Rain Garden question?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by packey, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 556

    I could not decide where to put this so I put it here. I have a couple of questions about building a rain garden. Let me start by saying I have never built a rain garden before but I am very well aquianted with proper landscape construction techniques for planting beds, fountains, ponds, and retaining walls. My questions are this

    How close is to close when putting a rain garden buy a house?
    Would it be advisable to under drain the rain garden to make sure it can handle the occasional 6+ inch rain

    Our average rainfall is 47 inches per year and you can expect at least 1 -2 rains a year that will dump more than 6 inches in a 24 housr period.

    Interestingly enough most guys out here know almost nothing about rain gardens.
     
  2. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    You guys get 47 inches a year of rainfall in Craig?????? That can't be right. It is like high desert practically isn't it. I take it you must live or work somewhere else.

    As far as rain gardens go, you can probably find out more in 5 minutes googling rain gardens than I could ever hope to help you with. I just googled and there seems to be some pretty good info out there.

    Good luck with it. Would be neat to make one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  3. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 556

    Ugh I forgot to change my information. I am no longer in Craig, Co. Let's just say for family reasons we moved back to North East Texas ok Kilgore, Tx. I can see where you would beconfused craig was doing good to get 7 inches a year of rain. Now I back to where I started. I did google rain gardens. All the info I have found is good I was wanting some personal opions and experience. Let me describe my situation I have a home that I am designing the planting beds for. When the brilliant builder prepared the lot they created a issue where I have a front flower bed that holds water and even floods out in heavy rain do to location, roof runoff and the fact that it is a low spot. the home owner has combated this with a storm drain system that consist of drains and pits to hold water fun off until it evaporates. I would like try and make this design flaw a rain garden. My big issue is I will be extremely close to the house. So here is what I was thinking of doing if anyone sees why this would be an issus please let me know.

    1. Excavate the area in question and create a under drain kinda like a french drain set up. I would have this drain out into the larger water pit that he has in the middle of the yard which is where it would eventlually go to sit anyway.

    2. back fill with an ammended soil that would not drain to slowly but would hold the water. My thought is to use the drainage rate of 1 inch an hour on the soil amendment.

    my big concern is I need this to be able to drain quick enough to not create an issue to where the water will seep into the house.
     
  4. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    My thought would be to construct a swale leading from the Rain Garden site to the pit in the middle of the yard to handle any overflow or excess water.
     
  5. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    Check out this site rainxchange.comfor some ideas.

    My buddy installs raingardens for certain houses that our local sewer company gives tax incentives for storm water runoff. Anyway they have the retention area at the lowest point close to a storm drain or drain pipe. All the downspouts are tied into the piping that leads to the retention area and that slowely drains water into the sewer drains. Most of these gardens are planted with bog plants that can survive dry spells when the rain is slow.
     
  6. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    That rain exchange concept is really cool. I can't see a huge demand for it here in OK unfortunately but I would love to install one. They did do one at the new OSU OKC campus though.


    On the rain garden, you still need an overflow to go to your main drainage area so you don't get water close to the house. It isn't going to take long at all to fill your little rain garden up. If you are worried about the soil being too wet next to the house, you could use liner in your rain garden to keep that soil separate and then let that soil perc out towards the yard with some sort of french drain set up.
     
  7. scooterbug311

    scooterbug311 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    i just found out that it is illegal in colorado to have a rain harvesting system install on your property. isnt that ********
     
  8. CJF

    CJF LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    What is a rain garden? anyone have any pic's of one?
    Thanks, Joann
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    I believe the general rule of thumb is 10 feet from the house for drainage outlets ... downslope. Putting it close to the house may lead to problems, depending on grade and soil type.
     
  10. CJF

    CJF LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    It's a pond then?

    Joann
     

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