Watch this great video on the growing season in the rain garden at our UConn Extension Center in Haddam.
Jen McGuinness who blogs at Frau Zinnie wrote an excellent blog post about the rain garden presentation Dr. Mike Dietz of UConn Extension presented at the Master Gardener Symposium in March. In Jen’s words:
MANCHESTER, Conn. – With April showers imminent, you’ll soon be reminded of how much stormwater leaves your property. Water rushing through gutters and down driveways will find its way to the street’s sewer if you don’t have a way to trap it.
Instead of letting stormwater wash away, create a rain garden to keep it on site.
At the 2013 Connecticut Master Garden Association’s Symposium, Michael Dietz, Ph.D, NEMOprogram director and water resources educator, explained how a rain garden can be installed. The benefits can be clearly seen in densely populated (and paved) cities.
“Older cities have a runoff problem,” said Dietz. “The sewage and runoff from the house combine and overload the sewer treatment plants. If it’s overloaded, it goes into the rivers.”
With historic amounts of rain falling on our state this month, it is easy to get a little down. It puts a damper on beach days, picnics, and hikes. Not to make things worse, but did you also know that as all that rain runs off roofs, parking lots, driveways, and roads and into storm drains it carries pollutants directly into our streams, ponds, lakes, and Long Island Sound?
Well don’t fret – you can turn that frown upside down. Install a rain garden! Rain gardens are depressions in your landscape that are designed to soak up stormwater rather than send it into the storm drain. In addition to adding beauty to your yard, rain gardens remove pollutants from stormwater runoff and help keep our water bodies safe for swimming, drinking, and fishing.
Rain gardens are fairly easy to install for the average DIYer, but you need to know how to design and install them properly. Lucky for you, UConn has just released the Android version of its award-winning Rain Garden smartphone app (previously available only for iPhones). Through a variety of videos, tools, and information, the app walks you through how to properly site, size, design, and install a rain garden.
So stop bumming about your cancelled beach day and start planning your garden (a great thing to do on a rainy day). And the next time it rains, won’t it feel good to look at your yard and smile knowing you’ve done your part to protect your local water body?