How does rain help plants?
Should I be saving my rainwater?
Have you ever noticed after a good May thunderstorm the next few mornings your lawn seems to have grown like crazy? That's because it did.
Rain water is packed full of Nitrate, a form of nitrogen, and a whole host of other things like iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. Plants need Nitrogen to survive and thrive. It is their energy source. It also helps regulate a plant's nutrient and water uptake. So you aren’t crazy. That grass probably did grow 5 inches. Your lawn, and your garden both benefit from rain water.
Should you be saving rainwater? Absolutely! You don’t need a huge fancy setup to catch rainwater. Kiddie pools, barrels, five gallon buckets, all these things work just fine. I’ve been gardening over 20 years and have yet to build a set up, but I will be getting plans together for one soon! For now and the past 20 years, I’ve used whatever I had laying around that would hold water.
You don’t need massive amounts of saved rainwater to see results. Your plants and garden will usually get enough from mother nature. The water you are saving should be used in times of need when there isn't any rain in the forecast. This will also help alleviate your water bill pain somewhat. You will want to cover whatever you are using to save your rainwater until it is used. This will prevent it from becoming stagnant, and full of mosquitoes or other insects.
There isn’t a magical formula for how much rainwater to use. Your rule of thumb here should be to water your plants as usual and ensure it has proper drainage. Sit back and watch how this one simple thing transforms your plants.
This is a picture of a sad little Aloe Vera plant I bought on clearance at Wal-Mart. This picture was taken 3 months after I nursed it back from near death.
This plant's first summer was brutal. My family and I went on a canoe trip. Per usual half of the family ignored my offer of sunscreen. They came home with some of the worst sunburns I've seen in a long time. I butchered this poor Aloe Vera.
I bought some liquid fertilizer for succulents and prayed my plant would bounce back. I truly do not like using fertilizer or anything not organic. So, I quickly put it away and started saving rainwater for my house plants. Now after a year of rainwater only and repotting my baby has really taken off.