Rain Garden Planting Tips
Here are a few basics to help you understand the process. (See our Buliding A Rain Garden article for more detailed information.)
To create a rain garden, your perennials will be planted in a shallow depression (8 to 12 inches deep) into which run-off water drains from a roof, driveway or other hard surfaces. Test the planting area for drainage by digging a 12” wide by 12" deep hole and filling with water to saturate soil; refill in a few hours after water drains. After filling the hole a second time, the water should completely drain within 12 hours. If not, this indicates poor drainage that will require moving the garden to another site to avoid long-term standing water.
Size the rain garden's area (sq. footage) to match the sq. footage of the roof area (or other hard surfaces) that will drain into it. Be sure the depression will hold more than 1" of rainfall so it will hold enough to hold several days of rain. Here are some useful metrics to help size the rain garden depression.
Rain Garden Soil Preparation
- Excavate the rain garden to a depth of approximately 8 to 12 inches in depth. Be sure not to leave a vertical edge, but rather a gentle slope down to the bottom.
- Take the soil from the depression and use it to mound up the edge and create a gentle slope that slants away from the edge.
Rototill the bottom of the depression to a depth of 8 to 10 inches to mix in a combination of compost (1/2 to 1 cu. yd. per 100 sq. ft.) and Yum Yum Mix (4 lbs. per 100 sq. ft.) before planting.
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for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.