We sure held out on getting those barrels…

Rain Barrel

No really, we tried to wait until next month but we bit the bullet and headed out to Earthfare yesterday afternoon to pick up two 55 gallon barrels. We’ve been eyeing theirs for the past three years and they appear to have the best prices in town, at $69.99 a piece. They’re quite large so when we got them home, we had to move the Hydrangea and Hosta to fit the base { one of the patio pavers }. We were treated to a wonderful rain shower just as we finished! We were amazed at how much came down the chain in such a short amount of time, and just in the one gutter. { video clip } It did allow us to see where we need to make some adjustments. We’re going to add a feeder pipe at the top and we’re definitely going to add a link or two between each cup in an attempt to reduce some of the ‘spitting’.

Rain Barrel

As I mentioned in the previous post, I’m toying with the idea of attaching wire to the sides of the barrel to train some vining/creeping plants to grow up the sides of the barrels.

One thing I forgot to mention about Saturday our trip to Hyams to check on a couple of things and buying our live beneficials: Ladybugs and Praying Mantises. It’s been about 4 years since our last batch. We also learned something new this time; Ladybugs don’t fly at night so it’s best to release them when the sun goes down, otherwise they’re prone to flying off. Our last set of instructions never mentioned this so that’s pretty much what happened, save about two dozen. We had our ‘release’ party just before 9:00 PM last night.

beneficials

Mantis egg sack

This mantis found us the first year Michael and I were together. Dunno if it ever found a mate.

Mantis

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  • Anonymous

    This is absolutely wonderful! Do you use the rain from the barrels to water your plants? I’ve been considering getting one or two when we have the backyard done up (what we’re going to do with it, I still have no idea, lol) for that reason, at least. 🙂

    Beautiful photo of the mantis, by the way!

  • http://thehappyheathen.blogspot.com Evita Smith

    Yes ma’am, that’s our plan! Also, they can be used for water storage in hurricane prep. Although I don’t know if it’s necessary since we’re on city water. I’m used to dealing with being on well water.

    Do it.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t even think about that for hurricanes! Would have come in handy back in Florida. 🙂 Oh, and I certainly will, hopefully next year when we have the time (and money, haha) to focus on some yardwork around the house!

  • http://profiles.google.com/askrhiannon Rhiannon Newman

    PRAYING MANTIS EGG CASES? oh my god, that sounds like so much fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!

  • http://thehappyheathen.blogspot.com Evita Smith

    Oh dang, I totally forgot to add that photo to the post! I’ve updated it. The case pretty much stays intact when the babies emerge. You have to look for tiny holes to know they’re out.