Creating a Rain Garden

This month’s weekends were filled with the creation of a Rain Garden to stem the overflow of water that creeps steadily towards our garage bays and front door.

Our existing french drain was regularly being overwhelmed after the neighbors above us removed some vegetation that evidently had been soaking up quite a bit of rainfall.

After a free consult from our county’s Master Gardeners, we created two  40′ x 8′ swales to slow down the water entering our property. Next we added a soil/sand mix since the percolation tests in one areas performed so poorly. (Perc tests are easy to do, just a dig a hole to 24″, fill with water, and watch how slowly the water drains.)

Finally, we added a variety of plants from the lengthy recommendation list for our bioregion, selecting mostly plants that are deer-resistant and attractive for pollinators.

We also transitioned our T5 grow lights from a closet in the garage to the greenhouse, and added a more powerful set of metal halide grow lights to the mix. In the grow light photo you’ll notice a new outdoor cat house my son and I built; we’ll get a pair of barn cats after the holidays to help control the mice/rats that love to nest in our firewood shelters.