Introduction

Completed rain garden irrigation system
Photo: David Hymel, Rain Dog Designs
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During a downpour at a typical house in many municipalities, water gushes out of downspouts, across lawns treated with pesticides and fertilizers, into an oily street, and, finally, down a storm drain that dumps that pollution along with the water into a stream, river, or bay. By building a rain garden, you can divert your gutter water into an attractive planting bed that works like a sponge and natural filter to clean the water and let it percolate slowly into the surrounding soil. Installing a rain garden isn't difficult if you're willing to dig or you bring in machines to help. Ask your local Cooperative Extension Office for specifics about soil mix, garden size, and plants for your area. Then you're ready to build.
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    Tools List

    • bucket
      Bucket
    • garden hose
      Hose
    • Gas powered sod cutter
      Sod cutter or spade
    • to remove grass layer. Sod cutter can be rented for $80 a day
    • pointed shovel
      Shovel
    • or rent a backhoe for $230 a day
    • metal garden rake
      Rake
    • wheelbarrow
      Wheelbarrow
    • hacksaw
      Hacksaw
    • hand trowel
      Trowel

    Shopping List

    1. Spray paint

    2. Compost

    3. Stones

    4. Plants

    5. Smooth or corrugated piping to connect to a gutter downspout