The Misfit's Manual To Making a Homemade Rain Catcher

As you may or may not know, rain is the best type of water for your garden. It enables lush greens and faster plant growth. There are lots of reasons why.

First, tap or running water may contain metal contaminants from exposure to corrosion (from your plumbing pipes) over time. Some of those elements may be okay for you but not for your garden. 

Second, urban or city tap water is treated at a local plant. During that treatment, the pH level is most often adjusted to neutral (7.0). Different types of soil can handle a range of tap water pH levels, therefore it is important to know your soil type and what water pH works best with it.

Third, plants need Nitrogen, to grow and prosper. Electrical activity, such as lightning flashes, leads to a reaction between atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen, in the presence of water vapor, which forms nitric acid. Nitric acid in rainwater is an important source of fixed nitrogen for plant life. Since plants can not breath in Nitrogen through the air, they absorb it through their roots when the rainwater seeps into the ground.

But how do we utilize rain water when 98% of the year, Southern California is in a drought? The answer is easy. It's called the Misfit's Rain Catcher and can be utilized during those rare occasions when the skies open.


1. Purchase a 40+ gallon garbage can with lid at your local hardware store.

2. When it rains, put on your rain gear and walk the perimeter of your home to determine what area has a maximum capacity for rain run-off. It may be under your gutter or in another area.

3. Remove lid and place the can under that area.

4. Return to the comfort of your home and dry off.

5. Let nature do its work.

6. When the rain stops and the storm passes, place the lid back on the can and move it to a shady location.

7. When your garden needs a little boost from nature, siphon the water from the can into your garden.

8. You are done. Good Job!

You can spend lots of money on water harvesting tanks, but a trash can works just as well. If you like how it's working and want to upgrade to a fancier system, feel free, but it will cost you!

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