Rain gardens capture runoff from medium to large storms. They can be used to help solve drainage problems and reduce runoff from your yard. A rain garden is typically built to be 6-12 inches deep to collect and absorb rainwater. Mulch and plants slow down runoff and remove pollutants before the water reaches a storm drain. A typical rain garden is designed to collect and filter the first one-half to 1 inch of rain.
Learn more about rain gardens by watching this Rain Gardens for Homeowners webinar.
Cross section of a typical rain garden
For the first year after the garden is installed, you may need to water the new plants if it doesn’t rain for an extended period of time. Once the native plants are established, they should be able to survive dry periods. Adding leaf mulch one to two times per year will nourish the plants and minimize the growth of weeds.
Rain gardens often thrive without the addition of fertilizers or pesticides because the native plants are well-suited for this area. Remove any weeds that do appear in the rain garden by hand-pulling.