This weekend, I got outside and just walked around the yard a little bit. It still was a cold weekend, getting into the low 50’s. While walking around, I noticed some leaking coming from the rain barrels. I was a bit in shock, because I didn’t understand why there was water in the rain barrels. I left the ball valve open at the bottom of the rain barrels so any rain we had would just flow out.
The above picture was the “good” one. It still had a crack in the “T” joint where the main PVC pipe connected into the rain barrel. But, another barrel – just directly next to it, was much worse:
Pretty nice crack up there! Well, I suspect that the cracked because the water inside may have frozen – at least that is my thoughts.
I hooked a hose up to the ball valve – where the water should have been draining out of – and backwashed it. Welp, it looks like some leaves and junk got down into it and that is why it wasn’t draining properly!
So then I looked up at the top where the main rain barrel is that has the hole in the top and the gutters all flow into. The filter was missing! So, that explains it. I have gutter guards on the entire house and garage (which is where all of the water comes from) but somehow leaves and some small twigs got into the barrels.
Still – the rain barrels were put up in 2010. Seven years later, they are still doing well and am quite lucky that this is the first time I’ve had to do any maintenance on them. Considering everything is left out to the elements, it is surprising that with as many fittings and connectors there are, this was the first issue. But I won’t complain!
Here the rain barrel system still stands (water flowing from one of the unions that I un-screwed to take the barrels down):
So I had to buy a new 5-foot piece of 2-inch PVC pipe, two “T” connectors, two new male-threaded adapters, and four couplers.
I wanted to salvage the PVC unions because those things are expensive! So I cut off the bad pipe, put the couplers in, glued everything together, and put it back up. Hindsight says I should have taken a couple pictures of that process to post, but I didn’t.
Now the test will be to see if it holds water or if there will be any other leaks. Probably should close the ball valve since we are expecting a little bit of rain this week – and see if there are any other leaks elsewhere.
OK, moving on from the rain barrel repairs. The lettuce has all sprouted! Very good germination again. I planted 12 seeds each of four varieties and the majority came up.
There is one variety (second from the left) that didn’t germinate very well. Only about two of 12 seeds came through. There were about two others that germinated but didn’t seem to last. Not fully sure what variety that is, but I am wondering if it is the New Red Fire lettuce. I’ve always had fairly poor germination out of those seeds. But, I planted some Simpson Elite, Buttercrunch, New Red Fire, and Red Salad Bowl lettuce. Wanted to start this year off with immediately trying to get 12 total lettuce plants in the garden. In year’s past, I would do one of each variety – and would do that every couple of weeks. That way they were staggered and would potentially provide a couple weeks more of lettuce. But that didn’t really pan out – because it starts to get fairly hot in June (too hot for lettuce anyways) and they all bolt / turn bitter right away.
And another photo of the germination station – shows the older onions, celery, and some of the lettuce.