Rain Gardens are Good for the Earth and Good for Your Home
Building a rain garden can help the Ringwood community make healthy lakes a shore thing.
Rainfall washes over surfaces and into our storm drains, streams, rivers, and lakes. That stormwater can pick up and carry pollutants and contaminants into our lakes. In addition to using phosphorus-free fertilizers, one way we can keep pollutants out of our lakes is by building rain gardens. Rain gardens capture and filter sediments and pollutants before they get into our lakes.
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The ideal location for your rain garden is between an impervious surface (such as a paved driveway) and a lake, stream, or storm drain. Call 811 before you dig to make sure you avoid any utility lines. Be sure you don’t plan your rain garden too close to your septic system. A typical rain garden is 3-8″ deep, depending on soil permeability. Decide which native plants and flowers you want to plant.
Remove the grass, excavate the area, and create a gentle slope (3:1 ratio or flatter). If needed, add amendments such as phosphorus-free fertilizer, pH adjustments, or sand. If you’re on a hill, create a berm on the downside to contain stormwater. Plant your flowers and shrubs, add mulch, and water the garden.
Weed and water your rain garden regularly. Mulch, prune, and replant or add to it as needed every year. If mulch is washing away, add rocks to that section; if water is overflowing, add soil to that area.
Water Resources Program at Rutgers NJAES
Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Guide
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Visit the Ringwood Borough website for Health Department News and Updates
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