Last summer, the DYI store near me had a thing for systems to collect rainwater & store it for watering the garden later. I didn't get off my butt to get one then, but the idea grew on me over the winter, and this year I've decided to do something.
The rain hitting my roof is all collected into the gutters, which are attached to pipes that take it all straight down and away, so there's not much to collect off the main house. But the gardening shed doesn't have a gutter, so I could do something there.
Off to the DYI store, and not only are rain collection systems so last year as to not have anything at all on hand, but I don't even find gutters to attach myself. Perhaps they're out in the drive-in, semi-industrial part of the store. That part, strangely, is not connected to the inside part of the store, or even the outside part that has gardening stuff. You have to go out and walk a long, long way around, and in another way. It's crowded. The heck with that. Like I know anything about installing gutters anyway.
What they do have are nice containers with lids. Made of thick green garden plastic, one holds about nearly a cubic meter of water. And the lids stay on pretty well, they won't go flying off in the wind. So I got two of those, and three large rectangular trays, about 36 inches by 8, maybe 2 inches tall, the kind you put under long planters on the balcony.
That all got arranged to catch the water falling off the roof of the shed, and we've had enough rain just this weekend to half fill a barrel already. Now I'm thinking maybe just a series of barrels under that eave would be best. It would have been more, but this morning when I left the house I forgot to take the lids off the barrels in anticipation of rain later.
The other thing I did out in the yard Saturday morning was take the saw and whack off this major limb from the plum tree that hits the side of the house whenever there's a lot of wind. There's been a lot of wind lately, and I've lost two roof tiles where this branch hits the house. So off it goes. Barbeque wood, once it's dried.
The apples are nearing the end of their bloom, and the cherries are covered with little hard fruit now. A week ago, I rejoiced to see the apricot covered with early fruit, but the tree is old and diseased. It has hardly any leaves, and what with the terrible wind and all, most of the nascent fruit is gone. Who knows how much will mature. Enough for jam? Likely not.
What I should do, is have somebody come out and remove the apricot and the even older and crummier plum tree next to it. Replace them with a new apricot and a peach. There were 16 fruit trees when I moved in, and the lease says there have to be 16 when I leave. I guess it depends on how long I plan on staying, whether the work is worth it.