Using Rainwater to Irrigate Your Lawn in Asheville, N.C.

Rain barrel

Tired of skyrocketing water bills? Our most precious resource is becoming more expensive as the need for it increases. It’s easy to conserve water if we don’t drink it, shower, wash our clothes, or use the bathroom. But the water we use for these activities is only a drop in the bucket compared to how much we need to irrigate our lawns and gardens. Without a drought, using rainwater to irrigate your lawn in Asheville can save you a bundle. Here are some tips for using rainwater to irrigate your lawn in Asheville, N.C.

How to Harvest Rainwater

Locate the Catchment Surface

The catchment surface is the area where the rain falls first, usually your roof. Make sure your gutters are clean and your downspouts are clear. These downspouts will be the primary source of your rainwater, and you want to ensure you’re getting every drop possible. Once they’re clear, you’ll need to install a fine screen or filter to the end of the downspout. This will keep sticks, leaves, and other trash from collecting in your rain-catch.

Hook Up Your Rain Barrel

One inch of rainfall from a roof is typically enough to fill a 55-gallon drum, so you may want to stock up on a couple of the large containers. After installing the screen to your rain barrel, attach the downspout. Make sure to keep the top of the barrel sealed to discourage mosquitoes from laying eggs.

Using That Stored Water

The simplest way to use the water is to take the lid off and dip in with a watering can. This might be OK for your garden, but you’ll need a more efficient system for the entire lawn.

A drip system allows you to attaches hoses to your rain barrel and run them to the areas that need watering. You’ll want to attach the hoses at the bottom of the barrel and allow gravity to do its work. Raise your rain barrel a few feet off the ground to increase the flow.

A more advanced method is to create a sprinkler system and use your rainwater as a source. This requires hooking up a sump pump to a series of PVC pipes that run from the rain barrel out into your yard. Attach sprinkler heads to the pipe and your work is done. We should warn you, this method requires a lot more engineering on your part.

Need additional help? Visit our Asheville lawn care page for more info!

Main image: Rain barrel, Arlington County, CC by SA 2.0


Rachel Vogel