Rain garden and how to make it

A rain garden is a beautiful way to manage your storm water and to protect Lake Simcoe.

If you live in our beautiful city of Barrie you probably care for keeping Lake Simcoe clean. It could be much, much cleaner if the house owners would prevent the rainwater from getting into the lake. The solution is to plant a rain garden. Apart from keeping storm water for growing plants, rain gardens also purify it by filtering.

A rain garden is just a depression on your lot planted with some plants

When designing your rain garden, follow nature. Good if there is a depression or low area on your lot. Otherwise you need to dig one. Water from downspouts through gutters and buried pipes as well as the excessive water from the rest of the lot will be naturally collected in the depression. The depression has to be deep enough to hold all the water from a strong rainfall. It size depends on the amount of water from a rainfall, hence from your roof area and other areas where water is collected from (driveways, parking lots, patio etc.).

Put sand, or clear stone, or other well-draining gravel on the bottom of the depression. If the soil under and around the depression contains lots of clay, make the depression deeper and put more sand or gravel. If the soil is sandy you might not need sand or gravel at all, as the water will be absorbed into the sandy soil and never fills the depression entirely.

Fill the upper part of the depression with good fertile soil or triple mix. The thickness of the soil layer depends on how deep the roots of the plants will be. The trees need deeper soil layer and they can absorb and evaporate much more water than herbaceous plants.

Happy gardening,