Sure, your lawn looks great, but… let’s be honest. It takes a lot of work. Your work. Isn’t it time your lawn started pulling its own weight? Time for your lawn to get off its lazy… you know what. Time for your lawn to get a job!
Get your lawn a job: soaking up the rain!
Your lawn can do so much for you! It can help solve problems with flooded basements, flooded streets, and dirty creek. Explore below to learn more.
- Lawn practices: practices to improve the health of your lawn. A healthier lawn costs less, requires less maintenance, and soaks up the rain
- Technologies: tools that pair nicely with your lawn to solve flooding problems
- Lawns Re-imagined: have your lawn and push what it can do.
Save Money… Mulch Leaves
Save money, time, and headache by mulching your fall leaves and grass clippings back into your lawn. Free fertilizer! And a healthier lawn soaks up the rain. Learn more from MSU Extension.
Cut your water bill. Rain barrels help you use rainwater on plants rather then expensive municipal water.
Build a Rain Garden!
A rain garden is a garden that looks great and soaks up the rain! A typical rain garden is about 100 square feet and fits nicely into an existing lawn. Learn more at TheRouge.org/BuildRainGarden.
Mowing high (around 3″) keeps your lawn greener, with fewer weeds and grubs. And you don’t have to spend as much money on pesticides and fertilizers. Learn why from MSU Extension.
Essentially an underground rain barrel. For those who do not like the looks of rain barrels, or who want their lawn to manage water but want to see fewer puddles.
Turf-grass Rain Garden!
If your lawn has decent soils (not clay), why not make it a rain garden? Recent research suggests that turf-grass can perform as well as a prairie in good soils.
Especially for lawns on clay soils or that receive foot traffic. Core aerators are cheap to rent, and will save money elsewhere. Learn more from Iowa Extension.
Solve dangerous icy sidewalks and cut your need for winter salting by choosing permeable pavers or concrete. Learn more at the Green Building Alliance.
Turf-grass rain garden continued
Learn more about a rain garden’s function here. Visually, use shallow slopes over a large area in a place where you don’t mind water pooling for up to a day. Use a sod-cutter to pull up the lawn, excavate roughly 3″ of soil, and replace sod. Follow typical rain garden guidance to size the garden for the amount of runoff.
Disconnect/Redirect Your Downspout
Disconnect downspouts from the sewer. Redirect downspouts onto your lawn to give your lawn a job: soaking up the rain. This is one of the best and cheapest things you can do. Learn more here.
Trees are so powerful you’d pay a fortune for them if they were a tech gadget. Placed well, trees cut your energy bills, raise your property values, beautify your home, AND help solve flooding problems. Check out the Tree Benefits Calculator, or visit Arbor Day to learn about trees for stormwater.
Photos below are organized sequentially from top to bottom of the page, starting from the left column moving to the right.
0. Featured image of a lawn, CC0 Public Domain, https://www.maxpixel.net/Lawn-Care-Lawn-Maintenance-Lawn-Services-643561
1. Riding lawnmower, CC0 Public Domain, https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=222766&picture=mulching-autumn-leaves
2. Push lawnmower, CC0 Public Domain, https://pxhere.com/en/photo/265026
3. Lawn aeration, CC BY-SA 2.0, photo by Alec Kowalewski, Courtesy of Oregon State University, https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregonstateuniversity/8704115339
4. Downspout disconnection, public domain, by U.S. E.P.A., https://www.epa.gov/soakuptherain/soak-rain-disconnect-redirect-downspouts
5. Rain Barrel, CC-BY-2.0, photo by AquaMechanical, https://www.flickr.com/photos/aquamech-utah/24445198643
6. Dry well, CC BY-SA 2.0, Timothy Jarrett, https://www.flickr.com/photos/timjarrett/4012403161
7. Permeable pavers, CC BY 3.0, photo by Achim Hering, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Interlocking_stone.jpg
8. Tree, CC0 Creative Commons public domain, https://pixabay.com/en/tree-lawn-grass-green-landscape-970850/
9. Rain garden on Miller Avenue in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County Rain Garden Program
10. Turf grass rain garden, William R. Selbig, U.S. Geological Survey, and Nicholas Balster, University of Wisconsin, https://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2010/5077/pdf/sir20105077.pdf
This project has been funded in part through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Nonpoint Source Program by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The contents of the document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the EPA or the DEQ, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.