Please include a caution about children and rain barrels. My then-five-year old brother nearly drowned in a neighbor's uncovered rain barrel many years ago. Children are endlessly curious/mischievous, and a full rain barrel is an intriguing sight to them. Keep rain barrels covered!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Thank you for your comment. We will update our articles on rain barrels with this information.
You are oh so right! Keeping them covered also keeps the likelihood of them becoming mosquito breeding grounds out of the picture. I have always recommended placing a secure tight mesh screen or solid wood cap on them secured in place with just enough room for the downspout that fills them. Most of the ones available today do have covers with just enough room for the downspout but there are still some of the true old wooden rain barrels and home made ones out there with way too big of openings in them. Falling in head first would be tragic.