Rain gardens are finally getting their due as being much more than just picturesque additions to our home breezeways. Their benefits to our homes and the environment are becoming more and more evident.
Rain Gardens Explained in 2 Minutes
For example, because rain gardens are dug down into your yard–essentially forming a divet–they can help to prevent flooding. Instead of water being dispersed evenly across your yard, and, god-forbid, into your home, rain gardens help to hold excess water. Plus, the flourishing of plants, herbs, and other forms of vegetation that rain gardens can produce can also help to provide a habitat for various types of pollinators and wildlife from honey bees to hummingbirds.
With so many benefits, the only thing left to learn is how to actually build a rain garden.
Building a Rain Garden
Building a rain garden starts with choosing a location, which, to maximize safety and water collection, should be placed at least 10 feet away from your home, somewhere low in your yard. All this means is that you want to choose a location where water often collects after heavy rainfall. You should also choose a location that receives at least half a day of sunlight for the best growth results possible.
Feeling stuck? The beloved PBS program This Old House created a rain garden building guide on their YouTube Channel which will point you in the right direction.
How to Build a Rain Garden
Then, it’s time to remove any sod you have placed on the chosen location and create a foundation, which most commonly requires you to dig a shallow hole in the ground no deeper than 6 inches. How long and wide you dig your hole depends on how big you want your rain garden to be.
As the final step, you want to plant your vegetation. If you’re a first-timer rain-garden user, or if you simply want your garden to survive with minimal maintenance required, planting vegetation that is native to your area is a smart choice. Similarly, for a spread that stays healthy and looks good to the eye without much work, stick to planting a combination of grasses and plants in clumps of three to seven. There’s no better way than a DIY rain garden to express your personality and love for the environment. The world awaits your tiny new Eden.