Best Plants For Berms and Swales

When creating a garden, you may wonder which plants are suitable for berms and swales. There are many types to choose from, including grass, cactus, and succulents. You can even create a swale by combining a mixture of shrubs and trees. In this article, we’ll cover a selection of plants for berms and swales.


If you’re looking for the perfect plant for berms and swales, try cactus plants. They’re a great way to beautify the area without using a lot of space. Some of the most popular varieties of cactus grow up to 16 feet tall and spread about six feet wide. These plants are easy to care for and will tolerate a variety of soils.

When planting berms and swales, remember that the plant’s root system should be able to draw water and nutrients. Cacti and succulents are ideal for this purpose because they grow well in dry areas and tolerate wind and pollution. For low-growing swales, native grasses are great choices because they are drought resistant and provide screening for the area.

A cactus that grows as high as four feet is the golden barrel cactus. It’s easily recognizable and is popular in drought-tolerant areas. You can grow it in a grid and it will thrive in full sun or light shade. A good variety of cacti is drought-tolerant, such as saguaros. Cactus plants can also be used in landscapes.

While swales are great for creating an edible front yard, they’re not the perfect plant for the area. They’re ideal for capturing rainwater for irrigation purposes. Many cacti are drought-tolerant and don’t require watering. In addition to being drought resistant, succulents can be drought-tolerant and low-maintenance. They also grow well in sunny, warm conditions.


When landscaping your yard, berms and swales are a wonderful way to enhance the beauty and function of your landscape. They can act as a privacy screen and windbreak, and are an excellent way to redirect stormwater runoff. The best berms are gently sloped, and they can improve soil drainage. Succulents for berms and swales will help improve the overall appearance of your yard, while enhancing your landscaping.

Succulents come in every color and can be found in glazed ceramic pots of all shapes and sizes. The contrast of orange and blue in Nancy’s succulent bed creates a striking contrast with her white stucco retaining wall. In addition to the Agave colorata, she added three brightly glazed pots to the retaining wall. Other succulent plants included a cluster of euphorbia, tall columnar cactus, and tiny agaves. They also look great in geometric shapes.

If your yard is surrounded by swales and berms, you can choose plants that are native to the area. These plants will thrive in swales and berms because they are hardy and resistant to erosion. If you want to create a privacy screen, you can choose a fast-growing, low-maintenance evergreen tree like an arborvitae . It will fill up with dense foliage and act as a privacy screen.


Berms and swales are important landscape features that stabilize and regulate water runoff. The trees that grow in swales downslope stabilize the soil, while those growing uphill regulate water flow and provide privacy. They are also ideal for windbreaks and privacy fences. The right trees and groundcovers for berms and swales will also help stabilize the soil.

The slope of the berm should never be steeper than 1 to 3 percent. Berms that are dotted with rotted logs are not ideal, as these are prone to becoming miniature landslides. However, planting swales is a good way to make berms multifunctional while retaining water. Sod-rich soil and rich organic matter will naturally fill a swale basin, providing a rich source of nutrients for the trees.

Choosing the right trees for a swale and berm can make the difference between a beautiful landscape and a sloppy one. A hackberry tree is a great choice because of its ability to tolerate wind, dry soil, and pollution. Native grasses and cacti are great choices for swales and berms. Their broad roots resist erosion, so they are perfect for berms.

The berm and swale are also essential for the healthy growth of plants. If you have a swale, you should place some of the trees along the berm’s top. You can also intersperse nitrogen-fixing plants among the plants in the berm. These plants are ideal for swales because they stabilize the soil and keep the gully from forming.


The retaining wall is an important part of the landscape, as it must be protected from erosion and maintain structural integrity. Grass plants can be planted in swales if they can tolerate high moisture and occasional flooding. Plants that grow well in swales include fruit trees, vines, and herbs. Flowers are also good choices for berms. The soil in a swale will fill with organic matter and provide a rich nutrient supply for berm plants.

The most commonly used grass plants for berms and wetlands include bluegrass, ryegrass, and fescue-grass. Both of these species grow well in moist areas, and they can easily be used to landscape swales. These plants will help prevent erosion by trapping debris and allowing water to soak underground. The grass in these areas can also be used to cover the top portion of a swale.

Other useful plants for swales and berms include violets, globeflower, and purple coneflower. These are all suitable plants for moister areas, and their arching leaves are attractive in their own right. In addition to flowers, there are also many ornamental grasses you can use for swales and berms. You can plant them anywhere in your yard, and they will look great, enhancing the aesthetics of your property.

Grass-covered mounds

Maintaining swales and berms requires careful planning and regular maintenance to avoid erosion. Swales must remain at a low point for the intended exit. As swale mounds grow and erode, it is necessary to scoop out the bottom soil to maintain the wave pattern. The soil can also contain soil particles and organic matter. To prevent this, it is important to add an appropriate amount of topsoil to the top.

Swales and berms are two different types of vegetated channels, one that collects runoff while the other slows it. Swales are made to withstand rain and flooding while providing a permanent growing system for the soil. Swales also allow for water to be stored in the soil and boost horticulture. Both swales and berms are made of sturdy plant matter that helps to filter particulates and pollutants. These structures can be built on flat ground or have a gentle slope.

The angle of repose is important for mulching. Too steep an angle will result in bulk materials travelling downhill. If the slope is too steep, the mound will be uneven and bald at the top. Avoid sloping slopes with steep sides, because they will prevent water from percolating into the soil and may interfere with existing drainage systems. The resulting earthwork will not be as functional as an existing ditch, so be sure to plan accordingly.


Depending on your location, the best vegetables for berms and swale gardens may include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and cucumbers. Berms and swales are typically high in organic matter and require excellent drainage. If your berm has poor drainage, try planting a water-loving tree at the lowest point. Planting some nitrogen-fixing plants in between the other plants can also be beneficial.

In addition to a rainwater harvesting system, a swale also can be an Integrated Pest Management Zone (IPM). By planting perennials along the swale, you’ll create a raised bed that will naturally drain after heavy rains. In addition, a swale can serve as an irrigation system for fruit trees, which love a good watering.

Planting plants in berms and swales is a great way to conserve water while growing vegetables. Not only do these plants provide roots with essential nutrients, but they also add beauty to your yard. A fast-growing arborvitae, for instance, can act as a privacy screen and add to your yard’s beauty. Moreover, you can plant these plants in rows to give you dense foliage.

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