Rain Gardens accomplish many landscape goals and have gained popularity throughout cities in the US over the last few years. These gardens embody sustainability, resourcefulness, environmental positivity and when done right beautiful artistic expressions.
To put it simply, properly designed rain gardens are a flat bottom bowl shape to collect water in rain events and drain into the soil within a 24 hour time period. Designers go through a process to determine amount of water that will be collected, type of soil garden will be in and complementary design creation. Plant choices are also specifically designed for the location within the gardens. The main idea is to incorporate rain water back into the ground water system and replenish our aquafers instead of directing water into a storm water system that carry debris and chemicals with it. This system elevates flooding because rain water is designed to stay on site and not be carried off to some other holding area.
A few things that rain gardens are not: ponds or wetlands that would hold just enough water to breed mosquitos, weedy wild planting beds or high maintenance plantings that stick out like a sore thumb. A properly planned, planted and maintained site will be beneficial to all both aesthetically and environmentally. Contact us to help you out with coaching, design, installation or maintenance of your Clean Water Landscaping. Call Amy Voight 507-581-6886 email aTeam@vhiinc.com and checkout our social media platforms to inspire your own journey!
Weeding: set aside a time twice a
week to spend walking over your landscape and remove those pesky little plants
by hand. A dandelion digger, soil knife or small trowel are excellent tools to
help with this task. If undesirable plants are allowed to get bigger you may
have to use a tree puller or large shovel! Use of pre-emergent herbicides are
helpful but are commonly applied several times during growing season and can
have chemicals that runoff into waterways polluting the water.
Pruning: there is a right and a wrong
time of the year to complete pruning for many plant varieties. One general rule
is spring bloomers need to be cut right after they finish blooming. Shrubs also
should be managed in a timely fashion so that extra energy wouldn’t be required
for trimming as is the case when they are overgrown. Using a hand powered hedge
clippers, Felco pruners or loppers can be a great workout with no fuel
emissions involved. Dispose of the debris at a compost site or use in your
Mulching: when a locally sourced
product is used at a proper depth (3-6” for wood mulch and 2-3” for landscape
rock) it conserves moisture and greatly reduces weed growth in the landscape.
Varying product types also provides great textural interest. Often mulch needs
topdressing every couple of years or so to maintain a fresh look and maximum
weed suppression. A leaf blower is highly recommended for rock areas to keep
out debris and plant litter over the season so that a layer of compost (dirt)
is likely to begin to form in the rock.
Fertilizing: proper soil preparation
and plant selection will ultimately lead to a decreased need to supplement
fertilizer for plant health. Many available fertilizer products add too much of
one type of nutrient and not enough of another and are developed for a ‘quick
shot’ approach to plant health. The ‘unused’ nutrients can runoff into the
water system and negatively affect areas downstream. Native plant material is a
good place to start for selection in a landscape design that won’t need special
Watering: similar to fertilizing, the
proper plant in the proper place will just about eliminate the need for
supplemental watering once established. Also properly designing a landscape
with swales and depressions for water collection or directing can be helpful to
replenish ground water.
tips and tricks by scheduling a Landscape Coaching appointment with us today!