Catch and Store Rainwater in Your Garden

Overgrown wildlife pond in the corner of my garden.

Fresh water is an important resource. And even in areas where there is quite a lot of it around, it pays to use it wisely. Learning how to catch and store rainwater in your garden is an important step in permaculture practice.

How To Catch Rainwater

  • Connect rainwater from the roof of your home.
  • And don’t forget about rainwater harvesting from greenhouses, polytunnels or sheds, or other garden buildings.
  • Collect water directly in ponds, rain gardens or reservoirs.

The water you collect in these ways can be used to water other parts of your garden.

Direct water from collection points to barrels, butts or other containers. (Storing water in containers in a polytunnel or greenhouse adds thermal mass and helps keep it at a more even temperature. The water filled containers retain the sun’s heat during the day and release it slowly at night. )

You could also direct rainwater to a drip irrigation system, to ponds, rain gardens or reservoirs. Or you could send it to a wicking bed, other hydroponic bed, or into an aquaponics system…

Other Ways To Keep Water Around in Your Garden

  • Improve garden soil with plenty of organic matter to boost its capacity to store water.
  • Add on-contour swales, terraces or other earthworks to slow water flow and keep it around.
  • Remember water is also stored in plants. Grow as many different plants as you can to keep water around in your garden.
  • Keep soil covered with plants and/or organic mulches to reduce moisture loss.

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