Rainy days can be dull and gloomy. But they can also be great for your garden! As a matter of fact, when you combine a rainy day with clean and well-maintained gutters, you can harvest rainwater for gardening, saving you time and money and helping the environment as well.

Vancouver and its surrounding area receives about 1200-1500 mm of rain per year. That’s a lot of drops! As a homeowner, you can just deal with the rain as usual. But it’s simple to harvest that rainwater and put it to use around your house.

Reasons to harvest rainwater

There are numerous reasons to collect your rainwater for use in your garden.

  • This promotes sustainability. You can teach your kids and neighbors about doing this as well, providing them with an education about yet another way to do good for the environment.
  • You’ll reduce your reliance on wells by collecting rainwater.
  • You can take control over your water usage, which is especially important in areas where drought is a problem or where there are usage restrictions.
  • Your water usage will be greatly reduced, which you’ll see reflected in the numbers on your water bill.
  • Your garden will benefit from the clean, pure water.
  • You’ll have a back-up source of water just in case there’s an issue with your primary source.

Collecting rainwater using your gutters

Here’s everything you’ll need to begin to collect rainwater using your gutters:

  • Gutters that are clean and free of debris
  • A roof that is well-maintained
  • Rain barrels
  • A distribution system
  • Some good old-fashioned rainy days!

It’s important that your roof is in good condition and that your gutters are in excellent shape, too. It’s not a bad idea to hire a gutter professional to do a tune-up before you start collecting the water, making sure they’re clean and that there’s no other issues that might cause a problem.

Next, you’ll need to find a spot where the rain barrel can be placed under a downspout. For this, you’ll need an adjustable gutter or may have to have your gutter company cut the gutter. The tip of the gutter will need to be located just above the barrel for optimal collection.

The barrel can be anything you wish. You can purchase “official” rain barrels at home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot or you can use a clean trash can or another receptacle. It doesn’t matter as long as it has sufficient capacity for your collection.

Finally, the distribution system (which allows you to use the rain to water the garden) can be a simple spigot or a hose hook-up. You can also figure out a way to extend it to piping irrigation systems that are already in place in your garden.

Just a tip: Remember not to let the rainwater sit around for too long. When it becomes stagnant, it can attract mosquitos or grow algae and start to smell.

The advantage of using rainwater for your garden

The best reason to use rainwater for watering your garden is that it’s absolutely pure. Unlike the water you drink, which is treated with chemicals, rainwater is just water. Period. You can use it not only for your outdoor plants but for your indoor ones as well, and it’s good for watering your grass, too.


If you’d like to hear more about how your gutters can do “double duty”, protecting your house while also helping you tend to your garden, talk to the professionals at Advantage Gutters for more information or schedule an appointment for a consultation by calling 604-514-9886.