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Lawn & Garden Management

Rain Gardens
What is a Rain Garden?

     A rain garden is a planted depression that is designed to absorb runoff from rainwater that comes from impervious surfaces such as roofs, walkways and driveways. The center of the rain garden holds several inches of water; this retention allows for slow infiltration of the water into the ground and through the wildlife planted in the garden, instead of the water being directly deposited into a storm drain or into surface water runoff.

      Rain gardens are man made gardens that are an alternative way of managing stormwater and controlling runoff. The garden absorbs the runoff that comes from rainwater on impervious surfaces such as driveways, walkways, compacted lawns and roofs. Rain gardens are a type of bioretention system that uses biological activity, such as plants, to filter and clean stormwater.

Advantages of Rain Gardens
  • Manage stormwater around homes
  • Can also be used near parking lots, which are highly impervious areas
  • Reduce local flooding
  • Cut down on the amount of polluting nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorus) that run into waterways.
  • 30% more water can infiltrate into the ground through using rain gardens as opposed to conventional lawns.
  • Replenishes groundwater supplies, especially during droughts.
  • They require less watering
  • They require small amounts or absolutely no fertilizer
  • The only upkeep necessary to maintain a rain garden consists of pruning, weeding and replacing the plants (when necessary).
Reccomended Plants

    The best plants to use in rain gardens are:

  • wetland edge vegetation such as ferns, shrubs or sedges
  • native plants

    Benefits of using native plants are:

  • being more tolerant to local conditions
  • having inherent qualities and adaptive traits make them ecologically valuable for landscaping
  • contributing to the health and sometimes the restoration of an ecosystem
  • placing fewer demands on resources
  • can withstand most regional weather extremes
  • promoting wise stewardship of the land and the conservation of natural resources
  • decreases the chances of future invasive species
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