Rain garden installation: site and soil conditions

Alex Bolques, Sarahkeith Valentine, Jennifer Cherrier, Michael Abazinge


Rain gardens have the potential to lower the impact of stormwater coming from impervious surfaces in urban areas and to mitigate non-point source polluted runoff. Rain gardens are easy to install, inexpensive, sustainable, and are aesthetically pleasing. The site and soil conditions of a rain garden installed in Spring 2006 on the campus of Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Leon County, are described. The soil at the rain garden site is composed of three types: Orangeburg, Plummer, and Urban land. Data for soil leaching and runoff potential for pesticides indicate that all three soils have a medium soil leaching potential to leach to groundwater, with the Plummer and Urban land soil types having a high runoff potential. Soil fertility testing of the rain garden site for phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium indicates that the soil is high in phosphorus, medium-high in potassium, and very high in magnesium.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283