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The True Skinny on Installing a Rain Garden at Your Home Informal presentation by Susan Curry, Ambler EAC 100 Rain Gardens of Ambler (Fall 2012)

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Presentation on theme: "The True Skinny on Installing a Rain Garden at Your Home Informal presentation by Susan Curry, Ambler EAC 100 Rain Gardens of Ambler (Fall 2012)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The True Skinny on Installing a Rain Garden at Your Home Informal presentation by Susan Curry, Ambler EAC 100 Rain Gardens of Ambler (Fall 2012)

2 Why Do it? The rain that falls on your property is free water. The rain that runs off your property causes damage. Keep it for good!

3 Why Do it? Less runoff means less: Pollution Erosion Sedimentation

4 Why Do it? More infiltration serves better: Recharges groundwater Filters toxins

5 Why Do it? Beauty: Birds & butterflies “TV” Year-round color Habitat

6 Why Do it? Pride: Care of local stream life Remarkable landscape Upstream citizen Stewardship worldview

7 Personal Considerations Planning Installation Cost Maintenance (it is a garden after all)

8 Garden Planning Where – eyeball assessment Not already soggy area Not too many roots Less than 5% slope Natural flow from a downspout Visible to you or passersby Not over septic field At least 10’ away from foundation  Infiltration test ( may need sand wicks )

9 Garden Planning How deep 6” to 15” What size – calculate impervious How to get it dug Where to put extra sod and dirt Which plants, how many, where

10 Purchase Considerations Labor Tool rental Mulch + topsoil Native plants Drain spout diversion piping Rocks, sand

11 Installation Costs Hire infiltration test professional Rent de-sodder Downspout(s) diversion Pipes + outfall (trench) Native plants Mulch + topsoil (delivery) Labor (DIY or landscaper) Rocks ?Sand? ?Augur?

12 Personal Considerations Maintenance Water first season Weed 1-2 times a year Mulch annually 3 rd year: Dividing + replanting as needed

13 Tools Sod remover Tarps RototillerHand claws Hand tillers Leverage bar ShovelsPick axe Hard rakes Augur Levelers or transitTamper Hose and faucetTrencher Trowels Post-hole digger Branch saw

14 Drainage System for Rain Garden All items are from Home Depot In Garden Supplies (outside) NDS Styrene Offset Down Spout Adapter SKU # $2.34 NDS 4in Styrene 90-Degree Hub x Hub Elbow SKU # $3.02 NDS 4in Styrene 45-Degree Hub x Hub Elbow SKU # $2.50 NDS 4in Styrene Hub x Hub Coupling SKU # $1.19 In Plumbing Dept: Advanced Drainage Systems 4in x 10ft Triplewall Pipe Solid SKU # $7.54

15 Prior to Day of the Dig TAKE A PHOTO 1.Call Conduct an infiltration test 3.Verify feasibility of site 4.Calculate impervious surface to drain 5.Design the shape; line for trenches 6.Remove sod, cover area with tarp, extra dirt 7.Pick two dates (rain date may be needed) 8.Order plants – mulch – top soil – rocks – sand 9.Buy downspout diversion and pipes

16 Day of the Dig (dry 3 days prior) 1.Outline + inside outline 3’ in from all sides 2.Dig the center tub to desired depth, build berm at downhill side -- use rototiller and shovels, pick axe if needed 3.Level the bottom and check really level with transit 4.Shape shallow slopes of sides (1 foot drop per 3 foot span) 5.Connect downspout pipe to garden. Bury with 4” above 6.Post-hole dig or augur holes if need sand wicks (level again) 7.Add topsoil 3”, rototill – minimize compaction, very little walking 8.Plant -- minimize soles in the garden 9.Loosen soil again with rotating prong hoe 10.Add mulch 3” – toss from sides 11.WaterTAKE A PHOTO - SMILE

17 Day of the Dig (dry weather 3 days prior or tarp) 1.Outline (sod already removed) 2.Second outline 3’ in from all sides 3.Dig out the center tub to desired depth, build berm at downhill side -- use rototiller and shovels, pick axe if needed 4.Level the bottom and check really level with transit 5.Shape shallow slopes of sides (1 foot drop per 3 foot span) 6.Post-hole dig or augur holes if need sand wicks (level again) 7.Connect downspout pipe to side of garden 8.Add topsoil 3” – minimize compaction, very little walking 9.Plant -- minimize soles in the garden 10.Loosen soil again with rotating prong hoe 11.Add mulch 3” – toss from sides 12.WaterTAKE A PHOTO - SMILE

18 What could go wrong? Doesn’t drain in two days Improper infiltration test – soils too clay Installed when ground was too wet from recent rain -compacted Dug too deep and or built berm too high – holding too much water Miscalculation of impervious surface draining to garden TRY: SAND WICKS, widen and shallower

19 What could go wrong? Berm blows out with first vivid rain Trenches connected before dig day Plants too close together – crowded when mature Basement wetter – stay 10’ away from foundation

20 100 Rain Gardens of Ambler Public awareness + incentives = Rain Gardens

21 100 Rain Gardens of Ambler Ambler EAC Got grants Organized volunteer labor Purchased a tools inventory Developed HomeOwner Agreements Advertised Provided fairly intense guidance to homeowners through whole process

22 100 Rain Gardens of Ambler Advertised the incentives Newspaper articles Sustainable movies preview slides Booths at events Farmers’ markets flyers Municipal Home Town News Tour of Rain Gardens GreenTreks video -- 7-minutes

23 100 Rain Gardens of Ambler Advertised the incentives:  Newspapers  Movie theater preview slides  Events  Farmers’ markets  Municipal Home Town News  Tour of Rain Gardens  7-minute GreenTreks video:

24 100 Rain Gardens of Ambler Advertised the incentives:  Newspapers  Movie theater preview slides  Events  Farmers’ markets  Municipal Home Town News  Tour of Rain Gardens  7-minute GreenTreks video:


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