RAIN GARDEN-WHAT GOES THERE?
What goes into a Rain Garden?
• Native plants are recommended for rain gardens because they generally don't need fertilization and tend to be quite tolerant of local climate, soil and water conditions. They have evolved to fit their environment and are naturally drought, flood and pest resistant.
• Plants should be composed of a selection of native wetland edge vegetation, such as wildflowers, sedges, rushes, ferns, shrubs and small trees. These plants are reasonably resistant to the stress of both periods of pooling as well as dry periods between rain events.
• There are many "normal" plants that can tolerate having wet feet. Look for them in the local nursery. Then watch them. If they don't work, put them elsewhere. • If the plants have deep root systems they can find water deep in the ground during dry periods. These deep roots also create conduits for the water to travel down into the ground during periods of heavy rain.
• It is best to avoid invasive species. Don't create a weed nightmare!
• Plants with large root structures will make the rain garden more effective and less susceptible to disease.
• Choose hardy species than can tolerate both wet and dry.
• If you have poor soil drainage, you'll want plants that are more water-tolerant as the water will remain there longer.
• Don't use seed to plant your rain garden. They will wash away in the first rain, leaving the garden vulnerable to erosion. Be sure to use reasonably established plants instead.
• As with any garden, pick plants for your soil type and sun duration.
• Most native plants are very attractive to butterflies, frogs, turtles, toads and birds who depend on them for food and shelter.
• Put in a pedestal birdbath and perhaps a feeder to encourage the birds to come.