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Rain Barrel question - Why can't I just dip the water out? Answered

I set up a plastic (?) garbage can, well cleaned, under a downspout.  It's well covered.  Why can't I just dip the water out with a big ole dipper when I need it?  My veggie garden is tiny.  Thanks in advance for any advise!


I give up -- why can't you? (Seriously: If you're willing to go with walking water rather than running water, there's nothing wrong with that. As others have noted, just make sure the barrel is screened so it doesn't become a skeeter breeding pond.)

Why not that's how I do it I just have a metal 18 gallon tub thats not tall at all so you kind of have too

You can. Sometimes I catch the overflow from my rainwater harvester in a garbage can and dip it out with a bucket. You just don't want bugs breeding in it.

HMM - good point about the skeeters. They aren't as bad here in Ohio as they are in my native south, but still! The barrel has a tight cover, but a spigot would indeed save this ole gal a lotta lifting!

I'd have to agree with the other Answerers and say that there really isn't a reason you can't just scoop out the water you need. Physically, anyhow. When you look at it from another perspective, I can think of two reasons why you shouldn't:

Reason #1
Mosquitoes! Mosquitoes breed their young in pools of still water (like your rain barrel) and the life cycle from egg to full blown 'skeeter is only two weeks. I probably don't have to tell you what a nuisance mosquitoes are, or what health risks they pose but if you'd like to see the info anyhow, view this link. I understand that you will probably keep it covered 98-99% of the time, but it only takes one mosquito to produce hundreds, and she'll only need a few seconds to drop off her eggs in that tantalizing bucket 'o water you're providing.

Reason #2
Efficiency. Simply put, a little hose connector and a few feet of hose could really expedite your watering process. Sure, the garden isn't that big and it's probably not very far away from the barrel, but wouldn't it be so much faster and easier to just turn the spigot a few times and water everything in one trip?

So, to answer the original question: There's no reason you can't just dip out the water at your leisure, but I would recommend trying to keep the barrel covered at all times and use a hose instead.

No reason you shouldn't, so long as you cover it again after to keep the mosquitoes out. That's what I do, it's much faster than filling a watering can from the tap.