Watering

Rain garden watering system

Watering


Wait a second! A rain garden doesn’t need extra watering! That’s usually true. Rain gardens are designed to collect rain water and don’t need much watering. But water is still an issue.

When to Water


  • During dry spells
  • During the first and second years, or when transplanting plants – basically any time when plants are getting established
  • The best time to water is early morning before the heat of the day causes much of the water to evaporate
  • Excessive watering can lead to rotting and diseased plants

Watering system from above

Managing Rainwater


If your rain garden floods in the first year, the native plants are probably too small to take up all the water – you may need to breach the berm until the plants grow larger. Native plants have very deep roots, and they can suck up an enormous amount of water!

If your rain garden collects water from a roadway, plant a 1-foot grass buffer strip to prevent road salt dissolved in rainwater from getting into the garden.

Here's a great idea: use a rain barrel to water your rain garden! Water can be stored for several days after a rainstorm. Just hook up a hose (see pictures at right) to a barrel and let it water your garden! Hoses lead away from these rain barrels and snake through the rain gardens.