Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rain Barrel Details...

As my rain barrels empty I am trying to take advantage of the ability to move them (Fact:  50 gallons of water weighs approximately 417 pounds.  Lesson?  Put your barrels where you want them!) and get the proper footings under them.

I have custom steel tables under two of my barrels, courtesy of the steel company who built my back steps.   Oh how I wish I had asked for more!  (Those little yellow Blackfoot Daisies at the base?  They are 4 feet tall now!)

My other 3 barrels I have up on concrete blocks, and the blocks are just sitting on the ground; i.e. they aren't exactly level.  So, on my list of things to do is to pour a concrete pad for each of them to get them to sit level (and look better.) 

For the one that is on blocks that faces my neighbors' driveway, I'd also plan to build a wooden box (beadboard?) to hide the concrete blocks which are nothing pretty to look at, regardless of shrubs to hide them... but that's another day.

Looks precarious, doesn't it?  Considering the weight...

Yesterday I got one pad poured:

This is for the barrel that is on my garage, back by the alley.  I framed in a 24" x 24" square, leveled it, place 2 sticks of rebar in it, and poured concrete over the whole thing.  The leveling took me the longest... and then it took 3 - 60 pound bags of concrete!   That surprised me -- I was sure that I had done the math wrong on how much I would need, but indeed -- 3 bags.  Just the mixing of it made me glad that I had mentally committed to only doing one pad per day -- uff da.

I was going to stamp in the year like I did on the footings for my steps --

or some other funky design, but in the end I didn't.  Frankly it was really hot out and I got lazy.  And, only the little corners will show anyway -- the pad will mostly be covered up by the concrete blocks.  (Queen of Rationalization still reigns.)

I figure I'll let it set up for a few days and then I'll put it all back and snap another photo for your viewing pleasure.

I also plan to paint the barrels.  They are old food storage barrels, and being plastic I was told there is a special type of paint that they will take.  Of course the name escapes me... but I still have my paperwork from the rain barrel workshop so I'll look it up.  Bright blue isn't exactly in my backyard color wheel.  I mean, it could be... my gazing ball is that color, but ... it's a lot of bright blue.

On a totally unrelated note -- I was hand watering out front this morning, and eye-spied a fat and happy caterpillar on my 5 foot parsley plant.  Surprised I looked closer... and found another one.  And, another one.  And... yes another one!  Four.  Fat.  Happy.  Clearly I haven't been paying attention because they have to have been there for days.

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