Until recently, we had just over 1000 litres (260 US gallons) of rainwater storage space, which just about manages to do the job for all our existing yearly watering needs. But with the drought we had this spring - 2 months of no rain during our normal rainy season - we had very nearly run out by April. So we've bought in some lovely new water butts.
They're pretty hard-core as you can see! These are recycled liquid food containers, or 'intermediate bulk containers' (I.B.C.s), each holding 1100 litres. Being discarded objects from the food industry, lucky people can pick them up free of charge. Less lucky people like us can get them for between £25 and £40 each. An absolute bargain compared to shop-bought water butts!
I'm quite determined to provide all our garden water needs from rainwater. It's so much better for the plants, it's also way cheaper and of course, fresh water is becoming more and more of a precious resource these days. So it's good to look after it. We've gone a bit overboard and now have a massive extra 4400 litres (1144 US gallons) of rainwater storage capacity! Here are photos of the other two - both are now plumbed in to some of our roof space:
Living in a barn as we do, we're lucky to have lots of roof space here, so we've got the potential to use it to collect loads of rainwater.
We can use some of it on the garden and some of it for the building work on our other barns. I'm also interested in investigating whether we could use any of it in the house - either for washing or even - after filtering it - for drinking.
But one thing's for sure - we should certainly never run out of water for the garden again!