There are a few simple guidelines when creating a rain garden.

A rain garden is a great way to beautify your home, plus it helps absorb stormwater – keeping it out of storm sewers. The captured rain water filters down through the soil and into groundwater.Otherwise, stormwater ends up in the street where it picks up garbage and pollutants and dumps them into our streams, rivers and lakes.Learn how to build a rain garden by downloading this helpful manual:

  1. Pick a Good Site – Find a spot where the garden gets discharge from a downspout or runoff from the lawn, patio or driveway.

  2. Call Diggers Hotline – (1-800-242-8511) at least three business days before you start digging.

  3. Select the Plants – Pick out native plants that are drought tolerant.

  4. Keep it Level – Dig 4-8 inches deep and heap the soil around the edge for a berm. The goal is a flat and level bottom.

  5. Build a Berm – A berm is necessary to keep water in the garden so it can soak into the ground.

  6. Space Properly – With the plants in their containers, set them one foot apart. Spread three inches of mulch throughout the garden and on the berm to keep in moisture and prevent weeds.

  7. Give It Some TLC – Water immediately after planting and continue to water twice a week until the plants appear established or until a good rain. During the first year, water if there is an official drought. Do not water after the first year.

For a downloadable PDF file about how to create

a rain garden, click on the button above!


Respect Our Waters

Milwaukee area offices:

600 East Greenfield

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204



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