Frequently Asked Questions

Can I, or should I, install a rain garden?

Not sure you can, or should, install a rain garden? Ask yourself these 6 questions:

  1. Do I have the space in my yard to install a rain garden? A typical residential rain garden is 50 to 100 square feet, depending on the size of the area draining to it.
  2. If I live in an urban area, are there underground utilities that would prevent me from installing a rain garden?
  3. If I live in an urban area, does my municipality require a permit to install a rain garden?
  4. Am I physically able to install the garden, or do I have help? Even small gardens involve moving fairly large quantities of soil.
  5. Large gardens may require the use of heavy equipment. Can I afford to pay for this?
  6. Plant costs can be around $1-2 per square foot. Can I afford the cost of installing a rain garden?

We often hear we should avoid standing water on our property to decrease the amount of mosquitoes. Won't a rain garden create an unwanted pond?

No. A rain garden IS NOT a pond. A properly designed rain garden will hold water for only about 6 hours after a storm. Mosquitoes need much more time than this to lay and hatch eggs.

Will it be expensive or difficult to install or maintain at my house?

Once the shallow depression (about 6 inches) is dug for the rain garden, it won't be any more expensive than planting other landscaped areas in your yard. Most of the recommended plants can be purchased at local nurseries, and once established, you maintain them just like any other plants in your yard.

Do they require a lot of maintenance?

The plants in the rain garden require one inch of water per week (unless it rains) until they are established. Once they are established, rain gardens require the same amount of care as any other garden area in you yard including some watering and weeding.