Step 6: Fill the Basin

Filling the basin for the garden area
Photo: William Wright
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Fill all but the top 6 to 12 inches of the excavated area with rain-garden soil. Slope the sides gently. If the soil you excavated is relatively free of clay, you can use a mixture of 65 percent native soil to 35 percent compost, or 2 scoops of soil for each scoop of compost. If you dug out clay soil, refill with a mixture of 60 percent screened sand and 40 percent compost. If you are creating a dry well, fill that with washed round stones 1½ to 2 inches in diameter. Also pack stones around the overflow area to prevent erosion.
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    Tools List

    • bucket
      Bucket
    • garden hose
      Hose
    • Gas powered sod cutter
      Sod cutter or spade
    • to remove grass layer. Sod cutter can be rented for $80 a day
    • pointed shovel
      Shovel
    • or rent a backhoe for $230 a day
    • metal garden rake
      Rake
    • wheelbarrow
      Wheelbarrow
    • hacksaw
      Hacksaw
    • hand trowel
      Trowel

    Shopping List

    1. Spray paint

    2. Compost

    3. Stones

    4. Plants

    5. Smooth or corrugated piping to connect to a gutter downspout