Rain Gardens – Water Conservation Landscapes
Landscapes and lawns can play a big role in water quality and quantity issues if they are not designed and managed properly. When you are able to maintain your designs and manage them, water resources can be protected leaving landscaping to provide other environmental and economical benefits. Water can be protected from pollution and excess water can be reduced by creating or having a rain garden. A rain garden is like a native forest. It collects, absorbs and filters the storm water that runs off from roofs, patios and driveways where water cannot soak in.
Rain gardens can be built to fit your yard according to size and shape. The soil mixes that they are built in will allow water to soak in fast which helps to support the growth of healthy plants. Rain gardens can be landscaped with several types of plants to fit in with its surroundings. These gardens filter oil and grease from your driveway. They also filter pesticides and fertilizer from lawns. They actually filter other pollutants before they have a chance to reach the storm drain, streams and lakes. Rain gardens help to reduce flooding on a neighbor’s property, overflow in sewers and also reduce stream erosion by absorbing water from surfaces that are not capable of being affected. Some insects and even birds find a habitat in rain gardens. The rain gardens increase the water amount that soaks in the ground which recharges local ground water.
Although rain gardens require very little maintenance, they still need maintenance. In order to keep it looking as pretty as you created it to look, you will still need to look after it and give it regular care. You will need to deep water it during the dry hot season so that the roots will stay healthy. If you have the right plants planted for that particular season, the rain garden will need little to no water after a couple of years. You will need to keep an eye out for leaves that may become wilted during the dry periods so you will know how to care accordingly. Sprinklers and soaker hoses can be used as the rain garden’s watering technique. Soaker hoses can save water and they can be covered with mulch to help save.
Mulching your garden prevents erosion, as well as controls the growing weeds we all hate to see. Mulching also keeps the organic material in the soil replenished. It helps to improve infiltration. The mulch layers should be checked every year. Weeding should be easy to do by hand. Even though weeds grow, the gardens still soak up and filter the storm water. The soil structure should make the weeds easy to pull out. Exposed soil and erosion (also called sediment) can cause the soil mix to clog which will result in slow drainage. This can eventually flow off into streams and wetlands and harm them as well, including the fish spawning areas. If this happens, you may need to reduce the slope of the pipe that directs water to the garden.
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