Bayscaping to Reduce Runoff

Building Your Own Rain Garden: How to Get Started

Rain garden

So you want to build your own rain garden? Great! Not only will you be making your home or community more attractive with your landscaping project, but you’ll also be reducing the polluted stormwater runoff that ends up in local waterways. Plus, you’ll be creating a natural wildlife habitat for pollinators and birds.

First things first, give your local Cooperative Extension Office a call for some insight on recommended garden size, soil mix and plants for your community. Next, scope out the area of interest to determine the best place for a rain garden. You’ll want a relatively level space that already collects a little bit of water, but avoid areas that are already soggy. Look for a small depression in the ground or a spot near the bottom of a slope. Your rain garden should be a good 10 feet away from the home and any other structures, and it shouldn’t be built directly over septic systems.

After you’ve figured out all the details, it’s time for the design phase. Sketch it out, and then use stakes and strings to mark the perimeter in the chosen area. Before you get to digging, know what plants you’re going to want in your rain garden. Native plants create a natural habitat for local wildlife and require less care than non-native ones. Visit Plantnative to find out what’s native to your area.


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