Rain Gardens and You!

Rain Gardens and You!

Rain gardens are an important part of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ concept, and can play a major role in reducing the amount of pollutants that are generated by our urban landscapes.

So what is a rain garden and why should I have one?

A rain garden is a slightly depressed area, filled with appropriate plants, that collects and filters rain water before it recharges groundwater resources. Based on studies in other states, rain gardens have the ability to filter approximately 40% of metal pollutants from roof shingles, and approximately 15% of nitrogen from fertilizers, pet waste, and organic matter that would otherwise end up in our surface waters.

That sounds great, but what about mosquitoes?

Rain gardens are designed to hold water for no more than 48 hours. This prevents mosquitoes from using the garden as a breeding ground.

Are they pretty?

raingarden

Rain gardens can be full of colorful plants that will add beauty to your yard. Photo: Theresa Watkins

Yes! Rain gardens can be a beautiful amenity in the landscape, filled with colorful plants that will attract a variety of wildlife and beneficial pollinators and insects.

How do I learn more?

The best resource for our area is “Rain Gardens: A Manual for Central Florida Residents” which was published by UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County. The manual can be found online here.

Resources:

UF/IFAS Extension Gardening Solutions: Rain Gardens

http://www.gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/design/types-of-gardens/rain-gardens.html

Rain Gardens: A Manual for Central Florida Residents

http://hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/documents/pdf/lawn_garden/2010_Rain_Garden_Manual.pdf