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What is a Rain Garden?

  • A rain garden is a landscape feature for reducing stormwater runoff.
  • It is a shallow depression filled with sandy soils, and planted with native plants suited to fluctuating water levels.
  • Rain gardens are NOT water gardens. They do NOT contain standing water year-round.
  • They capture water during a rain event and then dry out within 72 hours (preventing any mosquitos from breeding).

 How does a rain garden work?

  •  Gutter downspouts are directed into the rain garden.
  • The depression holds the rain water.
  • The garden's soils are a mix of sand and soil which allows for easier infiltration.
  • The native plants use the water and help absorb it.
  • The plants that are the most tolerant to moisture are planted in the bottom, and those that like a drier environment are planted further out along the edges.
  • Often times, an overflow area is needed to allow the excess rain water to escape.

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Looking for some help with building your own rain garden?

Want to know more? Tennessee smart yards can help.

 

 

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea