Rainscaping Guide: Design & Build a Rain Garden

Now that you have determined that a rain garden is right for your site, you are ready to design and build one! These steps will guide you through the process (click on each topic in the flowchart below to view that section):

Flowchart

Design and Build a Rain Garden flowchartGather Tools & Supplies

Recommended Tools and Supplies:

  • Tape measure
  • Good sharp shovel
  • Rake
  • Carpenter’s level or line level
  • Stakes, marking flags, or garden hose-to establish the layout of the rain garden/bioswale before digging in
  • Biodegradable erosion blanket to stabilize soil where necessary
  • Permanent erosion blanket and 2–3″ gravel/stone for use in areas of high volume/high energy water flow such as the input from a downspout, etc.
  • Well-aged compost (1–2″ × rain garden square footage)
  • Shredded hardwood bark mulch (2–3″ × rain garden square footage)
  • Plants and/or seeds as desired (see Select Plants section for tips on choosing the right plants for your site)
Continue on to Lay It Out & Dig In

 

Link to Is a Rain Garden Right for Your Site? section Link to Determine Rain Garden Size and Depth section Link to Decide Which Rain Garden Elements to Include section Link to Organize Water Flow section Link to Select Plants section Link to Gather Tools and Supplies section Link to Lay It Out and Dig In section Link to Plant the Rain Garden section Link to Maintain the Rain Garden section
Rainscaping Guide Quick Links

What is Rainscaping?
Landscaping Options:

The Missouri Botanical Garden Rainscaping Guide is partially funded by the Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation and US EPA Region 7 through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (subgrant number G11-NPS-15), under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.