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What is a bioswale garden?

What is a bioswale garden?

WHAT ARE BIOSWALES? Similar to rain gardens, bioswales are planted or mulched channels which slow water flow down and allow it to infiltrate into the soil. They are particularly useful along streets or in parking lots where they can redirect water from the curbside.

What is the difference between a bioswale and a rain garden?

Rain Gardens versus Bioswales The main difference is that the bioswale moves water to somewhere else in the garden, while also allowing some (but not all) of it to infiltrate. A rain garden is specifically meant to increase infiltration. Bioswales are often used to convey water to a rain garden.

What can I plant in bioswale?

Vegetated bioswales can be planted with ornamental grasses, shrubs, perennials, or a combination of these. Mulch or stone are used to protect soils in areas not covered by turfgrass. Larger stone can also be used to break up concentrated flows of water and reduce velocity.

What is bioswale soil?

A bioswale is a permanent, shallow landscape depression or channel used to direct stormwater to infiltration areas or engineered containment systems. Soils Plus also offers custom blended Bioswale mix to meet your specifications for infiltration and percolation rates.

How wide should a Bioswale be?

For adequate performance, the minimum dimensions of the bioswale should be 100 ft (30 m) long, and 25 ft (8 m) wide, with a 3 ft (1 m) bed width. The drainage area to the bioswale should not exceed 5 acres (2 ha). The entire surface are of the bioswale should be greater than or equal to 1% of the entire drainage area.

How do you maintain a Bioswale?

Bioswales typically are located along a roadway. These stormwater BMPs need regular maintenance, similar to other landscaped areas, including: weeding, removing trash and debris, pruning, and mulching.

How effective are rain gardens?

Rain gardens are effective in removing up to 90% of nutrients and chemicals and up to 80% of sediments from the rainwater runoff. Compared to a conventional lawn, rain gardens allow for 30% more water to soak into the ground. Because rain gardens will drain within 12-48 hours, they prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.

How deep is a rain garden?

between four and eight inches deep
A typical rain garden is between four and eight inches deep. A rain garden more than eight inches deep might pond water too long, look like a hole in the ground, and present a tripping hazard for somebody stepping into it.

Can you plant trees in a bioswale?

In larger bioswale designs, trees can be arranged in a non-linear pattern, offering the opportunity for size and species diversity, which may reduce disease spread and increase the longevity of the planting.

How do I pick a rain garden plant?

Just look for native species that naturally occur in river floodplains — those types can withstand periodic water inundation. When selecting your plant species, consider how the rain garden will look throughout the year and choose plants that have ecological or aesthetic value in different seasons.

How much does a bioswale cost?

If you plan to build out a rain garden or bioswale, costs will vary. Estimated cost for a rain garden is $3–5 per square foot if labor is donated • Estimate $200–4,000 for a 200m2 bioswale. Check with your county Soil and Water Conservation District and the EPA to see if they are offering grants.

What is in a rain garden?

A rain garden is a garden of native shrubs, perennials, and flowers planted in a small depression, which is generally formed on a natural slope. It is designed to temporarily hold and soak in rain water runoff that flows from roofs, driveways, patios or lawns. A rain garden is not a water garden.

How does the bioswale garden help the environment?

The bioswale garden is designed to slow and clean storm water runoff from the parking lot while providing an attractive landscape which is more ecologically-minded than traditional storm drain systems. Plants here are able to tolerate both wet and dry conditions.

Where are the bioswales on the Richmond Greenway?

With community input and volunteer assistance, The Watershed Project constructs bioswales and rain gardens across Richmond and San Pablo, including a network of 14 bioswales and rain gardens along the Richmond Greenway. Join our dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers every Second Saturday on the Greenway to plant and maintain these projects!

How to choose the best site for a bioswale?

Choosing an appropriate site for a bioswale involves several factors including soil infiltration rate, slope, and ground water level. The soil infiltration rate should be half an inch per hour or greater. Sites with poorly drained soils will require an underdrain system to remove excess water during peak flows.

Why was the Nevin Welcome Center bioswale garden built?

When the Nevin Welcome Center was built, a sustainably focused parking lot and bioswale garden were also constructed. The bioswale garden is designed to slow and clean storm water runoff from the parking lot while providing an attractive landscape which is more ecologically-minded than traditional storm drain systems.