Build a Rain Garden

Building a rain garden can be an easy and fun project for your family or your community. We’ve assembled information here to help you with the planning process, as well as additional resources to help you with building your rain garden.

We recommend attending an in person rain garden workshop and reading the  Washington State University Rain Garden Handbook for Homeowners. You can also watch a video prepared by WSU below.

Getting Started With Your Rain Garden Design

Before your start to dig, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the following questions answered:

  • How much impervious surface do you have, and how much water do you want to manage
  • Where will you build your rain garden
  • How big will your rain garden need to be
  • What plants will work best in your rain garden

You’ll learn how to answer these questions in the rain garden workshop, or by reviewing the handbook and video above. You will also want to do a percolation test to make sure the soils surround your rain garden plants can soak up the water.

Then you can develop your rain garden construction plan to ensure that building your rain garden goes smoothly and according to plan.




Learning to Maintain Your Rain Garden

Like any living thing, from a houseplant to your existing landscaping, rain gardens take some maintenance, and it might be a little different than what you are used to, but don’t worry, we are here to guide you. For basic care of rain gardens we developed a simple “Rain Garden Care Guide


For more technical, larger scale rain gardens, bioswales, and bioretention facilities, Oregon State University created an excellent and very thorough Field Guide: Maintaining Rain Gardens, Swales, and Stormwater Planters (2013).

Happy Rain Gardening!