How to Plant a Rain Garden
Ask This Old House landscape designer Jenn Nawada plants a rain garden that filters storm runoff to prevent contaminating a marsh
- Before digging, call the utility locating service to mark any underground pipes and wires.
- Use marking paint to draw borders for the rain garden.
- Scrape off any existing grass and roots in the garden location using a shovel.
- Dig down 18” using shovels and discard the removed soil. A pick axe may be used to break up heavier soil.
- Add 1-2” of coarse sand to the hole and spread it evenly with a metal rake.
- Remove the plants from their nursery pots and stage in place.
- Use a hand claw to tease the roots and encourage outward growth.
- Backfill the hole using a soil mix that is 1/3 coarse sand, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 bark mulch.
- Water the plants thoroughly, then cover in a layer of bark mulch.
- Continue to water for a month until the plants are established and then the plants should survive on only rain water.