Rain gardens are not ponds. When properly designed, a rain garden should only hold water for about 24 hours.
-Will a rain garden be a breeding ground for mosquitoes?
No! Properly designed rain gardens are, in fact, mosquito death traps because the water soaks into the ground within a day or so. The mosquito life cycle takes place in standing water and lasts seven to 12 days. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. The eggs hatch into larva and then grow into flying insects. If a mosquito lays its eggs in a rain garden with standing water and the water soaks into the ground, the eggs won't have an opportunity to develop and will die.
-Are rain gardens hard to maintain?
The benefit of using native plants in a rain garden is that they are well adapted to their natural surroundings and do not require a lot of maintenance, fertilizers or pesticides. The bulk of rain garden maintenance involves periodic watering and weeding.
-Will I need to water my rain garden?
You will need to water the rain garden during the first one or two growing seasons until the plants become established. About an inch of water a week is a good rule of thumb. In later years, the garden will only need to be watered during prolonged dry periods.
-Are rain gardens expensive to build?
Rain gardens do not have to be expensive. If you build the rain garden yourself, the main cost is typically the plants and mulch. Choosing smaller plants -- called plugs -- and buying plants and mulch in bulk can help reduce the cost. An average rain garden will cost almost nothing if you do the work yourself and use plants from other parts of your landscaping or receive cuttings from friends or family. If you hire a landscaper to design and construct the garden and install the plants, the cost could be $18 to $20 per square foot.
-Will a rain garden cause water to seep into my basement?
Wet basements are commonly caused by improper grading and drainage around a house foundation. For example, a downspout may empty right onto the ground next to the house or the surface of the yard may slope toward the house. A rain garden can be used to direct water away from the house foundation by routing downspouts toward the garden instead of letting them discharge near the house foundation.