After so much wonderful rain, there couldn’t be a better time than now to invest in a rain garden. Creating one is simple and is all about location, soil, and plant selection. Follow Life is a Garden’s guide on how to grow a functioning rain garden to prevent flooding, curb water runoff, and play your part in reducing pollution.
Besides adding stunning décor features to the landscape, rain gardens are super useful and easy to maintain. However, a rain garden is not a swamp and there are some important elements to understand when creating one. Have a look at these key differences:
Sip on this → By temporarily holding and filtering all incoming water, a rain garden diverts rainwater from directly entering a municipal stormwater system AND prevents polluted water from directly flowing into streams and rivers – amazing! Another win for the backyard eco-warrior!
The first factor to consider when planning your rain garden is where to dig your bed. When in an optimal location with appropriate plants, your rain garden will act like a sponge and natural filter that absorbs and collects all incoming water, cleans it, and then percolates it slowly into the surrounding soil. You can also grow multiple smaller rain collecting beds as there is no limit to the size or amount you can have in a space. Ideally, look for areas in the garden that:
Top tip: Before digging up an area, test the soil for efficient drainage first. Dig a deep hole and fill it with water. Come back 24 hours later, after which all the water should be absorbed. If not, you may have to replace your chosen area with better drainage soil and sand, which you can purchase from your GCA Garden Centre.
Mulch can be topped up anytime you see exposed soil, which will ensure your plants remain cool during the summer and warm during winter. Planting your rain garden now will give plants an opportunity to settle in before the cold arrives. When the rain comes again, your smart garden will be ready for action! Enjoy all the biodiversity as an extra bonus, and remember to keep your birdbaths clean and collect seeds for our visitors.