A raingarden is just what it sounds like: a garden designed to catch and hold rainwater runoff, allowing it to soak into the soil and replenish ground water. Compared to the same size patch of conventional grass lawn, a raingarden allows about 30% more water to soak into the ground. It also helps keep water on your property instead of running into the gutter, carrying with it fertilizers, pesticides, oil, and other pollutants that we don't want in our lakes and streams.
Raingardens are shallow, basin-shaped areas planted with perennials, ornamental grasses, and shrubs. They are beautiful gardens that attract birds and butterflies. They also act as natural mosquito traps. Mosquitos are attracted to wet areas to lay their eggs, which require 5 days to hatch. Since raingardens soak into the soil in less than 24 hours, the mosquito eggs never hatch. Also raingardens attract dragonflies, which eat mosquitos.
Raingardens can be maintained with little effort after the plants are established. Some weeding and watering is needed in the first two years, and perhaps some thinning in later years as plants mature.
Plan ahead! There are many factors to consider when designing a raingarden. How big does it need to be? How deep do I need to make it? What kids of soil and slopes are best? What plants should I put into it? If you don't know the answers to these questions, we suggest you do your homework before you start digging. Every year Metro Blooms provides raingarden workshops to help you get started.