Wayside Gardens: Build a Rain Garden

There's a new garden in town. It is (mostly) easy to install, looks good year-round, requires almost no maintenance and has a terrifically upbeat impact on the environment. No wonder rain gardens are such a great new gardening trend!Storm water runoff can be a big problem in summer during heavy thunderstorms. As the water rushes across roofs and driveways, it picks up oil and other pollutants. Municipal storm water treatment plants often can't handle the deluge of water, and in many locations the untreated water ends up in natural waterways. The EPA estimates as much as 70 percent of the pollution in our streams, rivers, and lakes is carried there by storm water! By taking responsibility for the rainwater that falls on your own roof and driveway, you'll be helping to protect our rivers, streams and lakes from stormwater pollution.To reduce the excess water runoff, many towns are encouraging businesses and homeowners to install rain gardens in their yards. Rain gardens are specially constructed gardens located in low areas of a yard where storm water can collect. The idea is to have the water naturally funnel to this garden. The rain garden collects water runoff and stores and filters it until it can be slowly absorbed by the soil. Rather than rushing off into a storm sewer or a local waterway, the rainwater can collect in a garden where it will be naturally filtered by plants and soil.Installing a rain garden is easy.You simply dig a shallow depression in your yard and plant it with native grasses and wildflowers; things that are easy to grow and maintain in your area.What makes a garden a rain garden?First, the garden will be designed with a low spot in the middle to collect and absorb rain water and snow melt. This depression can range from a few inches in a small garden, to an excavated trough that's several feet deep. Second, rain gardens are usually located where they'll catch the runoff from impermeable surfaces like sidewalks and driveways, or from gutters and roof valleys. Third, rain gardens are usually planted with native wildflowers and grasses that will thrive in tough growing conditions. Finally, rain gardens are designed to channel heavy rains to another rain garden or to another part of the garden.Your rain garden should be located at least 10 feet from the house. The garden's size and location depends on the yard. The ideal situation would be to locate the garden in a natural depression. You also can funnel water from downspouts on gutters into the garden. The soil should be well drained so the water doesn't sit in the garden for more than two days. A special "rain garden" soil mix of 50 to 60 percent sand, 20 to 30 percent topsoil, and 20 to 30 percent compost is recommended. You can dig this mixture into the soil to depth of 2 feet before planting.Once you've identified the new garden's location, remove the sod and dig a shallow depression approximately 6-inches deep. Slope the sides gradually from the outside edge to the deepest area. Use the soil that you remove to build up a slightly raised area on the lowest side of the garden. This berm will help contain the stormwater and allow it to percolate slowly through the rain garden.If your rain garden is no more than about 6-inches deep, stormwater will usually be absorbed within a one- to seven-day period. Because mosquitoes require seven to 10 days to lay and hatch their eggs, this will help you avoid mosquito problems.Your downspout or sump pump outlet should be directed toward your rain garden depression. This can be accomplished by a natural slope, by digging a shallow swale, or by piping the runoff directly to the garden through a buried 4" diameter plastic drain tile.Plant Selection... The final touch.The most difficult part of building a rain garden (if it can even be called that) can be plant selection. Plants need to be tough enough to withstand periodic flooding, yet attractive enough to look good in the garden. Deep-rooted, low-care native plants, such as asters, and tough non-natives, such as daylilies, are best. If properly designed, the rain garden can consist of a blend of attractive shrubs, perennials, trees, and ground covers. Planting strips of grass around the garden and using mulch also can help filter the water.New plants should be watered every other day for the first two weeks or so. Once they are well established, your garden should thrive without additional watering. Fertilizers will not be necessary, and only minimal weeding will be needed after the first summer of growth. [EXTRACT] There is a new garden in the city. It's (almost) easy to install, looks good all year, requires almost no maintenance and has a tremendously optimistic impact on the environment. There are rain gardens wonder this great new gardening trend! Stormwater runoff can be a big problem in the summer during heavy thunderstorms. As the water runs through the roofs and driveways, which includes oil and other contaminants. Municipal storm water treatment plants often can not handle the deluge of water, and in many locations the untreated water ends up in natural waterways. The EPA estimates that up to 70 percent of the pollution of our creeks, rivers and lakes is carried by rain water! By taking responsibility for the rainwater that falls on your own roof and home, you will be helping to protect our rivers, streams and lakes stormwater Pollution. To reduce excess runoff, many towns are encouraging businesses and homeowners to install rain gardens in their yards. Rain gardens are specially constructed gardens located in low areas of a yard where rainwater can collect. The idea is that water naturally funnel to this garden. The rain garden collects water runoff and stores and filters until it is slowly absorbed by the soil. Instead of running away in a sewer or a local channel rain water can accumulate in a garden where it is filtered naturally by plants and soil.Installing a rain garden is simply easy.You dig a shallow depression in the garden and plants with native grasses and wildflowers, the things that are easy to grow and maintain in your area. What makes a garden a rain garden First, the garden was designed with a low point in the center to collect and absorb rainwater and melting snow?. This depression can vary from a few centimeters in a small garden, through an excavation that is several feet deep. Gardens in second place, the rain that normally found in the second round will take impervious surfaces like sidewalks and driveways, or channels and valleys of the roof. Third, rain gardens are usually planted with wildflowers and grasses that grow in the harsh growing conditions. Finally, rain gardens are designed to channel heavy rains to another rain garden or other part of the rain garden should be located garden.Your at least 10 feet from the house. Garden size and location depends on the yard. Ideally, locate the garden in a natural depression. You can also pipe the water from the gutters into the garden. The soil should be well drained so that water does not sit in the garden of more than two days. A "rain garden" soil mix of sand from 50 percent to 60, 20 to 30 percent topsoil, and 20 to 30 percent compost is recommended. You can dig this mixture into the soil to a depth of 2 feet before planting. Once you have identified the location of the new garden, remove the grass and dig a shallow depression about 6 inches deep. Slope the sides gradually from the outer edge of the deepest zone. Land use is removed to create a slightly raised area in the lower part of the garden. This berm will help contain rainwater and allow it to percolate slowly through the rain garden. If your rain garden is only about 6 inches deep, usually storm water will be absorbed within seven days-a-a. Because mosquitoes require seven to 10 days to establish and lay their eggs, this will help avoid mosquito problems.Your down or out of the sump pump should be directed to the rain garden depression. This can be achieved by a natural slope, digging a shallow drainage channel or pipe through direct runoff to the garden through a buried 4 "diameter plastic Selection tile.Plant drain ... The final touch. The hardest part of building a rain garden (if you can call it) may be the selection of plants. The plants need to be durable enough to withstand periodic flooding, yet attractive enough to look good in the garden. Deeply rooted in the care of native plants such as asters, and tough non-natives, such as daylilies, are best. If designed properly, the rain garden can consist of a mixture of attractive shrubs, perennials, trees and ground covers. Planting strips of grass in the garden and use mulch also can help filter water.New plants should be watered every two days during the first two weeks or less. Once well established, your garden should thrive without additional watering. Fertilizer is not necessary, and only minimal weeding will be needed after the first summer of growth.
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