Monday, March 31, 2008

Rain Barrels and Tree Frogs

We use rain barrels to conserve water on-site. This "magic" water is used to water native cuttings and other plants. A trick that we learned the hard way is to always place a long stick in the water, so that frogs, lizards and etc. will not drown. We use a biological control for Mosquitoes called Mosquito dunks. They are safe and will not harm fish or wildlife.

Rain and storm water can also be conserved on-site by creating a rain garden. This is simply a swale that is dug so that the water is retained for a day or two. Native and other drought resistant plants that can tolerate drastic growing conditions are planted. Our rain garden is watered by the rain water that pours off of the house and onto the patio. It is fills up the swale, then filters through the crushed limestone parking area and flows down to another flower bed, then on to a low spot and finally goes into a creek. Hundreds of plants are watered during this process. Rain gardens also serve as mosquito death traps, because the water stays for only a day or so and the mosquito larvae dies when the puddle dries up. To read more about sustainable garden practices and techniques, visit our Sustainable Gardening a la Rabbit Hill lens at Squidoo.

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