A rain garden is a great option for people who seek low-maintenance gardening opportunities. If you plan and structure your rain garden properly, then working in the garden will be easy to manage and highly productive. Below are essential factors you should pay attention to when creating your rain garden.

Choosing a Location

The location of a rain garden is essential because it determines how well you will be able to retain water for gardening. You should position your rain garden near a down spout or sump pump or any other runoff source. Also, avoid locating your rain garden near buildings and septic systems as they may interrupt or affect its functionalities. For example, leakage from the septic system may poison your garden and require you to recreate the garden.

A rain garden can be big or small, and so you're the one to determine the size you would prefer. However, it's advisable to leave room around the boundaries of your rain garden to make it easy to carry out practices, such as weeding. So when planning where to locate your rain garden, make room for side paths as well.

Soil Type

A rain garden should be built on soil that has good percolation or filtration so as to allow proper water drainage. The soil in the area should absorb water within 48 hours. If the soil has poor percolation the water will stagnate and your rain garden may become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Also, the soil should have proper grading to ensure the soil uptakes sufficient water necessary for plant growth.

You can prepare the soil of your rain garden by first digging out 12 inches of soil. After that fill the depression area that you will create with six inches of sand, compost and topsoil. The sand should be at the bottom and three inches high. Lay two inches of compost over the sand followed by one inch of topsoil and blend uniformly. Otherwise, hire a garden contractor to guide you through the stages or create the rain garden for you.

Rain Garden Plants

Plants that can withstand high soil moisture are the best for rain gardens because the depression of rain gardens makes the garden retain lots of water, especially during the rainy seasons. Native plants are the best for rain gardens, so find out which plants will thrive the best in your area. 

Marginal plants are also a good option of plants to have in your rain garden. The plants do well in extremely wet areas, and they also withstand dry seasons. When planting your rain garden, use seedlings instead of planting seeds directly into the soil. Seedlings are able to withstand high moisture levels better than seeds, and in case of water lodging at any point, the seedlings are less likely to be washed away.

Planning your rain garden appropriately will maintain its effectiveness for longer. You can use the above-mentioned tips to create an ideal backyard rain garden.