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Colchicine 01-03-2009 09:14 PM

Rain Gardens
This year I plan to landscape my front yard with native plants and avoid having any grass. Because of my fondness for some local wetland plants, I am going to install a rain garden that will use rain water from the house's gutter.

I actually plan to do things a little different. I have a 270 gal pond that I'll be using. I will fill in this pond completely with soil and funnel gutter water to this "pond" and make it a rain garden. This will keep the rain garden wet enough to grow the wetland plants. I also plan to have an overflow going to a more typical rain garden.

I am hoping to run this idea by others that have used rain gardens. Otherwise, I wanted to see others have to say on the topic.

More info on rain gardens:

hychesee 02-13-2009 02:52 AM

I also practice rain harvesting, starting doing it about 5 years ago when our city tripled our water/sewer cost by almost 3 times turning my monthly charge from $30 to $90 a month. I use it mostly for gray water usage but later this year when the greenhouse is done it will be for that also.

Also a pond with just "soil" will not hold water, it needs to be clay lined or use a pond liner, and as homecarecentral said aeration is good to a point but on such a small pond it could create more algae then it can tolerate and die green.

Just for general information a 1000 square foot roof will give you about 600 gallons of water per inch of rain, here in Kentucky with fifty inches of rainfall per year that equals 30,000 gallons of water, which is more then twice what I use for cooking, cleaning, showers, and toilet in a full year.

Colchicine 02-13-2009 06:35 AM

Thanks for the replies! It's great that there are people out there that practice rain harvesting for household use. I figure you've got quite an investment in that infrastructure. It must be impressive.

Just some clarifications. I don't have issues with impervious surfaces or stormwater handling. Therefore, my primary goal with this rain garden will be a cost effective way of growing wetland plants (without using potable water). I do have a 270 gal pond liner that was on clearance at Lowes for $100 (regular price $285!!) This will will hold the water in the "pond". Keep in mind this will be filled with soil, there will be no issues with algae. Aeration is not needed since one of the things that wetland plants are adapted for are growing in soil with low or no oxygen (hydric soils).

One of the plant species I'm looking forward to growing is jewelweed:

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