Plants suitable for greywater, temperate climates

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by SueinWA, May 24, 2008.

  1. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    I live in the northwest part of the U.S., approx. 150 miles (240km) south of the Canadian border. Our temps usually don't go below 15F (9C), but will occasionally dip down to 0f (118C). Mostly we get rain in winter, but do get the occasional multiple-day freezing.

    If I were to set up a greywater "treatment facility", what kind of plants suitable for cleansing the water would be hardy here? Does anyone have any lists or websites for this?

    Any suggestions would be welcome.

    Sue
     
  2. tranquil

    tranquil Junior Member

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  3. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: Plants suitable for greywater, temperate climates

    sue, your temperatures should say -9'C and -18'C.. - a big difference..
    None of the world except USA use farenheit, so I had to look it up.
     
  4. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Re: Plants suitable for greywater, temperate climates

    Tranquil - Thank you. I hadn't even thought of searching YouTube.

    ppp - Ah, so you don't think it goes up to 118C/244F here? Well, you're right! I had to look it up and STILL didn't get it right... The American educational system: rock bottom of all the industrialized nations.

    Sue
     
  5. Raymondo

    Raymondo Junior Member

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    Re: Plants suitable for greywater, temperate climates

    Sue, I'm sure there'll be plants in your region that would suit. Find a marshy area with similar climate and bingo. Be wary of root systems though. A reed bed installer here used to use Phragmites australis a lot but has now moved on to other local species because Phragmites has such a choking root system. If there is a native plant society in Washington they may be able to help you with a suitable species list. If it were here in Australia, I'd recommend Lomandra longifolia in that sort of climate. A local school has a reed bed system using this species. It's early days but it seems to be working well.
     
  6. Paul Cereghino

    Paul Cereghino Junior Member

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    Re: Plants suitable for greywater, temperate climates

    Hi Sue,
    Consider consulting the national wetland indicator plant lists by querying USDA plants. There is a national coding system that indicates the % of time you find plants in a wetland (wetland indicator status). WET, and FACW are good candidates. The questions hugely depends on where you maintain your water level and the capillary qualities of the soil.. clay will stay soaked even if water level is 12 inches below surface, while in sand, you are looking at a hydroponic situation and might be able to grow all kinds of stuff. (I think it was that guy from CA whose name I am forgetting that grew celery in greywater (eat the greens, needs tons of water)).

    https://plants.usda.gov/wetland.html

    Native emergent wetland stuff that is tough (common in sewage treatment) includes hardstem and softstem bullrush and cattail. Both were used for mats, and cattail pollen is a flour ammendment, base of young shoots are edible in spring. (WET code)

    If your water level fluctuates or drops in summer... then willow (medicine, restoration, baskets, live fencing), salmonberry (berries, tea) etc (FACW species)

    I'd stay away from Phragmites and reed canarygrass.

    Paul (in WA)
     
  7. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Re: Plants suitable for greywater, temperate climates

    Thank you, Paul.

    I had my eye on cattails, but wasn't sure if bulrush was evergreen here.

    My soil is sand/gravel/rock, with excellent drainage, so the water level would fluctuate considerably, I'm sure. I'm currently reading one of Art Ludwig's books, and he recommends evergreen plants, which can be tricky here. He also recommends fruit trees, but he's in California, where there are more choices.

    I will check out the links you provided.

    Sue
     
  8. Paul Cereghino

    Paul Cereghino Junior Member

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    Re: Plants suitable for greywater, temperate climates

    Evergreen makes sense.. if you want uptake of nutrients in winter... I wonder how much activity is bacterial versus plant-based.
    Carex obnupta (sloughsedge) is our toughest evergreen sedge, and can take shade. I seem to remember Juncus effusus as semi-evergreen, though neither have many other functions. Myrica gale - sweet gale, bog rosemary? Potentilla anserina-pacifica - silverweed (tribes ate the roots), Cranberries, Ledum (laborador tea), The bullrushes aren't evergreen, but neither are the cattail that I know. Carex obnupta could serve as a evergreen shade tolerant understory to a berry producing overstory, with a few seasonals like veronica, and a myrica on the sunny side for flavor? You'll be able to pack'em in, since no competition for water :)
     
  9. foggyforge

    foggyforge Junior Member

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    Re: Plants suitable for greywater, temperate climates

    Hi -Sue.there is s short discussion on backyard wetlands in Gaia's garden -by Toby Hemenway> https://www.amazon.com/Gaias-Garden-Guid ... 1890132527
    It has list of plants.Also Bill M. discusses it in PC course- viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5805
    regards ,(foggyforge)Bela
     

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