This guide is for residential use only. For regulated stormwater BMPs in St. Louis County, please refer to the MSD BMP Toolbox. In other areas, check your municipal regulations.

Now let’s start planning! To make it as simple as possible, our Rain Garden Guide will walk you through the basics from location to soil type to long-term maintenance.

STEP 4: MAINTAIN

Watering

As with any new garden, supplemental watering may be needed for the first couple of years until the plants have established themselves. One of the many benefits of native plants is that they should they be able to handle both periods of drought and wetness. In an extended drought, you may still need to water occasionally. Consider adding a rain barrel to store water for such times.

 

Weed & Mulch

Remove weeds with the roots intact as needed. Be careful to remove only those plants you know are weeds.

Mulching also helps to minimize weeds. Keep 2-3 inches of natural, un-dyed mulch in your rain garden to protect soil moisture and allow for easy infiltration of rainwater. Wood mulch should be replaced when necessary.

 

Seasonal Upkeep

Cleaning your garden every spring is essential.

  • As the weather warms in early April, trim down the old, dead growth and gently rake out dead leaves and plant matter.
  • Keep an eye out for new plant sprouts. There are a variety of plants that spread and will eventually try to take over your garden.
  • Keep your plants under control by removing excessive plant growth in either the spring or fall, depending on the recommendations for the particular species.