NC State horticulture experts work to restore the garden beauty to rain gardens

Scientists at North Carolina State University are working to keep rain gardens beautiful and functional.

Originally designed as natural water filtration systems for urban runoff, capturing and treating water coming from a roof or parking lot rather than allowing the water to flow into a storm drain, rain gardens have become scenic areas of their own. Or at least they’re supposed to be. Like other gardens, they are plagued with insects and weeds, perhaps more so because they have to endure extreme conditions and are composed of sandy soils, perfect for any weed to sprout. The weeds make the garden unsightly, and untamed weeds can even force out the preferred plants. Dr. Helen Kraus, a horticulturist at NC State University, used a $30,000 Southern Region IPM Enhancement Grant to survey common weeds in rain gardens and find control measures for them. Continue reading