Disconnect your downspout from the sewer system and redirect the water to your yard and garden! A rain barrel is a great way to collect and store rainwater from your roof.
Rain barrels are available at local hardware stores and are easy to maintain. Choose a barrel that holds at least 200 litres. It should have a mesh screen that covers the water entry to keep out mosquitoes and other pests.
Use an overflow hose to direct water into the garden or a grassed area where it will soak into the ground. You can raise your barrel to create increased water pressure. You can also link multiple barrels to hold more water.
Be sure to empty your rain barrel and bring it inside (or turn it over) before it freezes in the fall. Water left in the barrel over winter can crack the plastic walls. See more tips in this information sheet.
York Region has many publications and short videos on lawn and garden care. To help you choose the right plants for your space, Water for Tomorrow has developed the York Region Water-Efficient Plant Selection Guide.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has information on everything from deer and rabbit resistant plants, to helpful insects. Visit the Healthy Yards Connection website to learn more!