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Creating a Rain Garden

Time

Budget

Skill

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Rain gardens are unique landscape components that help to reduce erosion, mitigate storm water runoff and filter and purify pollutants in runoff water. A rain garden contains plants that can tolerate standing water for a short period of time as well as periods of dryness (drought). The garden should fully drain within about 2 days of rain event.

Tools

Tool

Mulch

Tool

Rototiller

Tool

Square Shovel

Rain garden plants

Rain garden plants

Organic amendments: Soil conditioner, small gravel, manure, etc.

Organic amendments: Soil conditioner, small gravel, manure, etc.

1

Choose a low-lying location where rain water runoff tends to collect

2

Dig out a very shallow hole (3-6” below grade”) 50 square feet of rain garden per 1000sq. ft. of impervious surface (roof, drive way etc.)

3

Incorporate soil amendments to existing soil; clay soils require pea gravel and large particle compost, Sandy soils require small particle compost and/or manure

4

Decorate margin of rain garden with stones etc.

5

Plant rain garden plants in the amended soil inside rain garden

Mulch plantings with organic mulch

Tip

Recommended Rain Garden Plants:

(plants that tolerate brief periods of standing water and periods of dryness)

 

Winterberry (sun-shade)

American beautyberry (sun to partial)

Red Chokeberry (sun to partial)

River Birch (sun)

Bald Cypress (dwarf Cultivars) (sun)

Florida Anise (shade)

Inkberry (shade)

Sweetshrub, Calycanthus (shade)

Carex, sedge (shade)

Cardinal flower (shade)

Hibiscus (sun)

Virginia Sweetspire (sun-partial)

Witchhazel (sun)

Chinese Fringetree (sun)

Juncus (sun)

Goldenrod (sun)

 

Recommended Reading:

Rain Gardening in the South, Helen Kraus & Anne Spafford, Eno Publishers, 2009

Congratulations! You did it! Sit back and enjoy your new lawn addition!

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