A 1000 square foot roof can catch over 600 gallons of water with just one inch of rainfall!
When you recapture and retain rainwater or snowmelt in your garden, you are giving it the chance to filter and purify through healthy soil, instead of picking up pollution on its way downstream. This recharges our aquifers, keeps our waterways clean, and contributes to healthy bodies of water downstream.
Recapture & Retain: Slow The Flower Of Water
To recapture and retain water, watershed wise gardens are planted in a swale, or a shallow depression about 6-8 inches deep. The goal is to create a wide, shallow area into which runoff water drains from a roof, driveway, or other hard surfaces. This will prevent runoff from flowing away too quickly. (Scroll down to see Tips For Planting A Watershed Garden In A Swale)
Filter & Purify: Build Healthy Living Soil
Healthy living soil is essential for filtering and purifying water. It is the foundation for thriving, beautiful plants above ground, and in turn, the root systems of your plants help in the process of filtering runoff. Healthy soil can also help convert many toxins into forms that are digestible to plants. It's important to use all-natural soil builders such as Yum Yum Mix, worm castings, and organic compost to support the living organisms in your soil. Plus, healthy, humus-rich soil can hold its weight in water and retain it for longer.
Always avoid chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides, to preserve your soil health and keep your watershed clean.
We only offer soil amendments that we trust and use in our own gardens – to help establish your garden, shop our top picks for all-natural soil amendments.
Build Habitat: Choose Resilient Plants
Watershed wise gardens need a variety of resilient, deep-rooted plants that can tolerate both drought and wetter conditions, as well as salts that may accumulate in runoff. Above ground, beautiful resilient plants add curb appeal to your property, help support pollinators, and create habitat for wildlife.
Choosing the right plants is a great first step to healthy soil and an effective watershed garden. We recommend native perennials including Asters, Milkweed (Asclepias), Goldenrod (Solidago), Coneflower, Echinacea, and native ornamental grasses. Our Watershed Wise Pre-Planned Garden is a great way to get started!