If you live in an area that experiences a significant amount of rainfall each year, you might be wondering how to get the water that flows off your roof back into the underground aquifers. This is particularly true if you've watched torrents of water rushing from your gutter downspouts. Instead of watching the water get wasted, you can use your landscaping to help it replenish the underground water supplies. Rain gardens are the perfect way to save rain water from being wasted. Here are some step-by-step instructions for creating a rain garden in your yard.
Choose the Location Carefully
When it comes to a rain garden, location is the most important consideration. You need the garden to be close enough to downspouts to utilize the water, but far enough away from your home to keep your foundation from incurring water saturation. If the soil in your yard is healthy - meaning it is fertile and can be worked easily with a shovel - your rain garden should be situated more than 10 feet away from your home.
Prep the Area
Once you've chosen the location for your rain garden, you'll need to take care of some prep work. There are a couple of things you'll need to do to get your garden ready to collect rain water.
Clear the Area
If the area you've chosen for your rain garden already has vegetation growing there – grass or other plants – you'll need to clear it out. For your rain garden to work efficiently, the soil must be cleared and graded first. Clearing and grading will allow you to create a slight slope that flows down and away from your home. The slope will ensure that collected water doesn't flow back towards your home while it's being gathered and absorbed.
Extend the Downspout
The downspout from your rain gutters is going to need to extend into the garden area. To do that, you'll need about 15 feet of flexible drain hose. The opening of the drain hose should be large enough to fit around the opening of your gutter downspout. If you don't want to use drain hose, you can also extend the gutter using additional pieces of gutter piping. Use your shovel to dig a shallow trench from the base of your downspout to the center of your rain garden. Place the drain hose or gutter piping in the trench and cover it with the soil. This will allow the water to drain from your gutters directly into your rain garden.
Create the Garden
Once you have the area prepped, you'll be ready to create your garden. This is where you can get creative with your plans. Creating your garden will require a two-step process that will beautify your garden and reduce run-off from the rain that falls naturally in your yard.
Begin by adding plenty of water-loving plants such as daylilies, Iris, cone flowers and asters. If you're not sure what types of plants will work well in your area, be sure to speak to a garden specialist at your local nursery.
After you have all of your plants in place, decorate your garden with decorative rock. The decorative rock will beautify your garden and help in the water saturation efforts by slowing down the run-off of the rain that falls naturally in your garden. For best results, choose several different sizes and textures of decorative rock. When you call to order your rock, you can talk to the representative about the types of rock that will work well in your rain garden.
Don't let your rain water go to waste. The tips provided here will help you capture that water and send it back down to the aquifers where it can be put to good use. To learn more, contact a company like A & A Materials.