Photo courtesy of Roger Mommaerts.

The rainy season in southern California occurs between the months of December and April, although we occasionally experience rain in May and June. The average precipitation of rain in southern California is about 12″, with the majority of rainfall occuring in the month of February.

Although rain is not plentiful in southern California, especially compared with the majority of the United States, we do receive enough water that it can be harvested and stored for later use.
In fact, one way to conserve water and to help your garden grow is to capture rainwater on site in a rain barrel so it can be reused later during drier months.
Rain barrels can be purchased at your local garden or home improvement store. They are easy to install as you can see from the picture, but all rain barrel systems are different so read the directions before you start the installation.
Most rain barrel systems attach a hose to the rain gutter on the side of your house or building. Water is then diverted directly into the barrel. Barrels range in size from 50-60 gallons, so they can hold quite a bit of water and become very heavy.
One of the greatest benefits of installing a rain barrel is that you offset your potable water demand and do your part to conserve water. It also conserves water by recharging the rain water into the ground instead of running off into storm drains.