Many homeowners and neighborhoods experience flooded yards and streets during periods of heavy rainfall. In the past, city planners would rely on the installation of drainage tiles and pipes to help lessen flooding. But, with the current mindset of trying to be environmentally conscious, cities and homeowners are turning to more “green” ways of trying to deal with flooding. One of these methods is called a rain garden.
What Is A Rain Garden?
A rain garden is a very simple concept. Basically, the idea is to change the soil and landscaping in areas that flood to enable them to absorb the rainfall more readily. In an area that is prone to flooding, the bad soil is either removed completely, or partially removed. Then new soil that has better water absorbency is added. The new soil should contain sand or peat, which are both moisture absorbent. Finally, landscape plants are added to the area. Their root systems help by taking in the moisture in the area.
Things To Consider When Planning A Rain Garden
When planning a rain garden, the idea is to mimic nature. Many people think this requires having a natural look, but that is not the case. A rain garden can look like a normal, planned landscape. It just requires more thought on the plantings you select for the area. Plants in a rain garden should be tolerant of both wet condition, and dry conditions. Selecting plants that will grow together will help keep weeds from being a problem. As with other landscaped areas, the area should be mulched to help the weed prevention, keep the soil moist in times of drought, absorb some of the rainfall during wet periods, and to help the landscape a low maintenance area.
Local Information On Rain Gardens
Local communities are beginning to use rain gardens along streets as an alternative to installing more drainage systems. Your local public works department can let you know more about what they have done and are planning. Also, many county extension offices and some colleges are now offering instruction on how to develop a rain garden. Check in your area for classes or literature that may be available.