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Hallett News & Tips

The Rain Garden

February 8th, 2012

No matter how good your gutter system and ground drainage, there still comes a time where something wrong happens. Fortunately, since you have a drainage system ready there’s nothing serious to worry about. Given the proper maintenance, regulating the water flow requires minimal effort. When heavy or sudden rains occur, most of the water goes straight to the neighborhood drain. Some households have rain harvesting devices, but there’s just a number of them and presumably most of the people are too busy to deal with it. What can you do?
There’s a wrong perception to rainwater. People say that rainwater is clean but they are terribly incorrect. When it flows down to the ground coming from higher places dirt, bacteria, particles of dirt and chemicals merge with it, making a lethal mixture. Water runoff composes most of the water pollution we have by almost 80%!
A rain garden is an excellent alternative to use the excess rainwater our gutters collect. This is one of the best ways to handle water runoff just in case you can’t avoid it from happening. It’s designed to contain water temporarily and gradually absorb it. Don’t be mistaken in assuming that it’s identical to a water garden because it’s dry most of the time. It drains within two days so it can’t be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. There’s a big difference of a rain garden to the usual that we have. The rain garden is dug up, removing up to a foot of soil and mixed with sand and compost to maximize water absorption. It’s extremely easy to maintain and adds to the nature-friendly look of your home. The best thing about a rain garden is you can actually make one yourself at no cost.
Test the soil – Dig a small hole of about 6 inches where you want to place your rain garden. Try putting water in it and see if it dries up after a day. If It takes more than a day to dry up a rain garden isn’t applicable.
Where to place it / Size – It is best to set up rain gardens near your downspouts, at least 10 feet away to prevent any seepage to your house foundation. Don’t place it under trees or sewage systems and make sure it gets adequate sunlight. The size must be about 20% the size of the roof. On average, rain gardens range from 100 to 300 square feet.
What plants to get – Shrubs, wildflowers and perennials are the best plants to put here. They don’t require fertilizers and need minimal maintenance. You can get existing plants in your garden.
Dig, dig and dig – You can use shovels or rakes for digging. If the land is on a slope, make a berm on the other side so that it can hold the water. A berm acts as a wall for the lower side of the rain garden. To prevent this from eroding you can cover it with grass to keep it intact.
Designing – Design as you wish! You can put stones, fences and other ornamental plants. The shape of the usual rain garden is shaped like a kidney or like a small pond.
Rain gardens work hand in hand with your gutter system. Not only that the rain garden collects most of the water, it makes the most out of it rather than just letting it flow away from the house. It’s aesthetically pleasing too!

Posted in: Articles, Gutter System, Gutters