How to Rain Garden Plants

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How to Rain Garden Plants

How to Rain Garden PlantsHow to Rain Garden Plants

A rain garden is designed to use the resources of excess water that rains and storms bring with them. Rain garden plants are those plants that can withstand a lot of moisture, without rotting.

A rain garden is like any other garden, either as a part of a huge garden, or part of a suburban landscape. A rain garden basically monitors the water it receives. In most of the large gardens, rain gardens are added as borders or as an entry feature, whereas in landscaping, they are used as features that beautify parking lots, sidewalks, traffic turns, etc. Rain garden plants are mostly grown in locations, where water can accumulate, without stagnating.

A rain garden is designed to imitate the hydrological action of a forest. Water is captured in a garden, which is dug and shaped like a basin that uses specific water-intensive plants. Rain garden plants reduce the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, and the overall sediment that gets drained in the garden by the action of the plants and the soil they grow in. The treatment that is given to the water, treats waste or pollutants by bioremediation (use of microorganisms) that can break down the undesirable substances. Rain gardens are mainly of two types; under-drained and self-contained. They are both used for the purpose of reducing water runoff volumes, improving stormwater quality, and to facilitate the infiltration of water into the soil. Some rain gardens have drainage systems that move excess water into a conventional storm sewer pipe system.

Types of Rain Garden Plants

Rain gardens are created using plants that can withstand extreme moisture, as well as thrive in it. Most horticulturists recommend the use of native vegetation to build a rain garden. Native plants are mostly fuss-free, have good root systems, that utilize the water and nutrients available in their own soils better than non-native ones. Trees, perennials, shrubs, wildflowers, can all be incorporated in a rain garden. Invasive or noxious species should be avoided in a rain garden, as they would take over most growth, and ruin the design of the rain garden. Following is a list of rain garden plants state-wise.Delaware: New England aster, blue flag iris, woolgrass, soft-stem bulrush, Canada rush, cardinal flower, arrow arum, etc.

New Jersey:

Virginia bluebells, wild geranium, joe-Pye weed, white wood aster, Canada anemone, swamp milkweed, white turtlehead, etc.

Maryland:

Ebony spleenwort, Christmas fern, bottlebrush grass, wild ginger, smooth blue aster, black snakeroot, marsh marigold, white heath aster, etc.

Alabama:

River birch, sweet pepperbush, oakleaf hydrangea, cardinal flower, indigo, redbud tree, etc.
Other Rain Garden Plants: Turkey tangle fog fruit, common blue violet, American water-willow, dwarf palmetto, eastern gamagrass, swamp milkweed, desert false indigo, inland sea oats, etc.

Rain Gardens Have Specific Uses

They can add to the aesthetic appeal of an otherwise boring suburban landscape. It creates a mechanism to prevent stormwater from collecting and stagnating. Rain gardens are incorporated in the stormwater management plan. They are easy to maintain, as they require no additional water and very little fertilization. Once a year cleaning and pruning usually does the trick to keeping them in good shape. It helps to improve water quality by filtering out pollutants and substances. As native plants thrive better in the rain gardens, it helps to prevent and propagate them easily. Native plants attract a whole lot of beneficial birds and insects like butterflies. The above-mentioned state-wise rain garden plants can be grown; however, it is best to use native plants.

Solve Droughts with Rain Gardens

The Rain Garden seeks to demonstrate the process through which garden owners can store rainwater and use it through dry periods. This process helps illuminate the negative effects of too much or too little rain on the success of gardening.

The Rain Garden demonstrates the different effects of rain on urban and natural gardens.  In a natural setting, an overabundance of rain is soaked up by the ground and surrounding plant life, while in urban settings tarmac and concrete make this difficult and often result in flash floods due to overflow.

The Rain Garden seeks to demonstrate how plant life can be successfully incorporated into gardening to reduce the threat of runoff and the build-up of oil, rubber, and soot in the water supply.

Even in the city, plants can be incorporated in features with a design to absorb water and release it slowly back into the ground for absorption by plant roots or percolation back to the water table. Plants and microorganisms also help to relieve the absorption of pollutants by breaking down the organic compounds in things like car exhaust and cleaning the atmosphere.


Watering Tips for Your Garden

As the weather warms up and the ground dries out, the hoses and watering cans come into their own. But in a hot spell how do you ensure you wring every last drop of goodness out of the water you give to the plants on your vegetable plot? Grown For You, one of the UK’s leading online retailers of fruit and vegetable plants has come up with three simple rules.

Says Nick Coumbe, general manager, “For managers of large commercial nurseries watering well can make thousands of pounds of difference. Overwater and it costs you money; underwater and it could cost you in lost plants. The scale is obviously different for those with allotments of small vegetable plots, but the basics are the same. So for those who are confused over whether it’s better to water little and often or give and good soak and leave to dry out, we’ve come up with three simple points to act as guidance for any gardener.”

1.  Water before the hottest part of the day and again in the evening if necessary

The temperature of the soil around a plant’s roots is vital for good growth. Water stops the temperature rising too quickly, and also cools the plant as it evaporates. So watering early helps keep the roots moist during the hottest part of the day, and watering late ensures they have plenty of at night when they actually use most of their water.

2. Don’t let them get too dry, but don’t saturate them every day

Compost, and to some extent soil, is like a sponge. If it dries out too much it becomes harder to make it wet again without soaking it. If it gets too wet, the excess drains off leaving the ground damp. So the aim is to water efficiently, filling up the top level of soil or compost so it drains down into the lower levels, but not over-watering so it simply runs off and is wasted.

3.  With pots use 10 percent of the pot or root-ball volume each time you water.

A simple rule, but effective. A 25-liter pot would need 2.5 liters of water and so on. As with plants in the ground, don’t wait too long to water pots, and do so when they’ve begun to dry slightly, but before the compost starts to shrink back from the edge of the pot.

Nick adds a final word of advice: “There are no simple answers to the question of when to water, but by following these pointers commercially, I’ve been able to save significant sums of money on nursery water bills and reduced the runoff from plants to almost zero. That’s good for the environment as well as the wallet. I can’t promise domestic gardeners the same savings, but as they say, every little helps.”


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