Once you’ve decided to make a Rain Garden, you can choose which plants to include. Choose perennials that can tolerate standing water. Perennials that are at least a year old will have established root systems and thrive in the rain garden. For the best results, use plants native to your area. Native plants include summersweet, purple coneflower, and lady ferns. To prevent water from flowing over the plants, you can use bark chips, or rocks to break up the water flow.
Before installing a rain garden, test the soil by digging a hole about 12 inches deep. Ideally, the water will drain within 24 hours, but you don’t want to leave any standing water. Standing water can attract mosquitoes and can be breeding grounds. Lastly, make sure there’s no grass growing in the area where you plan to put your Rain Garden. If you have grass, you can cut it down and build a small berm to channel water into the garden.
If you want to build a rain garden, you should choose a location that has a gentle slope. Clay soil is best, as it allows water to percolate slowly. To determine your soil’s type, contact your state extension service. Soil tests can be performed for a small fee. If your soil is sandy or loose, you’ll need to add water-absorbing compost and topsoil.
Rain gardens are one of the best ways to reduce stormwater pollution. Stormwater runoff is the result of heavy rainfall and flooding. It contains 70% of the total pollution in our waterways. The soil of a rain garden absorbs the runoff, and plants and trees will filter the pollutants before they enter the ground. They also prevent soil erosion and are low maintenance once established. You can even create more than one Rain Garden if you have the space.
Plants for a rain garden can be as simple as a few shrubs or as complex as a dozen different plants. The most important thing is that you make sure the root system of each plant is properly watered and mulched. You should also research the specific needs of each species to ensure that you get the best results. After the first year, you can skip the mulching but you may want to continue it for aesthetic purposes.
Before you begin planting your Rain Garden, you need to consider your location. Consider which plants are native to your area. Decide what plants will thrive in sun and shade. For example, you should choose water-tolerant native vegetation, such as ferns and small trees. If the area where you are planting your Rain Garden has a pond, plant plants that are tolerant to water.
When preparing a Rain Garden, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve selected the proper soil. If you have clay soil, you’ll want to mix in garden sand and compost to ensure that the water drains properly and without creating a mosquito pond. You should also choose plants that are adapted to both dry and wet conditions.