Rain gardens are shallow depressions on your property that are filled with native plants that catch and use rain water runoffs from places like roofs, driveways, streets and parking lots. Putting storm water to use can prevent erosion and the spreading of harmful chemicals. It can also be used to beautify a low dingy area. Native plants work great for absorbing water and then releasing it into the atmosphere. They work well because they are use for flourishing the area. Their massive root systems take in more water and keep the ground from eroding the area.
1. Determine your Size
Your rain garden should be about one third the size of the area of your runoffs. You can do this by determining the square footage of the two areas. Also determine the lowest area of your property. If you have a low area, you might have to extend it a bit.
2. Choose the Right Spot
Your property might have several ideal locations. You want an area that is away from your house. You also want it to be viewable by your neighbors. Rain gardens attract insects, amphibians and wildlife. It is like a miniature Eco-system. Once it is constructed, it will require very little maintenance. In fact, most of the maintenance will be in the original construction of your rain garden.
1. Begin Digging
The average depth of a garden is six inches to one foot deep. The bottom should also be level. Test your soil’s pH level. This will affect how well your plants will grow. You want it to be between 5.5 and 7.3.
2. Test your Overflow
Run tap water through a hose and fill up your garden. Check to see where the water goes once it is full. You might need to place a small trench for water removal. It is important to have the water moving away from your home or buildings.
3. Direct your Runoff Water
Runoff water from your roof, driveways and other places need to be directed to your rain garden.
Place your plants in the appropriate places. These plants usually have lots of roots, so allow space for them. Decide all your colors, textures and sizes, before planting. Do not add anything until all the plants are in place. You can then add artifacts or yard decorative items to your rain garden.
(Note:By keeping the water low, mosquitoes won’t be able to breed. The water dissipates in about 48 hours. Mosquitoes take a week to mature.)
A rain garden not only adds color to your property, but it makes a great watershed for excess water. It helps to keep other places dry.