Rain Gardens

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.

Rain Gardens
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
  1. You need to dig a shallow depression that has a level bottom. Dig it the size you want for the garden.
  2. 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.
  3. Plant native Wisconsin plants in a design that suites you.
  4. Water for the first few weeks to help the plants get established.
  5. 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]