It is easy and simple to install a system for collecting rainwater from your polytunnel. You can then use that water inside your polytunnel as you take care of your plants.
Why Collect Rainwater From Your Polytunnel?
There are many reasons why it is a good idea to collect rainwater for use in your garden or in your polytunnel. These reasons include:
- Rainwater is better for your plants than tap water.
- Rainwater is free, so if your water is metered, you could save a lot of money.
- Tap water takes energy to treat, filter and bring to your home. Such energy is not always renewable, so can harm our environment. Using harvested rainwater is a more sustainable and eco-friendly choice for watering your garden – a way to reduce our use of mains water.
- Stored water can be extremely useful, especially if your area is under a hosepipe ban. Saving rainwater for later use in dry areas can literally be a lifesaver.
The more rainwater you are able to collect, the better.
Where Can I Collect Rainwater From?
When setting up rainwater harvesting systems, remember that there are several different options regarding where you can collect your rainwater from. Most people will set up a rainwater harvesting system on the side of their home – to collect the rainwater that falls on the roof of their house. This is definitely a good place to start. But when deciding how and where to collect rainwater, you should also consider collecting the water that falls on other areas on your land. You can harvest rainwater from garages, sheds and other outbuildings, as well as, of course, from your polytunnel itself.
It might also be worthwhile considering creating a pond at the lowest part of your land or garden, especially if you live in a drier area. This is another way to store rainwater for later use.
How To Collect Rainwater From a Polytunnel
Very basic structural work on your polytunnel will allow you to collect the rainwater that falls onto it. Here is a step by step guide to creating a rainwater harvesting system for your polytunnel:
- Secure a timber rail to the sides of your polytunnel, around 1m off the ground.
- Affix regular home guttering brackets to this timber rail. (Make sure there is a slight drop on the gutter, so water will flow down towards the butt or water container at one end.)
- Secure the guttering in place using screws, as you would do on the side of a house.
- Use a timber batten if necessary to close off any gap between the guttering and the side rail, so all the rainwater flows into the gutter.
- Place your water butt or other container and fit a down-pipe from the guttering to the butt.
Now you can simply wait for it to rain and watch your butt fill. One or two small water butts may not be enough to cater for all your watering needs all summer, but they will definitely be a good start, and could make it easier to water your polytunnel since you will have water so close at hand.
Originally posted 2013-07-22 10:00:43.
Sean Barker is the MD of First Tunnels, and is enthusiastic about providing quality gardening supplies to gardeners across the UK