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Spring is upon us and so are those spring rains. Are you dreaming of setting up your own rainwater storage system for your homestead or backyard garden? But are wondering if rainwater storage is right for you? Perfect! Today you and I are going to talk about why your plants love rainwater, the benefits of rainwater storage, and answer a few top questions beginners ask. Let’s get growing.

Main Points

  • Why Your Plants Will Benefit

  • Conservational Benefits

  • Environmental Benefits

  • Energy Benefits

  • Economic Benefits

  • Tips to Get Started

Resources Mentioned:


Have you been contemplating starting a rainwater harvesting system for your homestead or backyard garden?

Then you are in the right place. Today I am going to discuss with you why you should start a rainwater harvesting system. And not only that but maybe even lay some of your worries you have been having to the side. But first, let’s start with the basics.

What Is It?

Rainwater harvesting is the collection of and storage of rainwater that can accumulate on your roof, your barn’s roof, and even on your property, as in running down hills and collecting in ponds or reservoirs. And using that water and storing it in some kind of tank or device that will hold water for later use.

Rainwater can be easily used to water your livestock and for yourself as rainwater is potable, which means that it is safe to drink. And most importantly your plants and garden are going to be the ones who will benefit the most from the rainwater that you store.

Why Your Plant Love Rainwater

Rainwater and the rainwater cycle were perfectly designed to water your plants. God knew what he was doing when he set up our world. There are 4 main reasons rainwater is perfect for your plants.


Rainwater is soft. This means that it is free of minerals and salts. My well water and most tap water is hard because it comes from underground and has been saturated with minerals from the earth. Whereas rainwater is water that has gone through the purest water filtration system in the world, evaporation.

Rainwater is water in its purest form. And your plant loves that rainwater is not already full of minerals they don’t want before it is even sprinkled on the soil because it can then pick up more minerals from the soil the plants need and want.

Water is used to feed your plants by dissolving nutrients in the soil and forming a soil sludge. Then the plant's roots suck in that sludge and thus feeds and water the plant all at once.

Slightly Acidic

Plants love soil with a pH of 7 and if your soil is more of a base, which is above 7, rainwater can help you balance your pH. Also nutrients, like phosphorus, can be better absorbed and be made available in a slightly acidic environment, like 7.02 to 7.06. It can be kind of mind-boggling when your plants are suffering from low phosphorus and you know it is in the soil. But your plants are not absorbing it. And who knew that it can come down to very slight pH levels that can fix these problems.

Rain Water Harvesting


Rainwater also contains nitrates. Nitrates are when nitrogen in the atmosphere is attached to the oxygen molecules in water or rainwater. Nitrates are the perfect form of nitrogen for your plants. Remember your plants get their nutrients from the water sludge they absorb and nitrates travel very easily in water. Nitrogen itself doesn’t travel as efficiently so it is harder for your plants to absorb.


When it rains on your plants in your garden the temperature of the rainwater is only slightly colder than the environment your plants are in. Where well or tap water comes from underground and can have a larger difference in temperature than your plant's environment. This is not detrimental to your plants but it does and can cause unnoticeable stress in your plants. Or in other words, they just don’t like cold showers. I know I don’t.

For example in situations where your plants are going to be in a stressful state anyways adding too cold or too hot of water to the soil can cause added stress. That is why when I am transplanting my seedlings I only water with run temperature water to not add more stress and increase transplant shock.

Rainwater Harvesting Benefits

I have shared with you why rainwater is loved by your plants. Now let’s look at how rainwater harvesting and storage can help us.

Rainwater harvesting and storage help promote sustainable water management practice and can help you become more self-sufficient. Because it provides another source of water and who doesn’t like more water, right.

I am going to break these benefits into the different areas that rainwater can help us and our communities below.

Conservational Benefits

Rainwater is essentially free. The storage system will not be but the water itself is free and can reduce your dependency on water that is not free.

Harvesting rainwater and even doing the research can be a great benefit to you and your family because it can give you a visual as to how much water you use. For example, did you know that for you to water your garden using a ¾ inch hose for 1 hr a week, you can use up to 1,860 gallons of water and in a month 12,240 gallons of water? Or what about watering your animals, to water 30 chickens for a week takes 17.5 gallons, and in month 520 gallons of water. And our goat, I give 5 gallons of water for every two goats daily. Let say I have 4 goats, that is 10 gallons a day, 70 gallons a week, and 2100 gallons a month.

You can see how these numbers add up very quickly. It is a great lesson to show your kids how easily we take our water supplies for granted.

Rain Water Harvesting

Environmental Benefits

Rainwater storage can reduce soil erosion. When you change your landscape to account for the rainwater runoff, with reservoirs, ponds, or even rain gardens, you are slowing the water’s speed and volume and thus slow erosion. Also when you gather and store most of the rainwater that gathers on your roof during a heavy rainstorm you can reduce the volumes of water that can hit all at once in your yard or even in your streets thus reduce your city's need to manage it.

Also using rainwater more efficiently can reduce your demand for groundwater sources. And like I said before your plants love rainwater so having healthy plants is going to have a huge impact on our environment. Rainwater is God’s perfect plant fertilizer!

Energy Benefits

Most rainwater systems run off a natural gravity flow system so it does not need electricity. The water just naturally flows off of your roof, through your gutter, and then fills your storage tank or device. When you go to use the water, the spigot is located at the bottom of the tank so the weight of the water in the tank will create pressure and move the water from the tank down your hose or pipe to where you wish to water your plants or fill a water tank for your animal.

It is also an automatic filling system. Your system will be filled every time it rains. Gravity is an amazing free resource!

Economic Benefits

This again combines several benefits as rainwater is free and it does not take electricity to run a system. And also in cities when citizens help slow the water rushing to your city’s streets it can reduce the need to manage stormwater overflow.

If you feel that you are ready to start your own rainwater harvesting system. I suggest you check out this blog post, How to Avoid the Top 7 Rainwater Harvesting Mistakes, before you begin.

Rain Water Harvesting

Top Questions

Now I am sure you may have a few more questions. Below are the top 3 questions that many ask when starting a rainwater harvesting system. I know I asked them myself.

Is Rainwater Harvesting Against the Law?

This is a very good question. I can’t give you a straight answer but what I can say is that every state has its own guideline. In some states it is against the law as in others it is encouraged because it can help with city water demands. So my suggestion to you is to look up your own state guideline. Here is a website that may help get started.

How Much Rainwater Can I Collect?

To help you calculate exactly what your roof can gather in a year, I am going to give you two things. One the formula for calculating your totals and a website where you can look up how much rainfall that your area gets in a year. Here is the formula:

(Surface Area of your Roof) x (average annual rainfall) x (70% to account for evaporation) = the total amount of rainwater that you can harvest off of your roof in a year.

The website is the NOAA or National Oceanic Atmospheric Association. On this website, you will be able to look up your state and even your county and find the average yearly amount of rainfall per year.

Now don’t let this huge number scare you into thinking that rainwater harvesting is going to be too expensive. Remember this total is for a whole year and that you will be using that rainwater between storms so you will not need a system to hold all of this water at once. Also even though this number is huge the amount of water you can truly store is going to depend on the size of your storage system. The last thing you want to do is cover your backyard with your rainwater storage tanks and not have room to grow those delicious vegetables. So just start small and then grow from there.

Is Rainwater Safe For My Animals to Drink?

The quick answer is yes. And just like plants, your animals will benefit from it because it will not be weighed down with all of those minerals and salts.


In conclusion, storing rainwater will not only benefit your plants, your animals, your landscape, and the environment but also you. I want to thank you for joining me and as always,

Pray, Just Plant

Intro 01:00

What Is It? 01:23

Why Your Plant Love Rainwater 02:42

Soft 03:33

Slightly Acidic 07:09

Nitrates 08:36

Temperature 09:55

Tips and Tricks 12:19

Rainwater Harvesting Benefits 13:19

Conservational Benefits 15:31

Environmental Benefits 18:58

Energy Benefits 22:22

Economic Benefits 23:19

Growing With God 24:10

Top Questions 27:29

Is Rainwater Harvesting Against the Law? 27:50

How Much Rainwater Can I Collect? 28:53

Is Rainwater Safe For My Animals to Drink? 31:30

Conclusion 31:52

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