Directing water from your roof’s downspouts or your drainage swale to a rain garden can help you manage those wet spots in your yard. Rain gardens are saucer-shaped gardens filled with native, wet-tolerant plants that work with nature to collect and filter rainwater from your property. They can be easily installed in both sunny and shady areas. Rain gardens can allow 30% more water to soak into the ground compared to a conventional lawn. They are designed to catch and soak in stormwater before it enters storm drainage systems and streams, lessening water pollution and flooding in our communities. Rain gardens function not only as stormwater control, but they also provide habitat for birds and butterflies and can be lovely landscaping features.
Common Rain Garden Questions:
Does a rain garden form a pond?
- No. Rain gardens are designed and constructed so the collected water soaks into the ground, keeping the rain garden dry between rainfalls.
Are rain gardens breeding grounds for mosquitoes?
- No. Mosquitoes typically need 7-12 days to lay and hatch eggs, and the collected water in the rain garden should drain in less than 48 hours. Mosquitoes are more likely to lay eggs in bird baths, storm sewers and in patches of standing water on lawns than in a rain garden.
Do rain gardens require a lot of extra maintenance?
- Rain gardens can be maintained with as little effort as you would with standard landscaping once the plants become established. Some weeding and watering will be needed in the first two years, and possibly some thinning of the plants several years out as they mature.
Is installing a rain garden expensive?
- No more so than installing any other type of garden! You and a few family members or friends can provide all the labor needed to install and plant a rain garden. Plants are an initial cost, but you may have plants in your landscaping already that you can transfer into the garden.
Interested in planting a rain garden?
- Take our Master Rain Gardener Course
- The Rain Garden Manual for Homeowners is a comprehensive technical guide that will take you step-by-step through planning and installing a rain garden.
- View rain garden layouts and planting plans for sunny or shady conditions.
- View the Northeast Ohio Master Rain Gardener Filterable Rain Garden Plant List
- Learn all about rain gardens at the Rain Garden Network.
Where can I find someone to build a rain garden for me?
- In collaboration with several conservation organizations in Northeast Ohio, Chagrin River Watershed Partners has been certifying professional Master Rain Gardeners since 2019. This 5-week course teaches participants how to design, install, and maintain residential rain gardens. Topics included site assessment, soil analysis, design, construction, plant selection, mulching, and maintenance. Click on the below link for a list of professionals who completed the Northeast Ohio Master Rain Gardener certification course for professionals. Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement by Chagrin River Watershed Partners. Certified Professional Master Rain Gardeners in Northeast Ohio