Rain Garden Tips: Soil

Last week I wrote a brief intro for my blog post on testing your soil, and below is the video I promised. You’ll see why I wanted you all to get some supplies.

A couple things I forgot to mention in the video: Even if your soils don’t drain well, and replacing your soils with a better mixture is too expensive, you can still do a rain garden. Just put in native plants that grow deep roots. Over time, this will loosen up the soil. The drawback is it takes a year or two for the plants to establish themselves in a way that improves infiltration. That’s why we promote putting in looser soils, because you’ll be able to infiltrate more water, and sooner.

Additionally, the test I do with the water bottle is very basic, and is just supposed to give you a general idea of the ratio of clay, sand, gravel and organic matter is in your soil. I should probably do a video just on that little test, but for now this should give you a good idea. I highly recommend getting a professional soil evaluation though, if you really want to get involved with your yard and/or garden. Knowing your soil composition and pH will really help in deciding what type of plants you want to use. Patricia talks about soils in a really concise way on her page for evaluating your soil.

Later this week I’ll post a video of Patricia talking a bit about design. So keep an eye out for that.