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Monday, January 30, 2012

Water infiltration features: the rain garden is almost ready to plant

A rain garden is a rainwater infiltration device.  It's sort of like a leaky pond: the water is held in the rain garden for a few hours until it can infiltrate into the soil.  Rain gardens are often placed near gutter downspouts (like ours in Mother Nature's Backyard) or next to sidewalks or driveways to catch the runoff. 

We've been so fortunate that community volunteer John Moore has helped us do some major earth moving with his front end loader.

Leveling the site - January
John Moore and Kelley discuss site leveling

John did the initial digging for the rain garden - lots easier than doing it by hand!   Then we finished the digging with picks and shovels.  Fortunately, the rain garden is located in a sandy part of the site.  This will help speed the infilatration of water into the soil.

When the water garden was deep enough to accommodate our roof runoff we filled the hole with gravel, then covered the gravel with a layer of soil.  We'll complete the filling after the path is laid.  Then we'll be ready to plant our rain garden with plants that like a little winter flooding.

Measuring size and depth

Gravel layer - 12-20 inches

Andy Dawdy smooths out the gravel

Rain garden re-filled with soil.  We'll add more fill, place some rocks and smooth the sides once the walkway is completed

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