We have raspberries, fern bush, vibernum, etc and we were pondering putting in some swales near them to catch some more water and hopefully keep the dirt from washing away so much.
I was thinking of putting them upslope from the existing plants and he thought we should put them downslope. Or perhaps we should do both? And, sizes? a foot across and about a foot down? as wide as the planting? Our slope is perhaps 10 and 15%, depending on where in the yard. Some places we might have to build up for a swale rather than dig down since there is tuff.
Zone 5b, dry, high desert in New Mexico 7500' elevation
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Your in high desert, I would think shallow and wide swells would be the way. Maybe remove 8-10"down and 3' wide from around existing plantings, berming on the downslope. which makes rain gardens for existing plantings. Just make sure you have an overflow spot that allows the water to overflow over a 4' square level area or you will get erosion. Several good books I will give you some titles when I get to my library.
circles, cycles, phases, and stages
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It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show