How To Winterize Your Rain Barrels

How To Winterize Your Rain Barrels

How To Winterize Your Rain Barrels

Winter Rain Barrel

With the summer fading in our rearview, here in Ontario, we just celebrated Thanksgiving which to many is the true onset of the fall season. It’s now that super depressing time of year where we sadly say goodbye to our beautiful gardens. We harvest our bountiful vegetables and we prepare for fall clean up and the winterization of our gardens.

If you’re like me and you love the idea of harvesting rainwater for your garden, chances are you have a rain barrel or two on your property. Today I’m going to briefly talk about how to winterize and take care of your rain barrels so as to maintain their integrity. Keeping them in great shape allows you to benefit from them for years to come.

There are several steps you’ll want to take if you live in the Northern Hemisphere and (like us here in Ontario, Canada) expect a crap ton of snow this winter. You’ll want to begin winterizing towards the end of September or early October.

.1. Disconnect & Drain Your Barrel(s)

Disconnect the spigot and the downspout. If you have a diverter, remove that as well. Drain your barrel(s) completely.

.2. Flip Your Barrel(s))

Once drained, flip your barrels upside down (if they have a stand – which they should!). Or lay them on their sides if you do not have a stand. Allow them to dry out completely, approximately 2-3 weeks.

.3. Store Your Barrel(s)

Once completely dry, move your barrels into a shed or garage for the winter. If you have to leave them outside, flip them back to the upside down position. Wrap them with a tarp and some rope. This helps to ensure the integrity of the barrel for years to come.


Make sure to replace your downspout and extension spout so that the spring melt continues to run away from the house. Come spring, once the threat of frost has passed, you may then set up your barrels all over again and collect that lovely rainwater for your gardens! That’s it! It’s simple and easy. Remember, if you take care of your rain barrels, your rain barrels will take care of you (by feeding your garden)



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