Step 8: Mulch Around the Plants

Mulching the garden area
Photo: William Wright
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Once the plants are in the ground, cover the inside of the rain garden with a 3-inch layer of mulch to keep the soil moist and to prevent weed seeds from sprouting. Until a rain garden's plants are established, even drought-tolerant plants require supplemental watering to survive dry seasons. Check the mulch depth annually and replenish as necessary. Rain gardens don't require fertilizers beyond the compost used in the soil mix. Weed and prune to keep the rain garden looking its best.
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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