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“Rain gardens help reduce and filter stormwater runoff, which reduces stormwater pollution as well as increases groundwater replenishment,” says Fletcher.

“They provide habitat for wildlife, are attractive, are low maintenance — do not require mowing, fertilization or watering once established — and can increase property values with their use of creative landscape design.”

Where to build a rain garden?

A rain garden should be at least 10 feet from a house so water soaking into the soil does not seep into the foundation. Do not place the rain garden directly over a septic system, or underground utilities.

A wet area of your land may not be a good spot since the infiltration is poor there. An area closer to the runoff source — roof or driveway — to intercept the water is a better choice, according to Carol.

If your water table is high, less than 2 feet deep from the surface, a rain garden will not work since infiltration is an issue, she adds.

Locate a rain garden in sun or partial sun, not directly under a big tree.

Placing a rain garden in a flatter part of a yard makes digging much easier.

A slope of less than 12 percent grade work is best since the base of the rain garden must be level, and less incline requires less filling in of the downward side of a slope.

©2014 Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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