A rain garden is a great way to channel excess water runoff away from a Lancaster, PA, house, and more importantly away from the home’s foundation where it can do damage and cause flooding. Rain gardens work by installing native plants in a depression away from the home where water can channel in from gutters, walkways, or other impervious surfaces that can create flooding. They’re very natural looking in addition to being functional, and will add a beautiful touch to many landscapes. If you have a rain garden on your project list, our garden supply store has everything you’ll need for the job.
Planning the Rain Garden
The first step to creating a rain garden is selecting the perfect spot. An appropriate site would need to be a minimum of 10 feet away from the home and neighbors’ homes. You’ll also need to make sure the landscape has a minimal downward slope to guide the water into the new rain garden.
Next, decide how big the rain garden should be. You’ll want it to be on the bigger side if there’s going to be a lot of runoff water, and it’s usually better for it to be too big than too small. You can also customize it to be any shape you’d like: round, oval, square, or kidney-bean shaped. Lastly, figure out how many channels you’ll have bringing water into the rain garden. It could be anywhere from one to three, depending on the locations producing water runoff.
Get What You Need
Some of the things you might need for this project are a level, a spade, a wheelbarrow, medium and large stones, mulch, and plants. The soil needs to be well draining, so you may also need sand, compost, or topsoil. Use the level to make sure you’ve got the proper slope to guide the water away from the home. As a general rule, you want at least 2 inches of slope per every 5 feet. Use the spade and wheelbarrow to create the site for the rain garden. After digging is when you would amend the soil if necessary, adding sand and topsoil if you’ve got dense clay, and compost if you need a healthy boost of fertilizer for the plants.
Adding native plants is beneficial for many reasons. From a practical standpoint, native plants have deep roots, which will aerate the soil and make it easier for the water to absorb into the soil. It will also make sure the birds, bees, and butterflies have adequate foliage for food and shelter. You want to make sure that the plantings you choose prefer moist to wet soil, and can tolerate some time in between rains. Some flowers that can thrive in the Lancaster, PA, area include New England asters, Virginia bluebells, and purple chokeberry. You could also incorporate a small tree or two like a black oak or willow tree sapling. Trees are the most effective at drinking up water as their roots go very deep and they require a good amount of water. Once you’ve planted your mix of native flowers, shrubs, or trees, add a layer of large sized mulch and some stones. You can decorate using larger boulders and stones.
Now that you’ve got a good idea what you need, head down to Watson Supply Inc. and let a specialist help you get ready to finish your project!