On-going maintenance is essential to keep your Yard Smart project working properly and looking great. In rain gardens and native landscaping, plants that are kept alive and healthy do a better job of soaking in rainwater runoff and keep your yard beautiful. Cisterns kept free of blockages make it easier to use water for summer irrigation, and allow water to easily soak into the ground during winter months.
1) Weed -
Invasive weeds can rapidly crowd out young plants, and are less capable of absorbing water. Pull weeds by hand or with a long-handled weed puller. Never use herbicides or pesticides in your rain garden.
- A thick layer of compost, leaves, or wood chips prevents weeds, soaks in more water, and protects the roots of plants. Check and maintain a 3 inch mulch layer across your planting area.
3) Water -
Young plants need water to grow strong roots. Watering your plants deeply is important in the first two to three summers after installation.
Learn more about maintaining your rain garden
1) Clean - To prevent algae or sediment build up, clean your cistern every August. Clean your gutters annually to prevent blockages.
2) Clear - Check overflow, low flow valve, and cistern screen once per year and remove any buildup of leaves or sediment to help keep your cistern functioning flawlessly.
For questions about the Yard Smart Rain Rewards program, email YardSmart@kirklandwa.gov.