Recycling rainwater for your garden is like putting money in the bank. Save water, and you'll save money and create a more sustainable environment in your yard. The easiest method to capture rainwater is by diverting your home's downspout into a barrel. Depending on your landscaping needs and preferences, you can use a plastic barrel, an old-fashioned oak barrel or a designer cistern. You can find different kinds of barrels at your local garden center, home improvement store and online.
You can easily access your harvested rainwater by dipping a watering can into your barrel. You can also buy a barrel with a tap installed near the bottom and attach a drip line that runs to your garden. The water pressure in the barrel will be strong enough to push water through the hose, saving you the work.
Create permeable stepping stones made of pebbles encased in wire mesh and place them in the middle of a group of plants. The rainwater will drain through the porous surface created by the pebbles, rather than running over your yard's flat and hard surfaces, so the plants around the stepping stones can benefit from the rainwater.
If you have slopes in your yard, try building swales, or trenches dug perpendicular to the slope. The trenches can be any size, from a few inches deep and wide to several feet deep and wide. Like pebble stepping stones, swales allow you to collect rainwater that your plants can use.