Step 3. Construction of the Garden
- Are you ready to construct your Rain Garden? You determined the size, shape and location.
- You tested the soil and determined it has adequate drainage, know how to amend the soil to allow the rain garden to both evaporate and slowly drain rain waters.
- Will you need only shovels and strong backs? Depending on your design and site preparation needs, a roto-tiller or larger equipment may be required.
- Volunteers needing to fulfill scout or school service projects may be ready and willing to assist if you’re doing a rain garden for a school, church, or town building!
- Ready, Set, Go!
- Lay out a rope or garden hose in the shape desired as a guide for digging.Dig the garden; the depth of the depression may vary from 4 to 8”.
- Create the “saucer” contour of the garden. For best infiltration, the bottom of the garden should be level. On a slope, the soil from digging may be used to create a berm on the downhill side.
Introduce and gravel, peat, sand, etc, that are needed to give proper drainage
- Install your rain barrel, or create swale to direct water into the garden from a downspout or pavement
- Like any new planting, the rain garden may need watering for the first few weeks.During the first season, some extra watering, thinning and replacement plants will also be needed.
- Below is a graphic illustration of the elements of a constructed rain garden.
- Resources for Building Your Rain Garden
- For more detailed information on the actual construction of a rain garden, please visit the following sites:Pennsylvania Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual Chapter 6, Section 6.4.5 Rain Garden/Bioretention, pp. 52
- University of Wisconsin Extension Service’s Rain Gardens: A How-to Manual for Homeowners pp: 11-16
- Low Impact Development Center
- West Michigan Rain Gardens, Saving the Great Lakes One Garden at a Time