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Rain garden

Rain Gardens

Healthy for Nature and People

  • Raingardens are shallow depressions planted with native perennial wildflowers and grasses, which are beautiful, hardy and low maintenance.
  • Raingardens are designed to contain, filter and absorb storm-water runoff.

Benefits of Rain Gardens

  • Make use of problem areas.
  • Provide food and shelter for wildlife.
  • Conserve precious water supplies.
  • Improve local and downstream water quality.
  • Attract birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects.
  • Can be cheap and easy to establish.
  • Cost share opportunities are available for Bonne Femme and Hinkson watersheds.
  • Easy to maintain, once established, there is no need to fertilize or water.
  • Fun and easy project your whole family and community can enjoy.

What to Plant

Berm is built to reduce soil erosion during rains.
  • When choosing plants for your rain garden, pick the most appropriate plants for your site.
  • Factors to consider are soil type, sunlight exposure, and the amount and duration of water runoff.
  • Native, perennial plants work best because they are adapted to the local climate, are able to withstand flood and drought, and will grow back year after year.

Where to Plant

Swamp milkweed and monarch caterpillar.
  • Rain gardens can be installed in various locations on your land that receive full sun and are at least 10 feet away from your house.
  • This could include locations using naturally flowing rainwater or water redirected from your rooftop.
  • Depending on the amount of water provided there are two types of raingardens:
    • Dry raingardens are installed in a pre-existing depression or in one created (2-6 inches deep).
    • Wet raingardens are placed in locations that receive a regular supply of water runoff and require a deeper depression (up to 18 inches).

How To Install Your Rain Garden

A 4-inch corrugated pipe connected to down spout helps direct rain water to your raingarden.
  • Pick a suitable area for your raingarden.
  • Kill out grass growing in the area.
  • Dig out a depression in the center and transfer soil to edges to form a berm.
  • Add gravel or mulch around plantings to control weeds and install plantings.
  • If it doesnít rain for the first few weeks, keep the soil wet to help establish the plants.
  • Let them grow!

Helpful Hints

Alternatives to spraying to kill your grass include:

  • Manually dig out the area.
  • Cover area previous fall with plastic or 7 or more layers of newspaper.
  • Donít fertilize your garden to avoid weed growth.

After your garden is established, remove dead vegetation the following spring or burn it off. Most native plants respond well to prescribe fires promoting new growth.

Landscape your garden with natural rocks, a comfy bench, bird houses, or other decorations to suit your taste. Be creative!

Layout Design for Rain Garden at Bradford

Rain garden layout

For more information about native plants and raingardens, visit:

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