Use Bioswales to Protect Your Bay Area Yard

Green Infrastructure is the Way to Go!

Also known as biofilters or grassed swales, bioswales are an excellent way to enhance and protect your Bay Area yard. Comprising of lawn grasses or hardy, low-maintenance plants, these vegetation channels filter pollutants from surface runoff water, while adding to the beauty of your yard. Learn the many benefits of this green infrastructure that helps you contribute to a healthier urban environment.


Why Install Bioswales on your Bay Area Property

A bioswale is a landscape feature that consists of a swaled drainage course filled with vegetation, compost, mulch or a combination of all. The gently sloped channels collect and slow down water runoff, while the vegetation filters out debris, silt and other pollutants. It’s like replacing a concrete gutter with a beautiful, earthen one!

Here are some of the benefits of using bioswales to protect your Bay Area yard.

  1. Cost-effective: They treat stormwater at its source. Hence, they are an efficient and resilient approach to managing the impact of wet weather.

  2. Environment-friendly: They reduce the pollutants that eventually make their way into the stormwater system and your local water bodies. Due to their improved stormwater infiltration and decreased downstream flow, they also reduce peak water flow to local waterways.

  3. Aesthetic appeal: With a healthy mixture of qualified flowering plants and grasses, bioswales make for an attractive addition to any yard, enhancing the value and visual appeal of your property. A list of appropriate Bay Area bioswale plants can be found here:

Simple Steps to Add a Bioswale to your Yard

While most of the runoff comes from your downspouts, it also flows from driveways, patios, and other impervious surfaces. While planning the size and location of your bioswale, consider all aspects, such as the size of your yard, climate, rainfall patterns and your budget.

Here’s a guideline to help you protect your Bay Area property using bioswales:

  • Inspect your yard for a spot where you can easily direct the runoff from your downspouts and other impermeable surfaces.

  • Do a percolation test to make sure that the soil in that area can absorb the rainwater.

  • Ensure that the location you select is at least 6 feet from your house and 5 feet from your property line. This will help you avoid any water damage in case of future drainage issues.

  • Dig a shallow depression that is 6 inches deep and as long and wide as you want your bioswales to be.

  • Use the soil that you dig up to create a berm on the downslope side. Make sure that you direct the overflow safely away from your house or other nearby buildings.

  • Level out the bottom of the patch and if you want, amend the soil with compost.

  • Place your plants and top them off with mulch. Water the plants till they are well established.

Some showy native vegetation, such as the western spirea with pink flowers, evergreen huckleberry, blue-flowering camas, red twig dogwood and several types of grasses, sedges, rushes are good options for both wet and dry ecosystems.


For Materials and Advice on Creating Bioswales, Come to Lyngso

Planning to add bioswales to your Bay Area property? Whether you need soil, compost and mulching supplies, or shovels and other gardening tools, choose from a wide range of quality materials at Lyngso. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be happy to assist you in planning the design and layout of your bioswales and offer any advice you need about soil and plant selection.

For over 60 years, we have been serving the gardening and landscaping needs of customers in Redwood City, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Pacifica and Mountain View, CA.

Learn more about how to use bioswales to protect your Bay Area yard. Call Lyngso Garden Materials at 650-364-1730 or visit our store today to buy quality garden supplies.