Rain Garden/Wet Soils Kit
You have probably heard about rain gardens. Rain gardens are plantings in constructed or natural low areas that collect excess water and allow it to soak into the ground rather than running into storm drains or water-logging other areas. Rain gardens can help recharge groundwater levels, filter pollution, and prevent erosion, all while adding beauty and helping bees, butterflies, birds, and other wildlife. A rain garden can turn a problem area into a landscape point-of-pride.
The best rain gardens are based on some simple information about your soil and site. You may need to move some soil to create an adequate low area to catch water from a downspout or capture excess rainfall. To learn more about analyzing your soils and your site, this document is recommended by the Michigan State Extension Service: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/shorelandzoning/documents/rgmanual.pdf. If you decide a to design an engineered rain garden, this document will walk you through placement, size, and depth
Some Upper Peninsula sites, however, have more sandy soils, and may not need a fully-designed rain garden because water problems are minimal. It is still fine to use a downspout or natural low spot as an excuse to turn lawn into habitat and beauty. This kit is suited to locations with frequent moist soil, and may require watering in dryer locations. It is filled with Michigan native wildflowers and grasses including:
- Switch Grass, a feathery grass whose tough roots control erosion at the garden inlet,
- Joe Pye Weed, tall, dramatic, favorite of pollinators,
- Swamp Milkweed, Monarch host plant,
- Turtlehead, white flowers add texture and bumblebees bees crawl right inside,
- Marsh Blazingstar, dramatic stalks of flowers for color, texture, and winter interest,
- Purplestem Aster, keystone plant for late-season or migrating pollinators with exuberant flowers,
- Great Blue Lobelia, tall stalks of artful flowers,
- Wild Blue Iris, large, dramatic, early bloomers,
- Blue Vervain,
- Monkey Flower
Kit will contain three or 4 of each plant for groups of color and texture. Substitutions are possible and may include Canada Wild Rye, New England Aster, Culver's Root, Indian Tobacco, Tall or Early Sunflower, or others. These alternates are also recommended it you want to expand your rain garden.
Kits are the most economical way to get a variety of wildflowers. This kit includes 38 plugs that fill 38 square feet at 1 foot spacing - a 4'x9.5' bed; or up to 86 square feet at 1.5 sq. ft. spacing - a 6'x14' bed. Comes with a planting guide. Each plant is individually tagged for identification and all tags include height so you can alter the layout to suit your space. These are the intended species, but substitutions may be necessary depending on germination and growing conditions. Note that the picture is an example of our plants in a plug tray. We don't have pictures of this actual mix in a plug tray yet and it will differ from the picture.