Rain Garden Fact Sheet (pdf)
Building a Rain Garden (pdf), SPU
Rain Garden Handbook (pdf-19mb)
Soil Drainage Test (pdf)Rain gardens are bowl-shaped gardens designed to collect and filter water from your roof, driveway, or patio. Rain gardens can be shaped and sized to fit your yard, are filled with a rich layer of mulch and compost to help water soak in, and are landscaped with a variety of plants that fit your yard, sun, and soil.
Every time it rains, water carries pollutants from our roofs, driveways, patios, and lawns, into the nearest storm drain, and into Forbes Creek and Lake Washington. During big storms, the amount of rainwater runoff can cause neighborhood flooding and erosion hazards.
A rain garden will reduce water pollution, replenish the groundwater supply and provide a self-irrigating landscape. By slowing down rainwater runoff and filtering pollution, it helps protect our local creeks and reduces flooding in our neighborhoods. It also provides great habitat for birds and butterflies.
Rain gardens must drain a minimum roof area of 400 square feet for single-family properties, or 800 square feet for multi-family or non-residential properties.
- Water: Young plants need water to grow strong roots. Watering is important during the first two to three summers after your rain garden has been installed. In general, water when the weather is dry and warm, from May through September.
- Weed: Pull weeds by hand or with a long-handled weed puller. Weed as necessary year round. Never use herbicide or pesticide in your rain garden.
- Plant: If you need to replant dead or dying plants, replace them in the fall. This will give the plants plenty of time to grow more roots before the dry season.
- Clean: Trash and debris can block inlets and outlets. Clean any sediment, debris or trash from inside your rain garden regularly.
Interested in building a rain garden? Be sure to take advantage of the Yard Smart Rain Rewards rebate.
You can enhance the impact of your rain garden by implementing additional recommended projects on your property. A combination of projects will increase your positive impact!
*City of Kirkland will pay between 75% and 100% of project costs, up to $3,500 for single-family homes and up to $7,000 for multi-family and non-residential properties. Learn more about Rain Rewards rebates.
View our Frequently Asked Questions
or email YardSmart@kirklandwa.gov