Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gardening Isn't Always About Plants

** Please see correction at bottom of post. **

Two years ago I attended a **Water Wise workshop ** and received my first rainbarrel.  It has served me well and collected lots of free water for my plants.  Not only is the water free, but the plants definitely prefer rainwater over the county chlorinated water.  Since I was so happy with my one barrel, I thought I would purchase another.  (Hillsborough County only allows you one free barrel with the workshop.) 

Fitted with a hose bib and stenciled with spray paint over sword fern fronds, my new barrel is a perfect match for my original one.  Instructions for turning any food-grade barrel into a garden workhorse as well as where to purchase a barrel can be found on Hillsborough County Extension website.  

I now have a barrel at each end of the gutter that runs along my back porch.  Now if my pentas and star jasmine will just grow back, these barrels should blend in with the shadows and quietly do their job of providing healthy drinking water for My Garden Path. 

OK, so I'm not an artist.  But, I am being waterwise!

**  Correction to my original post:  the Waterwise workshop presented by Hillsborough County Extension service is NOT the Rain Barrel workshop.  They are two different workshops.  I left the link in to the Waterwise workshop because it is a wonderful resource.  The Rain Barrel workshop is listed under the 2nd link, "Hillsborough County Extension Service."  I apologize for any confusion.  I highly recommend taking advantage of your county extension.  Florida has great resources in this area.
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  1. That is indeed very water wise! I am also thinking to have rain berrel(s) installed in my garden. Hope I can get a free one as well :)

  2. I asked for one for Christmas,but didn't get one.But Mother's Day and my birthday are coming up,so hopefully......

  3. Just to make things clear, the Water-Wise Workshop is not the Rain Barrel Workshop. The Water-Wise class is about Micro-Irrigation and conserving water in the landscape. If anyone is interested in getting a rain barrel they must sign up for the Rain Barrel workshop on eventbrite.com (search Seffner,FL)

  4. Ami - check with your extension office on their rain barrel workshops. They are a world of good info and help.

    ChrisC - Hope you get one!

    mscarver - Mea culpa. I have attended several workshops: rainbarrel, waterwise, and composting. All were absolutely wonderful sources of invaluable info.

  5. NanaK, The Hillsborough county extension service is the best. Janis

  6. Having some type of cistern to collect water makes good sense. The plants like the rainwater minus the chemicals found in city water. It also can be used in times of emergency as a graywater source in your home.

  7. NanaK,
    Great post with great information and so nice of you to share.

    I admit I've never made use of our very active county extension office until recently. WOW... it is an active one with lots of great people ready to help the homeowner. Workshops all over the county are presented weekly by some great garden enthusiast willing to share.

    Thank you for this post. These are the steps to take toward a Florida-friendly yard...

  8. Janis - Our extension office gives us Florida info that we can really use in our gardens. There is more and more Florida info available now, or maybe I'm just becoming aware of it.

    sanddune - You are so right about rainbarrels being a graywater source. I pray every year that I won't need it for that. No hurricanes allowed!

    Meems - I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I have only been gardening in earnest for 4 years but before that I wasn't very Florida Friendly. Being more aware of those principles not only makes gardening easier on the environment, but also the gardener.


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.