While this was written for Washington State in the US, it is clearly a method that will work most places and is something I'm going to add to my yard in Belize with native materials and plants. Beautiful and functional! I'll post pictures of work in progress and completion. Would love to hear the thoughts of those on the forum. Anatomy of a Rain Garden
When properly designed and constructed, rain gardens drain rapidly with surface water present for only 1-2 days. Mosquitos take a minimum of about 4 days (many types of mosuitos take several days longer) to become adults after eggs are deposited in water. How To Build A Rain Garden
Rain Gardens are simply shallow depressions that allow storm runoff from roofs, driveways, patios, etc. to slowly soak into the soil. Rain gardens:
•Are landscaped with plants that fit your yard.
•Have deep, compost-amended soils to soak up and clean runoff before it reaches streets and storm drains.
•Help reduce pollution and erosion in our streams, lakes, and the Caribbean.The Big Picture
Rain gardens are one of the most versatile and effective tools in a new approach to managing stormwater called low impact development (LID). An LID project may incorporate several tools to soak up rain water, reduce stormwater runoff, and filter pollutants. Some examples of these tools include permeable paving, compost-amended soils, vegetated roofs, rainwater collection systems, and rain gardens.What is a rain garden?
A rain garden acts like a native forest by collecting, absorbing, and filtering stormwater runoff from roof tops, driveways, patios, and other areas that don’t allow water to soak in. Rain gardens are simply shallow depressions that: Can be shaped and sized to fit your yard. Are constructed with soil mixes that allow water to soak in rapidly and support healthy plant growth.
Can be landscaped with a variety of plants to fit the surroundings.
The Rain Garden Handbook shows homeowners and contractors how to design, build, plant, and maintain beautiful rain gardens. The Rain Garden Handbook is available online at: Handbook Best Time to Build
The best time to build a rain garden is when the ground is moist but not soaking wet. Disturbing the ground at the wrong time can cause serious erosion during rain storms, and digging while the ground is wet can severly compact the soil. Compaction reduces the ability of the area to soak up water.Introduction to Rain Gardens
Native soils and forests of Western Washington store, filter, and slowly release cool, clean water to streams, wetlands, and the largest estuary on the west coast—Puget Sound. The rich diversity of life in marine and fresh water, as well as on land, depends on clean water to thrive.
As the region grows, native plants and soils are replaced with roads, rooftops and other hard surfaces. When it rains, more water flows from these surfaces than undisturbed areas, carrying oil, fertilizers, pesticides, sediment and other pollutants downstream. The added volume of water and associated contaminants from developed land are damaging water resources and harming aquatic life.