Posted on 01 February 2009 by urbangardencasual.com

Help Prevent Stormwater Pollution and Mosquitoes With a Rainwater Garden

mosquitoBy Vanessa Richins

While the water from rainstorms is mostly beneficial for your garden, it can also bring hazards elsewhere.

One such problem occurs when polluted storm water runs off into lakes and rivers.

It can also erode the shorelines.

Another problem that can occur is an abundance of mosquitoes. These pesky insects like to lay their eggs in standing water. The more stormwater that can collect into pools, the more possibilities for mosquitoes to be born, bringing annoying pain and possible diseases.

One remedy for both problems is a rain garden. One state that is encouraging its residents to create them in Minnesota. The Minnesota Star-Tribune explains how they work, “Experts say a well-designed rain garden can hold water for 48 hours, allowing it to infiltrate soil. That gives plants more nutrients, protects lakes and recharges water tables. At the same time, the design allows the garden to dry up before any mosquito eggs laid in the wet gardens can hatch.”

A 2002 study showed how effective these gardens can be. Two Minnesota neighborhoods were chosen and their stormwater levels measured. In 2004, residents (17 of 25 in the neighborhood) installed 17 rain gardens. The other neighborhood served as the control for the study.

“After one year of monitoring, the study found an 82 percent reduction in runoff volume, but for the two years of monitoring after they were installed the number was 90 percent”

If you are interested in planting a rain garden at your house, the newspaper offers several links with information.

Have you planted a rain garden?

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2 Responses to “Help Prevent Stormwater Pollution and Mosquitoes With a Rainwater Garden”

  1. urbangardencasual.com Sunita Says:

    As additional insurance, create a dragonfly habitat. They’re amazing mosquito-hunters at every stage, it seems.

  2. urbangardencasual.com Raquel at Cool Garden Things Says:

    I imagine this year it will be especially important to dump out all the containers and water pooling areas as we have had so much rain. Wetland’s used to do much of the same thing as described above before we starting scraping off all the topsoil to build neighborhoods and such. That is why it is even more important to try to ammend the soil around our homes and plant plants that have deep root systems to help break up the clay that is left behind which just causes every chemical we put on our lawns to run off into the water ways…attempting to restore small areas committed to processing this water…micro wetlands if you will is a really excellent idea. Thank you for the post.

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