Can you tell me more about rain gardens? I’d like to plant a rain garden in my yard and am not sure where to start.
Good for you! Rain gardens are landscaped perennial gardens planted with native plants that soak up rain water from your roof, driveway and lawn. These gardens fill up with a few inches of water and allow 30 percent more water to soak in the ground compared to a conventional lawn. Holding back this runoff prevents pollutants from entering storm drains and eventually streams and rivers. The chances of flooding and erosion to stream banks are lessened by the reduced amount of water that enters storm drains. Plus, rain gardens add natural beauty and habitat to your yard.
Before planting a rain garden you need to consider size, appropriate plants, construction, planting and maintenance. Des Moines Parks and Recreation has a great rain garden tool kit online that addresses all of these details. You can also attend one of the Rain Garden classes offered by the Polk County Conservation Board. See the event calendar for details.