|Look for May, 2013 "Did You Know" tips at links below|
- Agricultural Irrigation
- Crop Production
- Drinking Water
- Lakes / Ponds / Streams
- Lawn and Landscape Irrigation
- Lawns, Landscapes and Gardens
- Livestock Manure Management
- Policy / Law / Economics / Human Behavior
- Stormwater Management
- Wastewater - Domestic Sewage
- Water Basics (groundwater, surface water, hydrology)
- Well and Wellhead Management
Rain Gardens for Homeowners
Author: Thomas G. Franti, Ph.D., P.E., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Homeowners can reduce water runoff from their yards by using a functional and aesthetic design practice called a rain garden. A rain garden is a small area in a residential yard or neighborhood planted to flowers and ornamental grasses designed to temporarily hold and soak in rain water that comes from a house roof, driveway or other open area. A rain garden is not a pond or wetland. It is dry most of the time and holds water after a rain. Water collected in the rain garden slowly infiltrates into the soil to support plant growth. In a properly sited and designed rain garden standing water disappears in less than 48 hours.
Rain gardens are designed to be an aesthetically pleasing feature of your landscape. The photos provided here show rain gardens in many phases of construction and development. Because rain gardens use plants as their major aesthetic feature it may take a few growing seasons until plants reach maturity and develop the beauty you are tying to create.
Series of 3 UNL Extension NebGuides on designing and installing rain gardens to provide a functional and aesthetic means for reducing polluted water runoff in urban areas:
- Stormwater Management: Rain Garden Design for Homeowners (PDF version 901KB)
- Stormwater Management: Installing Rain Gardens in Your Yard (PDF version 673KB)
- Stormwater Management: Plant Selection for Rain Gardens in Nebraska (PDF version 624KB)
PDF format requires Acrobat Reader free.
Help us help you
We are working to provide the information you need. Your input is valuable in helping us serve you. Please complete a short 6-question feedback form on using the UNL Water Web site.
(No personal data is collected)