Guide

How to Construct Your Own Rain Garden

If you find yourself trying to figure out what to do with those low spots in your yard that tend to collect water during the wet seasons, then a rain garden might be the answer. A rain garden isn’t just a hole or a divot in your yard. Instead, it’s a designed water collection area. It acquires the water that runs off a building or from the landscape and holds it until it seeps into the ground below. It’s fairly easy to construct your own rain garden if you have a few tools, materials and the know-how.

Rain gardens actually help the environment. They collect dirty runoff water and filter it through plants and vegetation. They also help reduce the consequences of drought. Rain gardens also help keep rain and melted snow from running over driveways, sidewalks and other waterproof areas. By collecting water and allowing it to seep naturally into the ground, rain gardens can actually help lighten the load that a public drainage system endures. For the benefit, here’s a bonafide horticultural nut that will offer all the essential information to the person related to the gardening. The results will be as per the requirement and need of the person for gardening at home with effectiveness. 

Besides helping the environment, rain gardens can also add spots of beauty to your yard. And, another plus is, they’re relatively low-maintenance. All you need to do is water them during long, dry spells, remove pesky weeds, trim or replace plants and maybe add additional mulch from time to time.

Before you actually begin to construct your own rain garden, you’ll need to find the ideal location. It should be located near driveways, sidewalks and other areas where the water can’t seep into the ground. Place a rain garden underneath a downspout and it will collect the rain water and melted snow as soon as it comes down from the roof of your house.

As far as the size of your rain garden, there is no definite calculation to determine how long and wide it should be. Because, there are too many varying factors. The size of your rain garden will mainly be determined by the size of your roof and the amount of rain or melted snow it will need to accommodate at one time.

Your rain garden will need to be constructed so it’s deep enough to accommodate plant life. The plants will act as filters that will remove the pollution from the run off water. The best plants will be native to the area. They will be grasses and wildflowers that will provide a habitat for beneficial birds and insects. Of course, if the runoff water is polluted by lawn chemicals, snow melting products, oil, grease and the like, you’ll need to choose hardy plants that can survive the pollution. And, choose wildflowers and grasses that won’t spread and take over your rain garden.

If the ground in the bottom of your rain garden is clay or another hard substance, the run off water won’t be able to seep into the ground properly. Therefore, you’ll need to dig it out with a shovel (and maybe even a pick if it’s too hard). You’ll then need to fill in the bottom with sand mixed 50/50 with topsoil, small gravel or clean mulch.

No matter what material the bottom of your rain garden consists of, adding clean mulch around the plants will help keep weeds at bay.

And finally, you won’t have to worry about your rain garden being a breeding ground for mosquitoes. As long as your garden is constructed so it only holds runoff water for a few days, mosquitoes won’t be able to take advantage of the standing water. Mosquito eggs need to be in water for approximately ten to fourteen days in order for them to develop into mature insects.