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Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Hugels, swales offer DIY rainwater catchment options
Hugels, swales offer DIY rainwater catchment options

It’s fall. Have you hugged your hugel today? In these years of drought, rainwater catchment makes more sense than ever. Rain costs nothing and is free of hard minerals and chlorine. Plants love it. The 50-gallon rainwater barrels that were all the rage a few years ago now appear inadequate for many because they’re too small for when they’re really needed, holding barely enough for a few watering cycles. And in Southern California they may not get refilled for months. “The best storage for rainwater is the ground,” said Rishi Kumar of the Growing Home in Diamond Bar. A healthy soil, preferably with lots of organic material like compost, can hold several...

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