· Mark your garden boundaries with spray paint. If you are using power equipment to dig you must call 811 to have utility lines marked. Calling 811 is recommended even for hand digging. Homeowners performing work on their property are not charged for this service. Allow three business days to have lines marked.
· Dig a 4-8 inch deep basin. If you are on a slight slope, use the removed dirt to build a berm on the downhill side of the garden. See a quick demonstration of how to excavate your garden.
· If the soil at the bottom of your basin is the same color and consistency as the top layer you removed, you can plant right into it. If it looks lighter, you will need to add compost, topsoil and mulch. If the soil appears compacted, you can use a tiller to loosen it.
· Add your plants in the desired layout. Water regularly during the first year if there are long stretches without rain. Once established, your garden will not need watering or mowing. Monitor your garden regularly so that you can remove any weeds that may grow up before they spread. Mulching and planting grasses and flowers in tight bunches can minimize weed growth.
For more information to guide you through the rain garden creation process, consider downloading the free Rain Garden app (for iPhone and Android) developed by the University of Connecticut.