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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Thursday - July 07, 2016

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Rain Gardens
Title: Building a Rain Garden in Dallas
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

We are designing a rain garden to catch overflow from two large rain cisterns. We need it to be filled with plants that can live with dry and wet conditions. The garden is about 500 to 1,000 square feet in heavy clay soils (North Dallas). We will amend the soil with compost and mulch the plants. If needed in mid-summer, we will water on a limited basis, but the garden will not be on a sprinkler system. We are looking for native perennials, shrubs (small to medium) and maybe a small tree. Thanks for your help!

ANSWER:

Sorry for the delay in replying to your question.

If you haven't yet found them ... For some expert advice on building a rain garden contact Dr. Dotty Woodson, Extension Program Specialist - Water Resources. She has done educational programs about capturing and using water in the landscape as well as selecting the best plants for the rain garden. Another specialist in this area is Dr. Fouad Jaber, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in Integrated Water Resources Management.

There is also information about building a bioretention area on the Texas A&M University Website under the Texas Water section. The Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center has a rain garden installed at their Dallas location.

Dr. Woodson can be reached at 972-952-9688 ([email protected])

Dr. Jaber can be reached at 972.952.9672 ([email protected])

Lastly, the city of Austin, Texas has a factsheet on Rain Gardens that might help with your design and plant selection project. It is part of the Grow Green program.

 

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