Rain gardens are man-made additions to the environment that benefit surrounding areas and personal properties. Rain gardens are usually shallow, rounded gardens that are anywhere from 6-12 inches deep and vary in circumference based on many factors, such as the size of the property and how porous the soil is where you plan to install your rain garden. These types of gardens can be built by a landscaper, but the cost can set you back a couple hundred to thousands of dollars depending on the size. Read below to learn how you can do it yourself!
> To make sure you have no issues with your rain garden you want to get a good idea about where you’ll be installing it. Find an area more than 10-15 feet from the house, preferably near drainage points and areas where rainwater funnels. You may want to check with your village and make sure you won’t be digging near any utilities run underground.
> Once you find a spot away from utilities and the foundation of the house, test your soil! There are multiple ways to do it, but one way is to dig a small hole in the desired location about 6-8 inches deep and fill it with water. If the water takes longer than 24 hours to drain the soil is not porous enough for a rain garden and you should relocate the garden.
> After testing the soil, determine the size of your garden. After digging the garden, make sure there is a berm, or a raised area that acts as a wall to keep the rainwater inside the rain garden. You can make a berm using the soil removed from the rain garden and river rocks. You can plant a variety of foliage in your rain garden that is native to your area and will absorb the additional water and pollutants from the rainwater.
> Now enjoy your rain garden and all the benefits it offers your property! They may attract butterflies and dragonflies, as well as small birds. If you’re thinking “Well, won’t a rain garden attract mosquitos?” don’t fret! If you found a good and porous area, then your rain garden will drain within 24 hours as you noticed during the soil test. This does not make a great place to breed mosquitoes so no need to worry about them crowding around your rain garden!
>>> Check out additional links below from the Chicago Botanic Garden in Chicago, IL and the Prairie Rivers Network in Champaign, IL.