In this video, when a pair of homeowners wanted to make the most of their roof space while preventing water run-off, they called on landscape contractor Jenn Nawada to help them handle the job.
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Jenn Nawada heads to Portland, Oregon to meet up with soil and water conservationist Kathy Shearin. Together they help a couple revitallize their front yard’s water run-off by installing a rain garden with native plantings.
Most homeowners love a big, green lawn around their homes. However, in rainy regions, those grass surfaces might as well be asphalt, rain water simply hits their surface and washes out to the street. There, it mixes with dirt, oil, and other waste before working its way back to streams and other water sources. That’s not an ideal use of water.
To prevent their northwest property from shedding more water than it should, a pair of homeowners decided to install a rain garden. Landscape contractor Jenn Nawada answered the call.
Time: One weekend
Cost: Under $800
Where to find it?
Jenn marks out the area of the rain garden using spray paint [https://homedepot.sjv.io/KjWRE7]. Then Jenn, Kathy, and the homeowners use digging shovels [https://homedepot.sjv.io/vNOLvL] to remove the sod and start digging the basin.
To install the downspout extension [https://homedepot.sjv.io/Gm261n], Kathy cut the downspout with a hacksaw [https://homedepot.sjv.io/MmW4Vn] to the necessary measurement and capped the standpipe. She then attached [https://homedepot.sjv.io/R50Wna] an elbow to the downspout. Kathy then capped the downspout extension to the elbow.
To install the conveyance, Kathy, Jenn, and the homeowners used trenching shovels to dig a shallow trench about 6” in depth and 3-4” in diameter from the downspout to the rain garden’s basin. They then lined the entire stretch of the trench with pond liner [https://homedepot.sjv.io/rQBvWj]. Finally, they Fill the trench with ¾’ – 1 ½” river rocks [https://homedepot.sjv.io/Vm0rj6] or “drain rock”.
Jenn, Kathy, and the homeowners incorporate 4-way mix [https://homedepot.sjv.io/Y905ke] into the existing soil as they backfill the basin. Once the plants [https://homedepot.sjv.io/q4BRGb] are installed, they then cover the surrounding area with Fine Hemlock mulch [https://bit.ly/3tVTjXl].
Expert assistance provided by Kathy Shearin [https://emswcd.org/about/staff/], Urban Lands Program Supervisor at East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District [https://emswcd.org/] and by Drake’s 7 Dees Landscape Design [https://www.drakes7dees.com/].
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Downspout diverter [https://homedepot.sjv.io/Gm261n]
Metal screws [https://homedepot.sjv.io/6eDazQ]
Marking paint [https://homedepot.sjv.io/KjWRE7]
Landscape fabric [https://homedepot.sjv.io/rQBvWj]
River rock [https://homedepot.sjv.io/Vm0rj6]
4-way soil mix [https://homedepot.sjv.io/Y905ke]
Rain garden-friendly plants [https://homedepot.sjv.io/q4BRGb]
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Drill bits [https://homedepot.sjv.io/21JPeA]
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From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. ASK This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.
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How To Create a Rain Garden | Ask This Old House