How to build a rain garden – Show Notes

Rain Garden Episode Links: ely.how/episode77

Create a beautiful rain garden

  • What is a rain garden
    • Depression area that catches runoff
    • Infiltrates or soaks water into the ground
    • Planted with plants that tolerate wet and dry conditions
  • What does a rain garden do
    • For you
      • Self-irrigating garden
      • Self-maintaining garden
      • Attracts pollinators and birds
    • For the environment
      • Reduces runoff
      • Reduces sewer issues
      • Reduces flooding
      • Restores ground water resources
    • Why create a rain garden
      • Low maintenance garden
      • Attracts pollinators and birds
      • Personal positive impact
  • How to build a rain garden
    • Determine size
      • Based on space
      • Amount of runoff
        • Roof
        • Yard
      • Free rainwater calculation tool
    • Determine location
      • Gentle or no slope
      • Able to grade level
      • Downgrade of runoff area
      • Planned overflow area
    • Determine soil infiltration capacity
      • Soil must be able to soak up rain over time
      • Heavy clay, hardpan, bedrock are problem sites
      • How to determine infiltration rate
        • Dig a hole 1-2ft deep
        • Fill with water
        • See how long it takes to soak in
        • If super slow / no infiltration, bad site
    • Plan your garden
      • Rain garden design
        • Determine shape that is effective for holding water
        • Find appealing shape for property and desires
        • Make sure it’s an easy-to-maintain design
      • Plants
        • Select plants that are well-adapted to space
        • Tolerate occasional wet conditions
        • Tolerate drought
        • Native prairie/meadow plants to region usually well-adapted
        • Some with deep root systems, some with shallow fibrous root systems
        • Design for full coverage of plants to prevent weeds
    • Install your garden
      • May need to rent equipment
      • Level out space
      • Place excavated soil on downgrade side to create a berm
      • For low infiltration soils
        • Excavate 24”
        • add rock/rubble to 12” depth
        • cover with landscape fabric
        • fill in to 6” below original grade
        • Use remaining soil to create berm on sides and downgrade
      • Planting
        • Plugs work
        • Seed mixes less attractive
      • Cover between plants with 4” mulch minimum
    • Maintenance
  • Resources for your rain garden project
    • Free rainwater calculator tool
    • Five super cool ideas for your rain garden
    • Free low maintenance plant list

Are you ready to free yourself from your yard work routine?

Confidently transform your landscape
with the Easy Living Yards Membership!

Learn More!