A rain garden is a landscaped area strategically placed and connected to a downspout to collect and absorb stormwater from your rooftop.  Connecting the downspout to the rain garden directs stormwater away your home's foundation and holds it there until it can naturally infiltrate into the ground. The rain garden dips slightly into the ground and has soil engineered to increase infiltration.  In addition to improving drainage, rain gardens also help keep polluted runoff out of local streams.

Rain Garden Illustration (Source: Franklin Soil and Water conservation district)

Rain gardens are designed to be site specific.  They vary in size and can fit into many shapes and spaces.  They can be customized to meet individual site characteristics, factoring in topography, soils, drainage patterns, and sun exposure.  The standard rain garden size RiverSmart Homes installs is approximately 50 square feet.

Maintaining Your Rain Garden

Watch the video series above to learn more about how to maintain your rain garden!

To function properly, rain gardens need to be cared for, especially during the first two years. Typical maintenance tasks include:

  • Watering plants if there has not been a significant recent rainfall

  • Weeding and pruning the garden on a regular basis; mulching as needed

  • Cleaning the downspout connection to prevent clogging

  • Removing trash and other debris from the garden

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