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smokensqueal
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Isn't silt loam fairly good soil? I'm fairly confident that this survey is very accurate. It said it was done in 96. The subdivision I'm in was started back in 78 or so. I built on an empty lot 2 years ago and I remember seeing the different layers of dirt when digging the basement. That site also have a lot more detail about % organic mater, % sand, % clay and all seem fairly close. The only thing that really seamed off on that survey was the water table. We dug about 9 ft deep when we put in our basement and it was in spring and never had a problem with water. But what concerns me is that the ditch on the other side of our house never drains. After a rain it will flow all the way down to about 6 inches. After that it will sit there for weeks breading mosquitos. I don't think it ever seeps into the ground but more less evaporates. :x

wingdesigner
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Silty loam sounds good, but unstable as soil goes, not much structure. I'd like to know just what the other percentages are, would give me a better idea of your soil.
You'll have to do a fair amount of weeding the first year or so until the plants get established and reach their mature size. Pay attention to that mature size and space accordingly; for how big they're gonna get, not the size they are now. It may look funny for a while, but trust me, you don't want to be moving mature clumps of plants around after the fact.
Happy Gardening,
Wing

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applestar
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Now that I'm eye-balling the natural pond/pool idea, I've decided to go ahead and dig a rain garden in the area I'd designated as my Pond-to-be. I'm not going to dig the whole area, but start with a narrow swale garden and gradually enlarge as I collect additional plant material. It's all clay there and judging by the little bog swale, there'll be no problem holding moisture. This way, I'l have a place to plant the Eupatorium coelestinium and Rhexia that I had to oust in order to shoe-horn the Cephalanthus occidentalis by the bog swale. :roll:

wingdesigner
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Sounds like a wise plan to me. Wish I'd take that advice sometimes... :roll:
Happy Gardening,
Wing

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smokensqueal
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Wingdesigner, I have a pdf of my soil properties if you want it just PM me. other wise here is a quick run down of that it has in it. I'm have a mix of two different types of soil but they are both very close to being the same. They are called Virden and Frostburg. In the first 15 inches it consists of 1-7 % sand, 66-78 % silt, 20-27% clay. It also has a 3-6% of organic matter. The report has more detail and other thing in it but I thought these would be more of what you were looking for.

I did find a guy in the St. Louis area who specializes in rain gardens. https://saintlouisraingardens.com/index.html I'm hoping he could help with some of my questions.

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smokensqueal
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:lol: Well I talked to that guy and he didn't seem to want to take the time and even talk much about it. So I'm thinking of just doing seep tile because of all the unknowns. Thanks for everyone's input.

wingdesigner
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Try this site: https://www.dnr.state.wi.us/runoff/rg/. Roger Bannerman was the guest lecturer on rain gardens. However, he went beyond a single homeowner to talking about how to retrofit established neighbourhoods, installing biofiltration systems in catch basins, new construction, etc. This was several years ago (you might mention Farmington Hills, MI) but he seemed approachable then. This site has many pdf docs you can download, plus links to other sites. With the low organic matter in your soil, plus the unstable base; you'll want to put in a lot of compost at a lower level to improve drainage. The figs you gave me were what I was after--I'm probably not able to interpret anything more technical. Happy browsing!

Oh, yeah, you may have to install drain tiles and call it a day, but that's not to say you still can't plant a rain garden on top of that. Prairie Garden Nurseries also have a great staff and (plant/seed) packages for all kinds of drain problems, septic fields, etc. They are pretty good at taking your kind of soil and locale, and probably have a tried-and-true solution or can advise you. I've referred them several times in the past and they've proven helpful and courteous.
Happy Gardening,
Wing

wingdesigner
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OK, here's another good site: https://uwarboretum.org/eps/research_act_classroom/rain_garden_curriculum/Resources_and_Vocabulary/Rain_Garden_Resources.pdf
it has links to several different sites, some perhaps closer to you, some with detailed steps to installing a rain garden, etc.
Aannndd, one more: https://www.news.wisc.edu/13823 That last one is an article published in the college newsletter last year. Very interesting, it purports that the type of construction matters more than the plants inside. In a nutshell, their very preliminary study seems to point to the fact that there is a perimeter berm to contain the water helps the water to percolate rather than what type of plants the garden contains.

Interesting... :roll: One more:
https://clean-water.uwex.edu/pubs/pdf/gardens.pdf

this is a brochure I picked up from that lecture. That's it. I think. Maybe. :lol:
Happy Gardening,
Wing

Tailor
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Rain Garden plants

Most bog plants or marginals are great for rain gardens. Taros, bog lilies, spider lilies, cannas, louisiana iris, swamp milkweed. Seach for bog plants though some websites act as if they need to be planted in water just moist soil is plenty. Also Society garlic is a fantastic rain garden bloomer.

TheLorax
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This is a pretty long thread but back on the first page, smokensqueal said he wanted native plants. Sometimes it's hard to go all the way back to read every post. At least I find it hard at times.

Speaking of this being a long thread...
smokensqueal- how are you doing on your plant picks? Are you gearing up for next year?

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smokensqueal
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It's going. Haven't made any final decisions yet. Still looking for some native grasses to mix in and where I'll be able to purchase them all.

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