Hydrate Your Yard with Rainwater, Greywater, and Composting!

June 28, 2019

Envision your dream landscape. Does it have a rainwater-harvesting garden, rockwork, and basins overflowing with flowering native plants? How about a greywater system watering a fig tree or a buzzing pollinator garden? Once you’ve got the image, how would you bring it to life? Watershed Management Group (WMG) can help!

Water harvesting rain gardens are basins that collect water and help water soak into the soil to feed plants for the benefit of people and wildlife. Typically, water runoff that often causes flooding or erosion is soaked into the ground and is used by plants, helping remove toxins. Greywater systems reuse gently used water from your home to benefit your landscape, supporting fruit trees or other vegetation. This includes water, from sinks, showers, and laundry.

Sheri is putting to use all of the great tips she learned at the water harvesting series she attended in Tempe.

Join WMG for the coolest educational series in Central Arizona – Hydrate – which offers free classes on designing your personal desert oasis. Our instructors will guide you in understanding which water harvesting system is best for you, whether it be rain tanks, greywater systems, or cost-effective basins and berms. We’ll teach you how to choose the best plants for your site, when and how to plant them, as well as how to build soil health.

“The classes gave us a lot of good ideas that we will be applying and using in our landscape,” said Sheri Schmeckpeper. Sheri attended WMG’s Hydrate Tempe and learned that she can capture over 260,000 gallons of water per year on her 1.25-acre lot!

Now, just in time for our summer monsoon rains, WMG is partnering with the Salt River Project and the City of Mesa to host HYDRATE MESA this August. The Hydrate Mesa series takes place at the Mesa Main Library, 64 E 1st St, Mesa, AZ, on Thursday evenings from 6 to 7:30 pm. Classes will be held weekly from August 1 to August 29, 2019. Here are the details for each session:

Hydrate Your Yard

This session is all about WMG’s 3 “S”s: slow, spread, and sink. Learn how to use passive rainwater harvesting to create a series of berms, basins, and swales that will direct rainwater to beneficial use for plants while reducing flooding and erosion in your yard. These practices will slow the flow of the water, spread it across the areas where it’s needed, and sink it into the ground.

Nectar at the base of the flowers attracts hummingbirds to your landscape. Photo: Robin O’Donnell

Hydrate Your Plants

How can you create a beautiful, lush landscape while conserving water? We’ll show you how to select native plants to build wildlife habitat, shade your home, and create an appealing landscape for your yard. If you’re looking for the best trees and plants to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, bloom bright with color, or cool off your home with shade, we’ve got you covered.

Hydrate Your Food

Rain tanks are like rain barrels, only upgraded: bigger, better, and your harvested rainwater lasts longer. While most rain barrels hold about 50 gallons of water, rain tanks can hold 1,000 gallons or more, capturing water from several storms and storing it for use over the course of many drier months. WMG will show you how to use rain tanks as an active form of rainwater harvesting to nourish your vegetable and herb gardens throughout the year.

A residential rainwater cistern is great at collecting large amounts of water and storing it for future use. Photo: Donna DiFrancesco

Hydrate Your Soils

Urban yards have the potential to produce well beyond their natural productivity without needing costly store products by integrating the use of typical waste streams such as greywater, stormwater, plant trimmings, and more. You’ll learn how to assess your yard’s soil type and simple ways to effectively use typical household wastes to build soil health and promote productive urban landscapes.

Hydrate With Greywater

Did you know that an average household’s laundry water produces enough greywater to support a backyard fruit tree? We’ll show you how to use a laundry-to-landscape system to recycle this greywater for use in your yard to nourish plants and reduce your municipal water usage. This session will cover best practices for greywater use and will guide you in creating a greywater action plan for your home.

Join us for the first session and you’ll receive a free rain gauge so you can track the rainfall at your home. Each class will offer a special raffle prize including gardening books, nursery gift cards and more. Get the details and sign up at Watershedmg.org/Hydrate. All classes are free!

Water – Use It Wisely is proud to feature guest bloggers who write about topics related to water and water conservation. Watershed Management Group (WMG) is a non-profit organization with a strong focus on improving desert ecosystems and providing people with the knowledge, skills, and resources for sustainable livelihoods.