Get Ready for April Showers With a Rain Garden

If you’re struggling to deal with stormwater runoff at your business, a rain garden could be the solution. This irrigation technique prevents flooding and adds natural beauty to your landscape while benefiting local aquifers.

What Is a Rain Garden?

In its simplest form, a rain garden is just a shallow depression constructed in the earth to collect excess water from rain. This moisture seeps into the ground and provides nutrients for flowers, grass, and plants, creating a lush, natural effect that’s environmentally friendly to boot.

What Plants Can Be Incorporated in a Rain Garden?

Moisture-resistant species are the most appropriate choices for your rain garden. Many garden designs feature three distinct zones depending on how much moisture the plants can tolerate. Flowers and shrubs that need lots of water go in the center, while those with moderate needs are in a center ring and those that need drier soil are planted in the outer ring.

How Do I Choose a Location?

The best spot for your rain garden is a low-lying area where the ground isn’t too soggy. It should be placed at least 10 feet from your business and at least 50 feet from slopes and septic systems.

The soil should also have a percolation rate of at least 0.5. To test this on your own, dig a hole two feet deep in your desired spot and add 12 inches of water. If the water takes 6 hours to disappear, divide 12 by six to get a rate of 2.

Beyond these basics, your rain garden can be almost any desired size and shape. Careful planning is required to ensure that the design will effectively handle stormwater and reduce flooding.