Rain Garden Care

Dec 23, 2015 | Blog

Rain Garden Care



Thank you for choosing Lauren’s Garden Service for your new rain garden! If you live in the Howard County region and your rain garden is applicable for reimbursement, we have already started the process for getting your reimbursement. You should receive an email with all of the steps that are necessary to ensure you get your maximum reimbursement, or you can find the page here for your reimbursement.

We want your rain garden to thrive and work hard on filtering runoff! Like all new plant installations, monitor your rain garden carefully for any signs of water drainage, under or over-watering, as well as for weeds and pests. Below is a brief overview of how to make sure your new rain garden is properly cared for.

Before you start doing anything for your garden, take a picture of it just after it is installed so you know exactly what it is supposed to look like as far as location of plants. This will help you recognize what healthy plants look like when you are monitoring for disease or pests, and which plants are weeds and which are the plants that are working hard for you!

General Tips

  1. Be sure to keep the rain garden free from debris as this can be unhealthy for the plants as well as prevent proper drainage.
  2. Monitor the inflow and outflow portions of the garden to make sure that drainage is occurring the way it should be. If you have your gutters draining to the rain garden, monitor carefully for any cracks or damage to the gutters.
  3. When it snows, the snow does not need to be removed, but the drainage area does need to be monitored to make sure there is no debris in the way.
  4. For more detailed general garden care instructions including thorough watering, weeding and plant care instructions, visit our new garden installation page and garden care tips.
  5. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Watering and Drainage

  1. Similarly to other new gardens, your rain garden will need extra watering during dry periods for the first 1-2 years to help the root systems get established. We recommend using a water wand or a shower setting on your hose as watering straight from the hose can be damaging to the plants. We also recommend watering 1-2 times per week (about 1 inch of water per week), depending on the season and how much rain has fallen, and how much is expected to fall.
  2. Watering should be done in the morning to give the garden time to retain the water and to prevent evaporation. Watering during the day may not allow the plants to soak up as much water as they need.
  3. Your rain garden should fully drain within 24-48 hours of a rain event. If this does not happen, please call us as soon as possible so we can make any necessary adjustments
  4. .(link to watering blogs, general plant care instructions for new installs,garden tips page)


  1. Weed early and often!
  2. Weeding should be done like the rest of your landscape by carefully removing the weeds by the root and before the weeds begin to seed.
  3. Weed whackers should be avoided as they may damage the surrounding plants.
  4. Avoid using and chemical weed killers since they can leach into the water, defeating the main purpose of the rain garden
  5. Check out our e-book on dealing with weeds naturally here.
  6. When mowing your grass near the rain garden, try to point the mower away from the rain garden as much as possible. Grass from the mower can damage the plants as well as make the plants work harder with the extra nutrients from the grass if the grass blades are left in the rain garden.
  7. Here are some links to weeding tips and general plant care instructions for new installs.

Fertilizer and Mulching

  1. Fertilizer and other nutrients should not be necessary for your rain garden.
  2. Apply double shredded hardwood mulch 1-2 inches thick annually, in early spring or fall (depending on when you garden was mulched last), to help with water retention for the plants, keep the weeds away, and feed your rain garden.
  3. Don’t forget that you can leave the leaves through winter and let them breakdown naturally. This will provide natural fertilizer and allow for beneficial insects to overwinter.
  4. Please see these pages for more information on fertilizing tips and mulching, some more info here on general plant care instructions for new installs.

Plant Care

  1. The plants in your rain garden can be taken care of similarly to the plants in the rest of your landscape through careful pruning and monitoring.
  2. Pruning should be done carefully and only to remove dead portions of the plant or to help plants keep their shape. Pruning should never remove more than 1/3 of the plant size, as this can make the plant more susceptible to damage through disease and pests. Please see this blog on pruning for more specific instructions and information on pruning.


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