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Build a Bioswale – We’re installing a bioswale in a garden project this week, so it seems only fair to share how we’re doing it. What’s a bioswale? It’s basically a trench to capture water on site, instead of having it run off down the street. Bioswales cut across slopes of a hillside, along the contours of the land so water runs downhill into these trenches, where they can spread out and soak into the soil. In urban areas, you can create a bioswale in your parkway (the patch of land between your sidewalk and the street), and some communities are even allowing curb cutouts to divert runoff from gutters during stormy weather. To dig a bioswale is pretty simple: Dig a trench with sloped sides and pile the soil from the trench on the lower side of the hill or slope. To mimic nature best, create a bioswale that has curves to slow down the flow of water. Line the bottom of the swale with organic matter like chunky mulch, or sand and gravel, then add a layer of small stones so it looks like a dry river bed. Some people add water-thirsty plants to their bioswales to utilize heavy rains to the fullest. Find more about bioswales here.