What is a Rain Garden?A rain garden is a shallow depression designed to capture and soak up stormwater runoff from hard-surface areas around your home or business. Runoff from driveways, sidewalks, even compacted lawn areas is considered one of the main sources of water pollution nationwide. More and more development increases paved surfaces. Stormwater runoff from parking lots, sidewalks, driveways and rooftops empties quickly into storm drains and surface waters. Rain gardens capture runoff, allowing it to soak into the ground.
Benefits of Raingardens?
Rain gardens planted with deep-rooted native plants not only add beauty to the landscape, but they help protect water quality. Rainwater runoff from a typical turf yard can be up to 100%. The runoff runs onto nearby hard surfaces, picks up sediment, heavy metals, oils, pesticides, and bacteria. This polluted water then runs into our lakes, streams, and rivers.
Rain gardens capture runoff and allow it to soak into the ground. Rain gardens planted with native plants not only absorb rainfall, but they also filter and cleanse pollutants from the runoff before releasing it into our groundwater.
Benefits of Native Plants?
Native plants have long and complex root systems, some as long as 20. Because of the native plant root structure, soils with natives can absorb many inches of rainfall per day; rainfall that would otherwise run into the streets, gutters, sewer systems and ultimately into our waterways.
How to build a raingarden
Create a natural, shallow depression and fill it with native plants. It is important for the garden to slope away from the house, be large enough so that it does not over-spill the edges, permeable enough so that water does not pool for days, and vegetated so the water is returned to earth cleaner. Do not use any pesticides in or around this garden, as the insects and nematodes are necessary for soil permeability.
Choose Raingarden Plants
The right plants are natives, which are resistant to the stress from both temporarily standing water and dry periods between rainfalls. Their large and power root structures are essential in order to absorb and cleanse the rainfall and runoff. It is advisable to use a variety of plants to make your garden more effective.
Starting your own Raingarden
Contact Agrecol for all your natural solutions. We have a variety of raingarden plant kits, seed mixes and plants available on our store. Check out the raingarden selection of our store.
Our experts also offer consulting, planning, seeds, plants, installation. Everything you need to turn your property challenges into beautiful and eco-friendly garden solutions. If you need additional assistance Email us at [email protected] or call customer service at 608.223.3571 and we will help you get started.
Agrecol supports community efforts to establish rain gardens. Our partner Graham Martin Foundation is a non profit organization that provides support for small scale community restoration and education projects. If your community is looking to establish rain gardens or other native restoration projects, the Graham Martin Foundation maybe able to support your efforts.
The UW Extension also provides several excellent resources to communities interested in rain gardens and other shoreline/wetland restoration projects - http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr/uwexlakes/ecology/shorelands/rain_gardens.asp