Wisconsin; Rain Gardens - Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes

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Wisconsin; Rain Gardens - Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes
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  water qualitywildlifebeauty   R ain  G  ardens   why have a rain garden?  With a rain garden, you can prevent storm-water runoff from leaving your property andhelp it soak down into the ground. Sources of runoff include downspouts from rain guttersas well as pavement and large expanses of lawn. Runoff lowers the quality of nearbysurface water by bringing in pollutants anderoding shorelines. Runoff can also increaseflooding, deplete groundwater reserves, andlead to the building of costly water treatmentinfrastructures.  why use native plants?  Once established, native plants need very littlemaintenance. They improve your garden overtime, as their deep roots break up the soil andabsorb more runoff every year. Natives bringlife to your garden, providing food and shelterfor birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects,including mosquito-eating dragonflies. Nativesbring beauty to your garden, offering a varietyof blooms during the growing season andberries or sculptural seedheads during winter.Native plants can be found at local orregional native plant nurseries.  you can be part of the solution!  It doesn't take a lot of time or money to builda rain garden, and even a small one can makea big difference to your nearby lakes andstreams.  want more info?  Visit www.for-wild.org for: ãdetailed instructions on the construction of a rain garden,ãa list of plant species native to yourecoregion,ãlistings for regional and national educationalwebsites,ãfurther information about Wild Ones, and tolocate the Wild Ones chapter nearest you.Wild OnesP.O. Box 1274Appleton, WI 54912-1274(877) 394-9453email: WOResource@for-wild.org.www.for-wild.org THE WILD ONES MISSION Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes promotesenvironmentally sound landscaping practices to preservebiodiversity through the preservation, restoration andestablishmentofnativeplantcommunities.WildOnesisanot-for-profit environmental education and advocacyorganization. PREPARED BY THE WILD ONESCOMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE - BROCHURES TEAMEDITOR: EVELYN J. HADDENDESIGNER: JOY BUSLAFF   what is a rain garden?  A rain garden is simply a shallow depressionin your yard that holds stormwater runoff andhelps it filter down into the ground. A raingarden isn't a pond, though it can be designedto include one. Rain gardens are typically drymuch of the time, filling with water during arainstorm and then emptying over the nextfew days.  where to put it ?  Watch the water flow during your next rain-storm. Locate your rain garden in its path.Try to place your rain garden at least 10 feetfrom the house to keep water away from yourfoundation. Don’t site the rain garden abovea septic drain field. During your planning,check the locations of underground utilities.  what does it look like?  A typical rain garden is a basin about 6 to 12inches deep with a 6-inch-high berm huggingits downhill side. The material excavated fromthe basin can be used to build the berm, whilethe basin is filled 2/3 of its depth with a mixof equal parts mulch, sand, and native soil.The basin should be set level in the groundand should have a flat bottom to spread waterover the largest possible area. The design caninclude a spillway or a pipe through the bermwith a removable cap to allow overflow todrain downslope past the rain garden.  what plants can grow there?  Choosing native plants that are well suited tothe site will lower your maintenance consider-ably. Many plants that do well in rich gardensoil can handle standing water for less than24 hours. Deeper areas of the rain garden willretain water longest and should be plantedwith plants that thrive in wet or seasonally wet environments.The slopes of the basin and berm will be quicker draining andneed plants that prefer drier conditions. Help your rain gardento “weather” an unpredictable climate by using plants that areadapted to a variety of conditions and by choosing a diversemix of grasses and flowering plants. how to care for it ?  Mulch your plants after planting to keep soil moistand prevent erosion. Use a mulch that won’t floataway when the rain garden fills with water.Weeding will be necessary for the first coupleyears as your young plants grow, but asyour plants mature, they will crowd outweeds. It is easiest to pull weeds whenthe garden is moist. Mosquitoes maybreed in water that stands for a week ormore. The easiest way to reduce yourmosquito population is to design yourgarden to absorb all the runoff within afew days. As insurance, you can bury atube or pipe with a removable cap underyour berm so you can drain off unwantedstanding water from your rain garden. CUTAWAYVIEW FROMDOWNSLOPESIDE
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