A raingarden is a bowl-shaped garden filled with plants to allow water to soak into the ground. They manage polluted runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs, sidewalks and parking lots. A raingarden:
- Filters water to remove sediment and pollutants
- Allows water to soak into the ground
- Reduces the volume of water going into the stormwater system
- Creates wildlife habitat, especially when native or pollinator plants are selected
Perennial plants have deep roots that break up soil that has been compressed during the building process. This increases the soil's ability to hold water and draw it down deeper into the ground. Turf grass has shallow roots that do not provide the same benefits. Perennial plants also improve soil health by breaking down pollutants and absorbing excess nutrients which are harmful to our lakes, wetlands and streams.
Raingardens are relatively easy to install and require little maintenance once established. A well-designed and maintained raingarden also beautifies your property.
Have a raingarden and want some tips?
To make sure your raingarden continues to provide clean water to your local lake, wetland, or stream it must be maintained. Regularly weed, protect your raingarden from damage, and get it repaired when it stops working.
Remember what you planted so you can identify it easily as it is coming up in the spring. Manicure your garden to your liking. If some stray plants are coming up in the wrong spot pull them and as the summer goes on, and as your plants grow, that spot will be filled in.
For More Information:
- Learn about invasive plants from the Minnesota DNR
- View Blue Thumb’s raingarden page
- Go to Wisconsin DNR’s resource page
- How Does your Garden Grow? A Reference Guide to Enhancing your Rain Garden - Published by the Prince George's County, Maryland Department of Environmental Resources.
Check out the video "A Neighborhood of Raingardens," a nice story about community raingarden initiatives: