By Patricia Drackett
Director of the Crosby Arboretum and
assistant extension professor of panorama structure with the Mississippi State College Extension Service
Latest columns have provided some options for making your summer time gardening a breeze, reminiscent of utilizing water-loving vegetation in your panorama’s moist areas. We regularly advocate a go to to the Crosby Arboretum’s Pollinator Backyard to see vegetation which can be thriving right here, which might spark some new concepts for low-maintenance species to include into your individual garden.
Should you’re a daily reader of these tempting “tips on how to” gardening magazines, you might need seen an article or two on designing rain gardens. What are we speaking about right here? Rain gardens are designed to gather and retain rain, additionally referred to as stormwater, or “runoff”. They gradual water down earlier than it leaves your property and permit it to empty into the bottom moderately as a substitute of being channeled instantly right into a storm drain system.
As land turns into increasingly “urbanized” or developed, the quantity of paved floor will increase. Water that runs over a paved floor travels a lot quicker than over a garden or wooded space. As a result of many communities nonetheless have stormwater and sewer methods which can be linked underground, in closely developed areas, even small rain occasions may cause these methods to again up and overflow. Flooding presents many questions of safety. Additionally, pollution reminiscent of phosphorus, heavy metals, and nitrogen may be picked up through the course of and carried into space streams and rivers.
The Mississippi State Extension Service web site (http://extension.msstate.edu/) is a wonderful place to start to study creating these gardens. Enter the key phrases “rain garden” within the web site’s search subject to find data on the subject, together with easy strategies for calculating the dimensions of your “watershed” so you may decide the suitable measurement of rain garden to accommodate your property’s runoff, and suggestions for vegetation to make use of in these areas.
It’s finest to find your rain garden in a principal drainageway, or in depressions the place water tends to pool after a rain. It’s additionally essential to grasp the kind of soil your web site gives. Sandy soils are sometimes finest, as they may enable the realm to empty rapidly. Pattern packing containers for soil assessments may be obtained at your native county Extension workplace.
Rain gardens are someday misunderstood. A standard false impression is that they are going to be a breeding space for mosquitoes. Nonetheless, an appropriately sized rain garden incorporates water just for a brief interval after a rain, reminiscent of a day or two. By draining rapidly, they received’t have the standing water wanted for the pesky bugs’ seven-day breeding interval.
One other widespread fantasy about rain gardens is that they have to be deep, which isn’t in any respect the case. They don’t have to be positioned on steep slopes, however they are often wonderful options for decreasing erosion in such areas. In truth, the slope wanted for a rain garden may be so gradual that you will have even walked proper by one and by no means identified it! Most rain gardens vary between 4 and eight inches in depth. If shallower than 4 inches it might not present the wanted capability, and if the depth is larger than eight inches it might not drain rapidly sufficient. Water out of your downspouts may be channeled right into a rain garden.
The overall elements of rain gardens are a depressed or low space, a rocky space that features to gradual the water getting into the garden, a berm that features because the “backstop” of the garden (this may be the place your excavated soil is deposited if you want to take away it to create the suitable capability), and lastly, robust vegetation that may tolerate each extremes of short-term flooding, and lengthy intervals of drought.
Many Mississippi native vegetation make excellent selections for rain gardens! Really helpful native timber embody swamp crimson maple, bald and pond cypress, swamp black gum, candy bay magnolia, mayhaw, and wax myrtle. Native shrubs embody inkberry and yaupon holly, dwarf palmetto, buttonbush, summersweet, sweetspire, titi, and buckwheat tree. Really helpful native perennials embody Joe pye weed, Stokes’ aster, Texas star hibiscus, native iris, Coreopsis, and Liatris. Take into account contrasting perennials with native grasses reminiscent of blue sedge, muhly grass, little bluestem, or panic grass.
Join an “Introduction to Birding” stroll with birding fanatic Jessica Martin on Saturday, July 16 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Be taught tips and assets and tools obtainable for learners and others, along with widespread species of birds discovered within the space. Value is $2 for Arboretum members and $7 for non-members. Attend the Wire-Wrapped Jewellery Workshop on “Making a Pendant” with jewellery maker Connie Boyd of Distinctive Stones on Saturday, July 16, from 12:30 p.m. to three:30 p.m. Program price of $70 is paid on to the trainer on the day of the workshop by money or verify, and features a chain, instruments to be used, sterling silver wire, and your alternative of a semi-precious stone
Name 601-799-2311 to join applications (pay upon arrival). For extra data, see our web site calendar at http://crosbyarboretum.msstate.edu/ or go to our Fb web page. The Arboretum is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday by means of Sunday and positioned at 370 Ridge Highway in Picayune, at I-59 Exit 4.