What is a Rain Garden?
A rain garden is a garden that is planted in a shallow depression in your yard. This depression is planted with Wisconsin native wetland or prairie wildflowers and grasses.
Benefits of a Rain Garden
- Rain gardens increase the amount of water that filters into the ground. This then recharges the local and regional aquifers.
- They help by protecting communities from flooding and other drainage problems.
- Rain gardens also help protect lakes and rivers from pollutants that would be carried from storm water. Such as lawn fertilizers.
- They enhance the beauty of yards along with neighborhoods.
- They also provide valuable habitat for birds, butterflies and many beneficial insects.
Choosing the Best Location
- Pick a low spot in your yard at least 10 feet from your house.
- Needs to be in front of a downspout or in direct water flow.
- The spot also needs at least a half day of sun.
- Don't place directly over a septic system.
- The typical size range from 100 to 300 square feet.
Planning and Starting Your Rain Garden
- You need to dig a shallow depression that has a level bottom. Dig it the size you want for the garden.
- Direct your downspout or sump pump outlet into your rain garden. This can be done by digging a shallow swale or by using buried 4 inch PVC piping.
- Plant native Wisconsin plants in a design that suites you.
- Water for the first few weeks to help the plants get established.
- Once your rain garden is established it requires low maintenance!
For a list of Wisconsin Green Houses that sell native plants Click here
For a list of Wisconsin contractors that can Help Click here
For a list of plants to use in Rain Gardens Click here
For a list of plants that grow in shade Click here
For a DNR manual on how to plant a Rain Garden Click Here
For a flyer about this information Click here
For a Video on the Benefits of Rain Gardens
This video was produced in Dane County www.youtube.com/watch
For more information or any questions please email [email protected]