Rain Gardens

What is a rain garden?

Rain gardens are shallow, planted depressions that are designed to absorb water from your roof, allowing it to drain directly into the soil. Typically, a downspout from your home is disconnected from the sewer system and diverted into the rain garden, which can prevent hundreds of gallons per year from entering the City’s sewer system. Rain gardens are one of the most cost effective ways to manage stormwater runoff and can be a beautiful addition to your existing landscape design.

Cost: Rain Check will contribute $16 per square foot towards your rain garden up to a maximum of $2000.  At an average price of $17-$20 per square foot, this contribution often covers a very large percentage of the project.


About our rain gardens:

  • Before planting, we will perform an “infiltration test” at your home to make sure that your soil is well-suited for a rain garden.
  • Rain gardens are excavated to a depth of 6” to 12”. Then, the garden is filled with a stormwater-friendly mix of soil, sand, and compost.
  • All rain gardens are planted with native, drought-tolerant perennial species. These species do the best job of absorbing and filtering stormwater and are very low maintenance. Our rain gardens are planted with young specimens that will thrive over time. The rain gardens are designed to fill in completely over 1-3 growing seasons.
  • Rain gardens must be planted in an area that is at least 10 feet from a below-ground basement.
  • Rain gardens can create a habitat for butterflies and birds.
  • Are you particular about your landscaping design choices?  Our expert contractors will work with you to create a design that is appealing and unique to your property.

Rain garden maintenance:

  • Water the rain garden frequently (once per week for the first month or so). Once established, it should need little to no additional watering.
  • Weed and prune as you would any garden.
  • Do not be afraid to move plants around if you think they would do better in drier or wetter parts of the garden. 
  • View this list for information about the types of plants that are suitable for a rain garden.
  • Do not plant edible food in a rain garden. Stormwater running into the garden may carry dirt and debris not suitable for edible plants. In addition, urban soils should be tested before being used for growing edibles. 



To get a rain garden installed at your home, click here to sign up for a Rain Check assessment.