Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes
You can reduce water runoff from your yard by planting a rain garden. A rain garden is a small depression planted to flowers and ornamental grasses. It is designed to temporarily hold and soak in rain water from a roof, driveway or 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 soaks into the soil and disappears in less than 48 hours.
Sediment (sand, silt, and clay particles): Bare spots in lawns and gardens, lawn and landscape renovation projects, sloping areas, soil washed from vehicles, roof tops and other hard surfaces like driveways, pond or stream bank erosion, home construction.
Water pollution can come from a variety of sources. Soil, grass clippings, fertilizer, pesticides, paint thinners, and motor oil can pollute water if picked up by stormwater runoff.
- Aim downspouts towards planted areas or pervious hardscape and away from impervious paved areas.
- Collect rainwater from rooftops in rain barrels or cisterns for reuse in landscape irrigation.
- Amend soil with organic matter. Core aerate lawns to help avoid or reduce soil compaction, increase water infiltration, and promote healthy root systems.
- Follow University and label recommendations and calibrate spreaders when using fertilizers and pesticides. Only use these products when needed. Read and follow label directions for all lawn chemicals.
- Install rain gardens in locations where they catch and temporarily hold rainwater.
- Use natural drainage patterns, site grading, berms (planted earth mounds) or other methods to channel rainwater away from impervious surfaces (i.e. pavement) onto planted areas such as grass swales, filter strips, or rain gardens.
- Plant and maintain healthy plant cover, especially on slopes to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. Select plants adapted to the site and maintenance level.