Win a copy of Grocery Story this week in the City Repair forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • James Freyr
  • Greg Martin
  • Dave Burton
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Dan Boone

My Ozarks garden

 
Posts: 24
8
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I officially have everything in the ground, 37 tomatoes, 8 okra, 8 different varieties of peppers, 3 zucchini/squash, many herbs and flowers (including a new milkweed patch), 14 cucumbers, 16 beans, 1 melon, a bed of strawberries, 6 asparagus starts, greens (spinach, lettuce, arugula and kale), onions, leeks and garlic. My sweet potato slips will be in and ready to be planted in late May and will go in the empty bed made of landscaping blocks. I'll fill it with dirt in the next few weeks . Here's some pics!  Tonight we'll make more tomato cages and start clearing rocks and weeds from the garden in preparation for wood chip mulch and sawdust walkways.


I'm welcome to ideas for the area in the first and last pic, in and around the sweet potato bed. I may lose 3 tomato plants if I don't get it corrected quickly. It's not draining well and I'm seeing standing water after rain.  My thought was gypsum and heavy mulch.
9VQDXCit-42042082.jpg
[Thumbnail for 9VQDXCit-42042082.jpg]
7vEdRyrE-42018192.jpg
[Thumbnail for 7vEdRyrE-42018192.jpg]
EaSBBMM4-42073464.jpg
[Thumbnail for EaSBBMM4-42073464.jpg]
hSYUsHJa-42098309.jpg
[Thumbnail for hSYUsHJa-42098309.jpg]
Jnp13S0H-42109621.jpg
[Thumbnail for Jnp13S0H-42109621.jpg]
lQHkirmi-42089942.jpg
[Thumbnail for lQHkirmi-42089942.jpg]
zU06Gct2-42054030.jpg
[Thumbnail for zU06Gct2-42054030.jpg]
 
Posts: 4
Location: NW Arkansas Ozarks
1
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Very nice!  As a newbie, I don't have much in the way of suggestions for you, just shared concern.  Given all the rain we have had in the Ozarks this winter/spring, we have had a fair amount of standing water as well in the last week.  

I heavily mulched my garden area with around 6" wood chips last fall/winter.  Given that it is elevated, it doesn't have standing water, and is definitely nicer to walk on.  However, when all of the surrounding soil is waterlogged, I expect that the soil under the wood chips is probably also waterlogged.  This was supported by my experience when I dug the mulch aside to build a bed, revealing saturated heavy clay.

I'm not sure how much of a problem this will be though.  I'm trying to look at it as an advantage, particularly if the mulch preserves the moisture in the soil for longer.
 
pollinator
Posts: 443
Location: South of Capricorn
119
rabbit food preservation homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
so pretty!!!
great idea with the pavers for sweet potatoes. I've been trying to grow in bags, didn't think about making a dedicated "hole" for them. excellent idea.
 
pollinator
Posts: 181
69
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beautiful gardens, and magnificent scenery. It looks like your water issue could be easily remedied with a Swale; you appear to have plenty of slope and space, a little redirection of water flow might fix the problem.
 
pollinator
Posts: 196
Location: Near Philadelphia, PA
28
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What a great looking garden!
 
gardener
Posts: 6066
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
929
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beautiful garden setup Heather, I'm going to second Dan's suggestion of creating a swale to keep water from flooding the beds.
I'm also going to suggest that you build mounds with the mulch around your tomato plants, the stalks will send out more roots into those and you can slowly build them up so there will always be tomato roots above any standing water.
We've gotten so much rain and over a longer period of time (Feb. and still coming in waves) than the 30 year historical records I have been keeping.
A swale doesn't have to be deep it is really better to have them wide, or you could use a line of straw bales which would give you not only the swale line but more planting area that is up off the soil proper.
And the bales will help condition the soil beneath them so it could be a win/win for you.

Redhawk
 
Heather Ulrich
Posts: 24
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you all so much. I wanted to wait and post pics once everything is nicely mulched and weeded, but just getting to this point was so much work that I wanted to show it off. I really appreciate the replies and compliments! I forgot that I also have snow peas and malabar spinach growing on my trellis'd arch in front of the stairway to the GH. The kids are excited for those to start producing, they like to eat them straight off the vine. I planted 9 snow peas this year in the hopes that enough will actually make it back to the house for me to make stir fry with.


I was hoping to start working on a solution to the water problem tonight, but we're getting slammed by a huge storm that will dump up to 3" of rain on us today.  It'll make for muddy work! Maybe I should just start digging a pond and throw some fish in it!  ;)  I wish I were experienced enough to know where to build the swale.  The area I've marked with a red line seems to be the best route, especially since the green line represents where I think most of the water may be coming into the swamped area from. It'll require A LOT of dirt work, tho. Anyone see a better route from the pics I've posted? I've posted another pic to help understand the layout of the slope coming into the tomato area.




6asWOm7Y-42031902.jpg
[Thumbnail for 6asWOm7Y-42031902.jpg]
IMG_20190412_171938_507-(2).jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20190412_171938_507-(2).jpg]
 
Heather Ulrich
Posts: 24
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Up against the bottom of that wall stays pretty murkey.. if you dig down the hole fills with water and doesn't drain. I'm considering a large area/row of "Turtlehead" plants and blue flag iris' since both like wetland conditions. I've also got some canna bulbs sitting in the garage that I'm going to throw in there tonight and cover with compost.  
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 6066
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
929
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Since your house sits on a rise, I would imagine that most of the water comes down that slope so If you built a shallow swale on the house side of your paver walk way and ran it with the bottom contour of that rise the house is built on, I think it would most likely solve the garden problem.

With all the storms we are going to be getting for the next 4 to 6 days, it would be better to wait to try earth works but if you can get some straw bales you could do a line of those and at least slow down the water.
Our ground is already so saturated the best we can do right now is either divert or slow down water flows (I live on the third ridge of the Ouachita Mountains, right off the Trail of Tears).

If you can't get bales and should you have enough mulch or compost on hand, you could use that to lay down a temporary berm, that would help and it would be faster and easier than digging in wet soil.

Redhawk
 
gardener
Posts: 1283
Location: mountains of Tennessee
392
cattle chicken bee homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I wanted to wait and post pics once everything is nicely mulched and weeded, but just getting to this point was so much work that I wanted to show it off.  



Thanks for not waiting. That is a beautiful garden as it is. One of things I enjoy most about this site is before & after pictures of projects like this. I especially like the arched garden entry. Let us know how it all turns out. Looks like it will do very well if the rains don't interfere too much for too long.
 
Heather Ulrich
Posts: 24
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh man, what a gorgeous area you get to call home, Redhawk!  I'd love to visit the Ozark National Forest soon, Arkansas has so much natural beauty. We love to hike, fish and camp, but with 3 kids, 2 dogs, full time jobs, a garden and all that goes in between, it's hard to get away.  We have a place on Tablerock lake, which is only about 40 minutes from our house, that we like to get away to and spend time fishing, jet-skiing and swimming.

Good plan for now with the straw bales. I've got 3 bales right now, I can have my husband pick up a few more today on his way home. I've also got an entire dump bed load of composting wood chips..

It's hard to see on the picture, but I had them build a wide swale when constructing the retaining wall, exactly as you've described. In the pic looking towards the house, it's where the green grass meets the yellow straw and it's about 6-8' wide, very shallow. It works really well to catch and route everything running off the yard.  The problem is that it doesn't catch the runoff garden-side of the flower bed. There's a good 10' slope leading right into the garden. That's where I'll try to focus my swale once everything dries out.  For now, in addition to the straw bale diversion, I''m gonna go periodically remove standing water around the tomato plants with my shop vac!!!  
 
Heather Ulrich
Posts: 24
8
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Barkley wrote:

I wanted to wait and post pics once everything is nicely mulched and weeded, but just getting to this point was so much work that I wanted to show it off.  



Thanks for not waiting. That is a beautiful garden as it is. One of things I enjoy most about this site is before & after pictures of projects like this. I especially like the arched garden entry. Let us know how it all turns out. Looks like it will do very well if the rains don't interfere too much for too long.



I'll plan on keeping this thread alive throughout the season! My next big project, aside from the water issue, is getting the area fenced off to keep the deer and dogs out. Most of the infrastructure is there, just need to re-set a few corner posts and put it all back up. The chickens will be happy to be able to roam the garden area! Speaking of that, I've considered instead of letting them roam and having to fence off areas they should stay out of, simply building runs all the way around the side and back perimeters of the garden instead. Then they could eat all the bugs making their way in and out and keep the fence line free of weeds!
 
gardener & bricolagier
Posts: 2647
Location: SW Missouri
789
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Seconding Redhawk's thoughts on straw bales, you can use them to divert the water where you think you might need to put a swale, and move them around until you figure out where is best, then places your swales accordingly. Gives you both current flood protection and data to work with. And a pond might not be a bad idea, the dry seasons here are just as weird as the flood seasons.

LOVELY LOVELY work you have done!! My compliments!!
 
Heather Ulrich
Posts: 24
8
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
After sitting and staring at my swamp area for hours, studying the lay of the land and spot checking holes for seeping water, I got busy on what I hope is the best solution.  Against the wall, I planted perennials that like wet feet (iris', elephant ears, canna bulbs, calla lillies, and a few others I picked up at a local nursery). When planting, instead of digging a hole, I sat the plants on top of the existing soil and built up the bed using compost and wood chips, then lined it with leaves so to keep down weeds. They all seem happy so far.  For the remaining area I forked the soil where possible, spread gypsum pellets, then added about 4" of compost, 6" of straw, and another 2-3" of rotting wood chips that were crawling with earthworms. I won't use the area this year for any plantings, but instead keep adding layers of organics and browns and hoping it permeates the clay underneath so it'll begin draining properly. If it doesn't work, I'm not out anything but time and organics and I'll dig a french drain next spring to take the excess water out the back. I also have a plan for a swale up above the area, but it'll require a lot of dirt and time, so it's on the to-do list.
12.1.jpg
[Thumbnail for 12.1.jpg]
12.2.jpg
[Thumbnail for 12.2.jpg]
 
Heather Ulrich
Posts: 24
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Please excuse my poor quality pics, I'd rather buy plants than a new phone/camera!  As you can kinda see, the tomatoes all got a big dose of mulch!
 
Trust God, but always tether your camel... to this tiny ad.
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!