Overland Park KS Rain Garden Manual

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How to Build a Rain Garden for Residential Yards
Presented by: David Dods URS Overland Park, Kansas

How to Build a Rain Garden for Residential Yards
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Locating the garden Testing site soils & sizing the garden Preparing the garden bed Planting zones Inlets & outlets Finishing touches

Photo: David Dods

Planting Beds Two Approaches

Using Native Soils

(Preferred)
With Engineered Soils and an Underdrain
Illustrations: Dan Shaw; Barr Engineering

Rain Garden Construction
Using Native Soils

Photos: David Dods; Rusty Schmidt

Locating the Garden
• Downspouts • Driveways • Sump pump outlets

• Drainageways • ~10 – 20 ft away from buildings

Photo: David Dods, URS

Places to Avoid
Utilities, Septic Systems
Uphill of Buildings on Slopes

Behind Structural Retaining Walls if Not Designed for Water/Drainage
Photo: David Dods

Testing Site Soils
• Inspect site soils. Dig a hole. Look for soil type, fill material, compaction
• Conduct a Percolation Test

Photo: David Dods, URS

Percolation Test
How much water soaks in over 24 hours?

Illustration: Marjorie Vigoren, City of Plymouth, MN

Source: The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens, by Schmidt, Shaw, & Dods

Sizing the Garden
• For residential yards, the bed depth is more important than the area • Average size: ~About 6’ x 8’ near one downspout • Fit it to your landscaping

Photograph: Rusty Schmidt

Preparing the Garden Bed
• Rototill or double-dig • Over-dig clay soils

• Amend with compost

Photos: Carla Dods;

Rusty Schmidt

Shape & Depth of the Garden

Pool Depth

Illustration: Dan Shaw, Waterdrop Innovations LLC

Minnetonka near Shady Oak Lake

Photo courtesy of Washington Conservation District

Bed is dug down

Downhill edge is raised up
Photos: Shawn Tracy; David Dods

Rain Garden Planting Zones

Edges: Dry

Sides: Average

Bottom: Moist

Illustration: Dan Shaw, Waterdrop Innovations Source: The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens, by Schmidt, Shaw, & Dods

Rain Gardens are not Wetlands or Water Gardens
• Designed to Infiltrate Water in 1 – 1 ½ Day

• Large plant selection • No mosquitoes
• Tolerates spring rains & summer drought

Improving Infiltration:
Its in the Roots

Turf Grass

Native Grass

Root Depths
Turf Grass: Inches

Native Grasses & Wildflowers: Feet
Photos: David Dods, URS

Re-test Infiltration Before Planting the Garden

Photograph: Rusty Schmidt

Planting: Include Cute Kids for Photos

Photo: Lynn Hinkle, Astra Communications

Mulch
Use Coarse, DoubleShredded Hardwood

Pinebark Nuggets & Cedar Chips Float

Photos: David Dods

Getting Water to the Garden

Downspout Extensions

Scupper

Rain Chain

Photos: Kurt Leuthold, Barr Engineering; Rusty Schmidt

Pipe

Creek Bed

Photos: Rusty Schmidt

Outlets

Make sure the water overflows where you want it to go during large storms
Photos: David Dods

Outlet at End of Berm

Minnetonka
near Shady Oak Lake

Outlet at End of Berm

Minnetonka
near Shady Oak Lake

Finishing Touches
Make the Garden Look Deliberate
Roy the Cat

Inlet Splash Blocks Edging

Accents
Outlet

Photo: David Dods

Borders and Edging:
Make the Garden Look Deliberate

Photos: David Dods, URS; Barr Engineering

Care & Maintenance First Growing Season
• Limit standing water while plants are small • Water during dry periods

• Pull weeds

Photograph: Rusty Schmidt, URS

Example Garden

Existing Garden Bed

Photos: Shawn Tracy

Overflow
(overland)

depression berm

Photos: Shawn Tracy

Depression
(w/ compost)

Berm (w/ erosioncontrol blanket)

Photos: Shawn Tracy

Depression
Berm

Photos: Shawn Tracy

Photos: Shawn Tracy

Questions
?

David Dods URS 8300 College Boulevard, Suite 200 Overland Park, Kansas 66210 913-344-1022 [email protected]
Photo: Washington Conservation District, Stillwater, MN

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