Rain gardens

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Do Your Part to Protect Your Watershed, Plant a Rain Garden

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Rain gardens

  1. 1. Rain Gardens<br />Sarah J. Williams<br />UMass Amherst<br />Sustainable Sites- Spring 2011<br />
  2. 2. What Is a Rain Garden?<br /><ul><li>A garden with a shallow depression which is strategically located on a property to capture storm water runoff from impermeable surfaces- rooftops, patios, driveways etc, before it enters the waterways
  3. 3. The runoff water is held by the garden and allowed to slowly infiltrate the soil. The soil and plant roots naturally filter pollutants and reduce runoff. </li></li></ul><li>Benefits<br /><ul><li>Allows a natural cleaning process to occur before the water reaches open waterways.
  4. 4. Protects communities from flooding.
  5. 5. Protects streams and lakes from pollutants .
  6. 6. Enhances beauty of landscaping.
  7. 7. Provides habitat for birds, butterflies and other good insects.
  8. 8. Makes for a good family/group project and encourages active green living.</li></li></ul><li>Choosing a Location<br /><ul><li>10 feet from house to prevent seepage.
  9. 9. Near existing downspout.
  10. 10. Away from septic tank.
  11. 11. Away from existing wet patches-prevents ponding.
  12. 12. Sun is better than shade.
  13. 13. Flat is better than sloped.
  14. 14. Near a window or outside deck for viewing enjoyment.</li></li></ul><li>Size and Shape<br /><ul><li>Garden should be 4-8 inches deep and as level as possible.
  15. 15. Size-
  16. 16. Rain Garden Area = 5-10% Surface area of runoff collection (i.e. roof, driveway etc)
  17. 17. Depth and area are dependant on climate in area where garden is being planted
  18. 18. Best to use visually pleasing shapes- round edges, kidney shaped etc.</li></li></ul><li>Soil Requirements<br /><ul><li>Type of soil- sandy soil absorbs water faster than clay soil.
  19. 19. Compost makes a significant difference in root development.
  20. 20. TEST DRAINAGE FIRST - Dig a hole 18 inches deep and fill with water. If water is drained within 24 hours location is good for rain garden.</li></li></ul><li>Plants<br /><ul><li>Use native plants in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.
  21. 21. Select plants with a well-developed root system. Seeds can take too long to develop and can be compromised by too much water or animals.
  22. 22. Plants need to be able to handle heavy amounts of water and periods of dryness.
  23. 23. Plants that can handle more water should be placed at the lowest point in the garden- center or back edge depending on slope.
  24. 24. New England Wild Flower Association Rain Garden Plant List
  25. 25. If you are outside of New England, Google “rain garden plants for Your Location” to find plant lists. </li></ul>New England Aster<br />Coneflower<br />
  26. 26. Last But Not Least…<br />Maintenance<br /><ul><li>Minimal regular maintenance required.
  27. 27. Weeding:
  28. 28. First year- once a month during growing season
  29. 29. subsequent years- once a season
  30. 30. Watering only required during times of drought.</li></ul>Cost<br /><ul><li>Relatively inexpensive project.
  31. 31. If its possible to get plants from friends or neighbors the cost will be negligible.
  32. 32. Plants purchased from a local nursery the garden will cost approximately $3-5 per square foot of garden. </li></li></ul><li>Help Protect Your Watershed By Planting a Rain Garden<br />
  33. 33. Sources<br />http://www.newenglandwild.org/publications-and-resources/rain-gardens.html<br />http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/GWQ037.pdf<br />http://www.neponset.org/raingarden.htm<br />http://www.ehow.com/how_5289060_test-soil-drainage.html<br />

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