Three Questions You Must Ask When Planning a Rain Garden

Residential rain garden in Baltimore City.
Rain gardens are a beautiful way to reduce stormwater pollution.

It’s winter and by golly it’s cold out there! Not to worry, spring is right around the corner.

But don’t be without a plan! Now is a great time to get ready and avoid another planting season come and go without a rain garden for your yard.

Your first step is to make sure your yard has rain garden potential.

You’ll want a location :

  • where the land slopes gently away from your home;
  • with at least 100 square of space available;
  • more than 10 feet from any building;
  • that receives sunshine at least part of the day.

If you have a spot with those for traits, a rain garden may be possible in your yard.

Your second step is to look inward: are you ready for a rain garden?

Just because you’ve got a good spot doesn’t mean you are ready. Here are three crucial questions to answer before you reach for a shovel:

Urban rain garden
A typical home rain garden costs $2,000-3,000.
  1. Can you afford a rain garden? A typical home rain garden costs $2,000-3,000. If you do all the work yourself, and your site is perfect, you might do it for less than $1,000.
  2. Will you be away from home more than a week this summer? Your garden is going to need some consistent attention in the first year. Watering during dry times is a must for long-term success.
  3. Are you dedicated to weeding this year? In the first couple of years, you may need to do a fair amount of weeding to ensure your rain garden plants get well established.

What do you think? If a rain garden still seems like something you might like, here are two things you should do today:

You may be wishing spring was here already so you could get outside and enjoy the sunshine, but you’ve got time: now is the best moment to start preparing to make that rain garden a reality. 

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