treated adequately, it flows directly into lakes, streams and other bodies of water that are nearby. 

Runoff also has the potential to alter the soil’s pH and affect plant growth. At the same time, it can sweep plants out of the soil easily if their roots have not firmly attached. It also has the capability to increase algae growth in lakes. However, using gallon drums helps an individual capture water that can help in minimizing runoff pollutants that could greatly affect their garden’s habitat and other natural flora within their area.

Important Considerations

When people prepare their gallon drums, they should bear a few things in mind. Individuals should use a screen to keep out any form of debris. At the same time, they should make sure that their gallon drum has a tight connection and cover in order to prevent algae buildup and mosquito breeding.