A dry creek bed is an effective drainage solution, but it can also be an attractive landscape feature that needs very little maintenance. It’s a form of hardscaping, a non-organic landscape design element. If you have water pooling in your yard, a Dry Creek Bed may be a perfect solution for you. The following will give you what, where, why, and how to install a dry creek bed….

What is a Dry Creek Bed?

A dry creek bed, also known as a dry stream bed, is a gully or trench, usually lined with stones and edged with plants to mimic a natural riparian area. It will be dry most of the time and functions as a mini creek when it rains. You may decide to implement dry stream beds for drainage, which prevents erosion by reducing runoff. On the other hand, you may simply like the way it looks!

Where To Install a Dry Creek Bed?

Dry streams are a great solution wherever there is a need for on-site rainwater drainage. They can be placed at the base of a slope, in a low spot that puddles occasionally, or up a small rise to intercept rainwater as it flows downhill. Rather than changing the path water takes, dry creek beds use the same path. Since dry streams are a small-scale version of a real-life landscape feature, they look wonderful in naturalistic gardens.

Why To Install a Dry Creek Bed?

One of the great benefits of the dry creek bed is the ability to soak up water in the event of rain. Building a dry creek bed is a less invasive drainage solution. And they can even increase your home’s curb appeal.

How To Install a Dry Creek Bed?

There are two types of designs people follow when creating a dry creek bed. The most common is a natural design, which is a realistic-looking streambed with no real edges. The stream flows in a typical “S” pattern with some sections being wider than others. The second type of design is called a stylized streambed which is a much more modern design with true edge restraints that confine the river rock and can be linear and exact in width. Remember, there is no right or wrong when building a dry creek bed, it’s all about personal preference! After the design has been decided, you will need to line the dry creek bed with either a water-permeable fabric or a waterproof liner. Now it is time for the rocks. For longer beds say 30 feet you use a mix of larger rocks. For shorter beds, the rock would perhaps be a mix of two to six-inch rocks. The benefit of using rocks two inches and up is that they are not as likely to shift and roll during heavy rain.

How To Plan Landscaping Around the Dry Creek Bed?

To add to the ambiance of the Dry Creek Bed there are endless ways to incorporate it into your landscaping. A garden bed around the dry creek bed, helps it to blend into the landscape and look more natural. If it is a large creek bed even a bridge over it can be an ambitious project. Stepping stones can also be an addition, kids enjoy hopping on the large flat stones no matter what the weather. Stepping stones create a splashing within the dry creek bed when it rains which can be fun to watch.

Can a Dry Creek Bed Help With Drain Spout Problems?

Use a small dry creek bed if you have a muddy pool near your house from the drain spout. A dry creek bed can act as a splash block. Just start with a waterproof lining and rather than using large rock you stick to the two to six-inch river rock. The small rock create a perfect path for the water and give it the same look like a traditional dry creek bed.

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