Rain water harvesting benefits plants and is an effective way to help your garden grow! Rain water is neutral in nature, helping to counter the alkalinity of our soils and groundwater. Our prior post discusses how alkalinity negatively influences the ability of plants to use minerals and organics in the soil. You can refresh your memory here.
This sustainable practice also respects our ground water as a finite resource. Ground water is being used more rapidly by our citizens than it is being replaced, or “recharged”, into the aquifers. It is estimated that 70% of our water use is for landscape use.
How does one harvest rainwater?
- It can be collected from your roof via gutters that direct the water into containers known as cisterns. These can be above or below ground. Above ground cisterns are typically equipped with a connector for a hose for hand watering. Pumps can be connected to underground or above ground tanks to effectively move water into a drip irrigation system.
- Water can be slowed down and directed to specific plants by the creation of raised berms. Using berms helps prevent rapid runoff and allows water to percolate into the soil for uptake by plant roots. Berms allow you to direct water toward planting areas rather than losing it from your property.
- Drainages can be reconfigured to maximize percolation and minimize runoff. Drainage channels should meander across the slope of your property rather than parallel to it. Why? To slow water down!
- Check dams can be used to slow water down in natural or man made drainages. Small boulders can be placed in drainage channels in a semi-circle facing upstream for this purpose.
- Water can be directed toward planting areas by lowered channels or “swales” which meander through your landscape. Used in conjunction with berms, lowered channels encourage water to flow where it is needed.
Contact us to learn more about rain water harvesting benefits!