How to Landscape a Drainage Swale
- Sketch a garden plan that accommodates the swale, noting the existing landscaping that leads into the swale and locations of structures such as the house, fence and sidewalk.
- Remove all vegetation from the swale. An older, filled-in swale may require extra digging to clean it out and readjust its downhill slope to keep the winter rains from …
- Roll the landscape fabric, or weed cloth, down the swale. Landscape fabric prevents weeds and other vegetation from growing up under the rocks and through your dry stream bed.
Swale instead of French Drain and Hardscaping
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I improve my swale drainage?
A downward slope of 1/4 inch per foot is usually sufficient. For a simple swale, use a rake to smooth and contour the berm and ditch, creating gentle, rounded curves over the top of the berm and across the bottom of the ditch. You can now move directly to laying new sod or decorative stone over the berm and ditch.
Which is the best way to drain a swale?
Plants suck up the water along a swale’s gently sloping banks and sometimes down the center of the channel. Fast-draining soil maximizes drainage efficiency, and perforated pipe underneath the gravel can help with heavy water flow.
How does a swale in a garden work?
Swales follow the contours around the base of a natural or created slope, redirecting storm water and filtering runoff as it sinks into the soil, instead of keeping it in one place, like a rain garden. Plants suck up the water along a swale’s gently sloping banks and sometimes down the center of the channel.
What kind of Swale do I need for my house?
Fast-draining soil maximizes drainage efficiency, and perforated pipe underneath the gravel can help with heavy water flow. Small swales can direct gutter water to a dry well, while more substantial ones could run along the base of a hill to divert water around a low-lying house.
What should a swale do for storm water?
A swale should carry water to a place where it can be released safely, such as a garden bed with good drainage or a buried dry well; allowing it to be absorbed on-site, rather than flow into a storm drain, is important for protecting natural waterways.