Friday, May 4, 2007

Things to Think About While Planing Your Own Rain Garden

  • Step One: Sizing and Sitting the Rain Garden
    • Rain Gardnes can be either 1.) near the house to catch only roof runoff or 2.) further out on the lawn to collect water from the lawn and the roof
    • Should be at least ten feet from the house, so to protect the foundation
    • Do not place over a septic system
    • Rain Gardens survive better in full to partial sunlight
    • Putting the rain garden on a flatter part of the yard with make digging easier
    • Be sure to consider the overall landscape of your yard and the view from the inside your house when planning where to place your rain garden
    • When deciding how big to make your rain garden be sure to think about both time and cost. On average, rain gardens are 100 to 300 square feet
    • A rain garden is typically four to eight inches deep. The goal is to keep the garden level and the slope of the lawn should determine the depth of the rain garden
  • Step Two: Building the Rain Garden
    • If working alone, on average, the rain garden will take about six hours to complete. When working with friends it should take only one to two hours.
    • When digging on an existing lawn digging time can be shortened by first killing the grass.
    • One must create a BERM around the garden. A berm is low wall around three sides of a rain garden to hold water in during a storm
    • In an garden, compost will help plants to become established
  • Step Three: Planting and Maintaining the Rain Garden
    • Be sure to select plants that have a well established root system
    • Make sure to have at least a rough plan for which plants will be placed where
    • Weeding will be needed the first couple of years
    • A rain gardens will cost approximately three to fiver dollars per square foot

How Rain Gardens Help

  • Rain Gardens soak up rainwater mainly from the roof but also from the driveway and lawn
  • Gardens fill with a few inches of water and then the water is allowed to slowly filter into the ground rather than running off into the storm drains/streets
  • Rain gardens allow for 30% more water to soak into the ground compared to traditional lawns
  • Stopping runoff helps prevent pollutants like fertilizers from washing off your yard into storm drains and eventually into nearby lakes and streams
  • They also reduce the chances of local flooding, as well as bank and shoreline damage
  • Rain Gardens also provide valuable wildlife habitat, enhance the beauty of your yard and neighborhood, reduce the erosion of stream banks and lakeshores, and reduce the need for costly municipal storm water treatment structures

Rain Gardens Around the Walnut Way Community