How to Gather Rainwater for Your Vegetable Garden


Rainwater is important to maintain gardens, bedding and trees, and it's also useful for helping house plants flourish. Collecting rainwater is wise, considering that rainwater is natural and free of any chemicals. It is also helpful to collect rainwater if you are experiencing a drought where you live. A rainwater system will be a much more healthy approach for your garden then watering areas with a hose. With the right equipment and resources, you can collect a large amount of water for your garden, especially if you are experiencing a particularly dry season.

Step 1

Purchase a barrel from your local hardware store in which to catch and store the rainwater. Find a barrel that can hold at least 40 gallons of rainwater or more. Most barrels for storage purposes can cost $100.

Step 2

Install gutters and a downspout on your roof if you don't have them. Place your barrel just below your downspout and you will have no problem filling more than 40 gallons during periods of rainfall.

Step 3

Use a downspout diverter if necessary to make sure that the rainwater from your gutters is directed into your barrel. A diverter also will provide you with a screen to prevent debris and insects from entering your barrel.

Step 4

Install a spigot or distribution device to the barrel so that the rainwater can be spread to the soil of your garden when ready. You can purchase spigots to attach to a barrel at your local hardware store. If you don't want use a spigot, continue to Step 5.

Step 5

Use garden watering cans to gather the rainwater from the barrel. Make sure you control the water so that the barrel doesn't over-flood and then affect your garden bed. If you have too much rainwater at a time, you will need to transport your water to another barrel or purchase a larger barrel.

Things You'll Need

  • 40-gallon barrel
  • Gutters
  • Downspout
  • Spigot
  • Watering can


  • Rain Barrel How-to
  • Benifits of Rainwater

Who Can Help

  • How to Make a Rain Barrel
Keywords: gather rainwater, vegetable garden, collecting water

About this Author

Greg Lindberg is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in creative writing. His professional writing experience includes three years of technical writing for an agriculture IT department and a major pharmaceutical company, as well as four years as staff writer for a music and film webzine.