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10 Easy Pieces: Rain Barrels

Rain barrels may not be the most glamorous of garden tools but with water shortages on the rise, they have quickly become a crucial component of the smart, sustainable garden. After you set up a system, it does the work for you (just attach a hose to irrigate your plants).

If you’re starting from scratch, we have some affordable solutions (primarily in plastic, though some are recycled). And if you’re looking for a long-term investment, we’ve rounded up rain barrels made of stainless steel and wood. Have a look at some of our favorites.


Above: The Sheet Steel Rain Barrel is made from galvanized and powder-coated green sheet steel. The rainwater barrel features a brass tap with a hose fitting and has a capacity of about 40 gallons of water; €464 from Manufactum.


Above: Rain Barrel USA’s 80 Gallon Rain Barrel is lightweight with an insect screen at the top and brass spigot at the bottom; $259 at Frontgate.


Above: The Exaco Trading Wooden Rain Barrel is made in Canada from FSC-certified spruce wood with a brass tap; $244 at Eco-Outfitter.


Above: The Algreen Madison 49 Gallon Rain Barrel Fountain is a sculptural option built of stone-colored plastic; $139.99 at Hay Needle.


Above: The Tierra Garden 82-Gallon Rain Saver is a straightforward budget option in a faded army green polypropylene; $108.06 at Amazon.


Above: The Eco Square Wood Rain Barrel holds 70 gallons of water and is $224 at Eco-Outfitter.


Above: The 55 Gallon Rain Barrel in a neutral lightweight plastic is $86.28 at the United States Plastic Corp.


Above: The Fitzwater Rainwater Tank, a 58-gallon tank with a slim, stainless steel profile is $999.


Above: Another stoneware lookalike from Algreen Products is the Athena 50-Gallon Rain Barrel with a Brass Spigot in terracotta-colored heavy duty plastic to withstand weather conditions; $132.89 at Amazon.


Above: The 50-Gallon Eco Rainstation is made in Kentucky of recycled plastic and connects to a downspout to automatically collect roof runoff. The barrel diverts 50 gallons of water at a time, sending excess water back through the downspout; $90 at Rain Brothers.

Would you like to water your garden less often? See our posts:

  • A Garden You Water Four Times a Year.
  • Designer Visit: Grow Outdoor Design’s Drought Tolerant Garden in Bel Air.
  • And see all our posts on Sustainable Design.


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