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Rain Gardens Credits- All images in this presentation are from the following manual: Rain Gardens- A How-to Manual for Homeowners Your Personal Contribution to Cleaner Water

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Rain gardens l.jpg

Rain Gardens

Credits- All images in this presentation are from the following manual:

Rain Gardens- A How-to Manual for Homeowners

Your Personal Contribution to Cleaner Water

Authors- City of Tallahassee Stormwater Management, TAPP- Think About Personal Pollution. www.TAPPwater.org. The original concept and illustrations were derived from the University of Wisconsin Extension Service


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Why use Rain Gardens?

  • Increase the amount of water that filters into the ground- recharging groundwater supplies

  • Provide protection from flooding and drainage problems

  • Protect streams, lakes and rivers from pollutants

  • Channel water away from structures

  • Wildlife habitat

Page 5


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Elements of a Rain Garden

  • Diverse mix of flowering plants, sedges, rushes, and grasses

  • Native plants a good choice- rainfall patterns

  • Consider bloom time

  • Mix heights, shapes and textures

  • Mulch- composted yard debris and leaves

  • Add rocks, stones, gravel for more texture and interest

Page 5


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Locating the Rain Garden

  • At least 10 feet from house so water does not seep into foundation

  • Integrate into existing landscape

  • Locate next to outdoor gathering areas

  • Don’t locate over septic system or drainfield, or under a large tree

  • Locate in full or partial sun

  • Encourage additional water filtration- don’t locate in already low spot

  • Add plants to low spot and create new low spot with garden

Page 6


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Size and Shape of Garden

  • Kidney or teardrop shapes

  • Size depends on:

  • Type of soil

  • Size of roof and lawn area

    to drain

  • Depth of rain garden

Page 7


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Type of Soil and Drainage Area

  • Clay- slowest rate, so gardens must be larger. Too much clay is poor location

  • Sandy- highest rate, smaller gardens

  • The larger the drainage area the larger the garden

Page 9


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Calculating Drainage Area

  • 10 to 30 feet from a downspout- almost all water comes from roof- calculate portion of roof that drains into garden

  • More than 30 feet from downspout- measure length and width of up lawn and add to roof area

Page 9


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Depth of Rain Garden

  • Typical- 4 to 8 inches

  • Ground surface of the garden must be level

  • The slope of the lawn determines the depth of the garden

  • A steeper slope will allow a deeper garden

Page 10


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Calculating Slope

  • One stake at highest point- a second stake at low point – about 15’ away

  • Use a carpenter’s or string level

  • Measure distance between stakes (width)

  • Measure height from ground to string on downhill stake

Page 10




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Shape of the Garden

The long side of the garden should face uphill

Page 14

The garden should be longer than it is wide


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Length and Width of the Garden

  • Choose a width that fits the area- 10’ is typical, but no more that 15’

  • Should be wide enough for the water to spread evenly over the whole bottom surface

  • Provide enough space for a variety of plants

Page 14


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Digging the Rain Garden

  • Dig the depth of the garden at the uphill stake

  • Maintain the same depth across the bottom

  • Pile the dirt on the low side to create the berm

Page 16


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Building the Berm

  • The berm should be as high as or slightly higher than the uphill edge

  • Compact the soil in the berm by tamping hard

  • Have gently sloping sides and plant to integrate into the rest surrounding garden

Page 18


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Conclusion

  • Rain gardens capture stormwater

  • Rain gardens:

    • fit with the Florida-Friendly principle of reducing runoff

    • facilitate a positive way to solve a problem

  • Reduced stormwater equates to cleaner water bodies