This is the time of year again to think about the coming rainy season. Whether you live in the countryside or in the city, you may have “sewage” from invisible features.
A practical and attractive way to manage this wastewater is with a rain garden!
A rain garden is a depression that is planted on the roofs, sidewalks, lawns, and other places. The soil and vegetation in the rain garden filter out pollution from floodwaters and allow it to enter the soil instead of being swept away by hurricanes or streams.
Rainfall should be about 30 percent of the area where it flows. Choose a place where water can easily lead to a rain garden in a rain garden (when it allows water to seep into the soil, it is guided by a rock or vegetative line of depression).
Find a rain garden and work with the natural shapes of your land. The garden should be away from any buildings and at least 10 feet from the foundations of the building. Do not find a garden in a waste disposal area, shallow facilities or at a level above 15 percent.
To build your rain garden, clear the lawn and dig 18 to 30 inches deep. If you have clay soils, fill the depression with 60 percent sand and 40 percent fertilizer. If your excavated soil is not clay, mix 65% of the excavated soil with 35% mixed material and replenish the depression. The top of the filler should be 6 inches below the ground, creating a pond.
The rain garden itself should have a lower and lower sides. With proper soil mix, the collected sewage should be drained from the rain garden within two days.
If the water supply is more than 2 percent, build small stone dams to keep the water flowing and prevent erosion. Create a 4-foot-tall, rocky outcrop to handle excess water from heavy rainfall. Make some breaks between the edge of your rain garden and the surrounding area.
When choosing plants for your rain garden, consider the following planting zones:
• Zone 1, interior, needs plants that can withstand very humid conditions
• Zone 2, the middle area needs occasionally stagnant water tolerant plants
• Zone 3, the outer edge, requires plants that prefer very dry conditions
Also, consider whether your rain garden is in the sun, in full shade, or individually. Choose plants based on their size, shape, and cultural criteria.
For best results, water regularly in your rain garden for the first two years until plants are formed. In dry weather, keep a 3-inch broom all over the garden to keep it moist.
Remove weeds when they appear. Never use pesticides or fertilizers in your rain garden.
An excellent source of information on rain gardens can be found at extension.wsu.edu/raingarden.
Judy English is a WSU certified Clamlam County Master Gardener.