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wood rain barrels Pros/Cons

 
pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Pennsylvania Pocono Mt Neutral-Acidic Elv1024ft AYR41in Zone 5b
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Hi, I'm looking to install one, 55 gal. rain catchment barrel to water edible plants during drought. One of my perm/homestead goals is to reduce the use of plastic. There are recycled wine/whiskey wood barrels available on the market. In my opinion, wood is aesthetically pleasing over plastic, concrete , etc. My concerns are lifespan, maintenance, cleaning, wood drying out, unwanted organic growth, insect infestation and (since I'm in zone 6) winterization. Is there anyone using wood rain barrels? Thanks!
 
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Wood barrels depend on being wet to be water-tight, so their effectiveness will vary. White oak is fairly rot resistant, so as long as the water flows frequently, and there is ventilation, you should be fine. Linseed oil or pine tar on the outside will help with the drying out, as well as add a bit of UV protection once it starts to turn black. I have more experience with boats then barrels, but the principles are similar. For what it's worth, all of the wooden cisterns that I've seen have really been wooden facades covering plastic barrels. Just drain for the winter, and keep it off of the dirt... and ventilation.
 
Rick Roman
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Mark, Great advise. Thank you.
 
gardener
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Location: Cascades of Oregon
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I have a redwood hot tub that is probably 30 yrs old now, I've had it apart once to replace boards that were damaged but not from rot.
 
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