bog garden 2 years old

Build a Bog Garden

Bog gardens make a beautiful, fascinating and curious garden addition.
Building and gardening a successful bog garden comes with understanding natural bogs.

Bogs have 4 main characteristics

  • Abundant clean freshwater
  • Nutrient poor soil
  • Abundant sunlight
  • Abundant sphagnum moss

So for a successful Bog Garden keep these characteristics in mind

  • Open sunny location
  • Wet all of the time
  • Mineral-free water
  • Mineral-free soil
  • Abundant sphagnum moss

Plan Ahead

  • Site
  • Size
  • Plants
  • Design
  • Planting density
  • Time of year
  • Watering
  • Care
  • Pests
  • Costs
  • Help
  • Sequencing

Site Selection

  • Open Sunny
  • Some shade OK
  • Neighboring trees
  • Shade & fall leaves
  • Pool or Pond Margin
  • Level
  • Runoff
  • Flooding during downpours
  • South Viewing Area
  • Wind & Animal Protection

Water Source

  • Cistern
  • Downspout
  • Condensation line
  • Emergency Tap water
  • Size
  • Arm’s Reach
  • Bigger is more stable
  • Dirt Removal

Materials

  • Supplies
  • Sphagnum Peat Moss
  • Clean Sand
  • Heavy Duty Plastic Sheeting
  • 1/4” Hardware Cloth
  • Lawn Edging
  • Tools
  • Wheel barrow
  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Utility Knife
  • Rope or hose


Preparing the Bog

bog garden marking bog garden hole bog garden hole with plastic liner bog garden plastic and soil bog garden freshly planted bog garden 2 yrs old

 

  • Outline shape
  • Dig to Depth 12-24” w/ nearly straight sides
  • Protect lawn w/ tarp
  • Line with hardware cloth (optional rodent problem)
  • Position sheeting-allow for extra
  • Poke drainage holes
  • Perforated vertical standpipe-optional
  • Fill with CP soil
  • peat : sand = 1 : 1
  • sand bottom optional
  • mix in place
  • moisten as you go
  • Insure liner fits contours
  • Allow for settling
  • Trim excess liner
  • Add lawn edging
  • Create runoff
  • Soak well
  • Let settle

Planting

  • Tall in north
  • middle/back
  • Small in front
  • mixed with tall
  • Work from back to front
    • or middle to front for round bog
  • Spacing
    • 6-12 plants/sq. ft.
    • Allow for growth
    • Plants normally grow close

Other Considerations

  • Bog companions (orchids, flowers, lycopodium …)
  • Work with clean plants
  • Remove weeds/disease
  • Moss top dressing
  • Seeding
  • Natural vs. symmetry
  • Avoid accents of limestone/marble

Care

  • Constantly moist, not necessarily saturated
  • Gentle hand watering
  • Watering schedule typical 4-day interval
  • Tap water OK in a pinch
  • Weeding
  • Cutting nearby grass to avoid invasive weeds
  • Trim dead/brown, leave digesting traps
  • No fertilizer
  • Feeding not necessary

Winter Protection

  • Critical temperature is 24°F.
  • How fast it gets cold is more significant that how cold it gets.
  • Mulch
  • Netting first
  • 6” pine needles
  • Top with pine boughs
  • Avoid oak or other leaves than tend to pack layers
  • Frost heaving - replant immediately
  • Trim & clean before mulching
  • Winter fabric
  • Winter rodent damage
     
Previous article Build a Display Bed for Carnivorous Plants