Ben Zumeta wrote:You are definitely in a different climate than I am used to, so take my ideas with a grain of salt, but the trenches can be shaped and optionally refilled many different ways. Slope could be used to aid water retention, diversion, or it could be flat for a swale. It could be filled with woody debris and compostables and topped with wood chips. Along the bottom of the trench underneath all that, one could run a drain pipe with perforations for extra drainage and soil aeration. This could all carry water from somewhere you don’t want it (near structures) to somewhere you do (ie a rood-pond-garden-wetland series)
Slope and variation in the landscape create varied microclimates, the edges of which the greatest biodiversity and biomass production. Also, cool and hot spots next to each other stimulates gentle but constant air circulation that is good for many plants.
I’d look at your local landscape and it’s native and naturalized succession process in the wildest places nearby and then facilitate something that mimics that with tweaks to suit your needs and tastes. Where I am, hugelkulture going right on top of undisturbed ground with dug out paths refilled with woodchips gets me above a high winter water table but holds a lot of water in wood for into the dry summer. That and wood is plentiful and easy to divert out of burn piles around here I would not do the same thing where that was not true. Also, I mostly can’t do true swales in flattish places because of 100”+ of winter rain some years. Definitely consider the geographic context of any technique, but this has worked for me.