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RAIN GARDENS Planting for water quality What is a rain garden?

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rain gardens


Planting for water quality

what is a rain garden
What is a rain garden?
  • A rain garden is a shallow depression in your yard that is planted with native flowers and grasses and is positioned in the yard to receive runoff from your roof, sidewalks, driveway and lawns allowing water to slowly soak into the ground.
  • The rule of thumb suggests that you place the garden at least 10 feet away from your home to prevent flooding in your house
  • Do not locate the garden over a septic field
  • You should try to choose a naturally occurring low spot in your yard or position the garden where your downspouts or even sump pump outlet can be used to direct rainwater into your garden
  • Try to choose a location in the sun either full or partial. You should also consider the natural drainage of the yard so that overflow (during a heavy rain) flows away from the house and into the rest of your yard
  • Rain Garden Size
        • Measure the length and width of your house and multiply the two numbers. Divide that number by the number of downspouts on your house that will feed the garden. Now multiply that number by .32*. This final number (you can round it up or down slightly) is the size of the garden in square feet.

* This formula represents a garden that is less than 30 ft. from a downspout, to be 6 -7" deep, located in clay soil and will hold water from a 1" rainstorm.

  • Make a design on paper first
  • Keep it simple
  • Define the borders
  • Loosen up the soil and dig a depression
  • Create retaining edges
  • Select your plants
  • Native plants – the right choice
  • Plant one plant per square foot
  • Mulch
  • Water
  • If it doesn't rain, water your plants until they are established
  • Break strong water flow
  • Weed regularly
  • Don't let sediment, soil, sand, or debris flow into your rain garden
  • Keep an eye on the plants