Your gutters connect to your downspouts and your downspouts direct the water where you need it to go so your foundation remains free from water damage and so you do not end up with standing water in your yard. You can also design your drainage system to ensure it does not take excessive debris to the street drains, resulting in clogs that cause street flooding.
Nonetheless, you can use your downspouts to create a rainwater harvesting system, allowing you to put the water where your plants need it.
You can invest in a rain barrel, which will hold up to 60 gallons of water and then distribute the captured water to your plants as they need them. The goal is to empty the barrel before the next storm arrives, although you don’t have control over the weather.
Nonetheless, 50 gallons is just a small portion of the water you could be collecting when it rains. Believe it or not, over 900 gallons of water flows off of a roof during a 1-inch rain shower. Instead of catching just a little bit, you can capture it all and divert the water from your downspouts to your garden.
A standard plastic trash can, a hose manifold that will allow you to attach a number of hoses, and a bulkhead fitting to fit one manifold to each trash can.
You simply cut a hole near the bottom of the trash can, attach the bulkhead fitting, and then screw on the manifold. Cut a hole in the trash can lid, install the can right under the downspout that is near your garden, and cut off the downspout if it is too long to go inside the trash can. You can fit a screen in the hole to catch debris. A screen at the bulkhead entrance can help with that as well.
The last step is to install perforated hoses after you decide where you want to direct the rainwater to. Cut them to the lengths that you need, cap the ends or fold back and secure the ends with wire. Simply drill holes in the hoses every foot or so. Attach the hoses to the manifold.
This is a great way to use your downspouts to water your flower garden or your crops for you. It is also very inexpensive and is a great way to recycle water. Rather than having to hook up water hoses to an outside spigot to water your plants or crops, nature is giving it to you for free and with minimal effort.