Water Butts and Butt Pumps

My husband has been spending a lot of time watering the plants recently and came up with an ingenious plan to make things a bit easier. He decided to write an article about it, so over to him:
How do you water your garden, hosepipe or watering can? Where does the water come from, the tap or a water butt? Whether you are on a water meter or not, using water from the tap for your garden isn’t a great option.
Your plants and vegetables won’t appreciate it as tap water may have things added to it that damage the plants (read more here). As well as that you are pouring drinking water – water that has cost time, money and energy to process, onto your grass, plants or vegetables.

Rain is a natural way of watering the plants and if you can store it and get it where you need easily then it is better for the environment, better for your plants and if you’re on a water meter, better on your wallet.

When we moved into our current house we had 1x 100 litre water butt which didn’t last 5 minutes, I then added a 220 litre butt next to it, a year later I added another to another down pipe but they were all on the wrong side of the house, I was spending too much time carrying watering can after watering can from where the water butts were to where we grow our vegetables.

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What I really needed was the water butts near our vegetables, unfortunately there are no downpipes to fill the water butts with there so I looked at other options. If I couldn’t fill a water butt from the roof water then I needed another way of filling the water butt. I found that there are loads of submersible garden pumps and some are even geared up for use in water butts
I looked around at pumps and decided to go with this one which can pump the water from one water butt to another. It was £50 but will save me a lot of time every evening in the summer and also allows me to use a hose instead of a watering can as there is plenty of pressure for that. Since then I have used it to wash my solar panels (look out for the blog post on that coming soon) and if I wanted to, it could be used to wash my car with rain water. All in all quite a versatile pump.
Now I have 1 big water butt in my veg garden which I refill from my other water butts when its running low, it takes 10-20 mins to fill it up from the other water butts but I don’t have to do anything. The pump turns off when the water runs out as it has a floating cut out.
If you’re growing things in your garden that need regular watering, where are you getting the water from, would it be easier for you to have the water next to where you use it? If so water butts and a pump may be the way to go!

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  1. Our allotment is right next to an outdoor tap, but we've heard all the benefits of storing rainwater, so we've just purchased our first water butt for the allotment. 100lt but no pump or plan just yet other than to store and hand water.

    Also ordered a polytunnel to bring our patch to the next level of growing.

  2. Installing a 350L container to catch the rain from our roof … THe remaining problem is the debit to fill the watering can, to slow. At least we save water 🙂

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