A native soil rain garden is a shallow, landscaped depression that catches and holds stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as driveways, roofs, and compacted lawns and allows it to infiltrate into the soil rather than enter stormwater sewers. Rain gardens are typically planted with native plants and grasses that have root systems that help soak up water and help water infiltrate the soil. Soil structure is gradually improved over time through the combined interactions of added well-aged compost, mulch, microbes, and deep rooted plants to increase the infiltration of water into the soil.
A bioswale is a linear, shallow, planted depression that guides and slows down water as it moves away from its entry point on the property (downspouts, uphill properties, etc.) towards a rain garden or another rainscaping feature.
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