Using Water-butts

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water-butt-in-permaculture-gardenWater is crucial to growth and if you are working with the principles of permaculture then it is essential to find ways to save water and make best use of any available water supply.

Swales are much talked about by permaculture advocates. A swale is a depressed area either naturally there or deliberately dug out in order to save and control the supply of water.

Patrick Whitefield has written a great article about swales here if you would like more details. I am still in the process of learning about permaculture and am not sure if a swale would be feasible or useful in our rocky, rainy garden but if it is I hope one day to be able to create one.

In the absence of a swale we have put in three water butts – they are connected to the roof gutters and given the abundance of rain here in Galway it made sense to save some.

Since then we have bought another three new water butts and placed them in handy places around the garden. They’re not connected to anything at all as there is nothing to connect them to.

Connecting water butts to roof gutters isn’t always feasible ,so I just leave the tops off to catch the rain directly.  Saving water is great but it’s not just about saving water because placing the water butts close to the flower beds saves work and time as well.


Having them close to where my plants are growing saves me all that fetching and carrying.  I have one in my vegetable garden and it saves me a lot of time.

More recently a good friend of ours rigged up a large water tank to save water from the roof of our shed. Due to our recent bout of rainy weather the tank was soon filled.

hen using water butts in permaculture garden












It may seem strange for such a famously wet part of Ireland but believe me despite the rain, we do get dry periods in Galway and it only seems to take a few days for our limey and rocky soil to dry out and for tender young plants to die.

Even if you only have a small garden it is still worth your while installing a water-butt. It is great to have ‘free’ water to water your plants.

The water isn’t safe to drink without treatment but if your water is turned off for repairs or if there is a shortage then at least you have water for the toilet.


I don’t know where in the world you are reading this but I’m in Ireland and since a gang of greedy billionaire bankers decided to use our economy as a playground we have been enduring a punishing recession.

To deal with this, that bunch of blood-sucking wallies who call themselves a government have placed the banks on social welfare and taken money and services from the poor, old and sick. To further fund this obscenity they have been introducing tax after tax, charge after charge and cut after cut.

flower-pot man in permaculture gardenNot content with that, they are now introducing water charges so they can give even more money to the banks – excuse the rant but it’s what happens when you’re forced to watch the country being sold out.

So where was I? Oh yes water butts – the best thing is that by installing water-butts you can save yourself a few euro too.

Remember every euro you save by using your water-butt is a euro less for the banks – every little helps!

Bye for now and good luck with your gardening.


P.S. To obtain and share a FREE 21 card set of the original permaculture ethics and principles click here.

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