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How long to water buried logs?

 
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Hi Permies

I am looking at planting trees (seedlings, 20 to 30cm tall) on my land, in a mediterranean climate, with only weekend access and no infrastructure close by.
Looking at water management, I reckon the best method is to bury watered logs in buried beds, put mulch in there and then plant the trees. The watered logs should provide water to the young trees for far more than one week.

Now the question: If I water tree trunks, for how long do I have to water them in order to saturate them? Days, weeks, months?
And what's the best method, in an old bath tub, in a creek, other ideas?

Thanks in advance, cheers!
 
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Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Until they sink to the bottom in water.  That will depend on the type of wood, how green or dead/dried out it is.

If you dig a trench, put the logs in, cover them until there's about 3 inches on top, then put a dripper line over each log from a seeping water source, a tarp or thick leaves over that so the soil can't dry out, by the next week it ought to be enough.   If you don't completely fill in the soil you can check their wetness without a lot of digging.  Once you are satisfied that they are soaked, fill in with the rest of the soil, cover that with about 6 inches of mowed weeds/leaves, organic mulch to keep the top soil from drying out.

If the seeping water source is a problem, and you have some large containers, at least 30+ gallons, put a few of those full of water at the side of the trench, and connect a drip line to them, or a wicking line made from thick cotton rope or old cotton sheets that won't be in the sun, that go down to the top lengths of all the logs.  Cover with soil as above.  

 
master pollinator
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I don't recommend planting trees over buried logs, because the ground becomes unstable as the logs rot, possibly causing the tree to lean or topple over.  Make a ring of buried wood and plant the tree over the central area of undisturbed native soil.  

 
Posts: 278
Location: South Central Kansas
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I don't recommend planting trees over buried logs, because the ground becomes unstable as the logs rot, possibly causing the tree to lean or topple over.  Make a ring of buried wood and plant the tree over the central area of undisturbed native soil.  



I filled 11-5 gal buckets with wood chips and water. Let them sit all winter (and PEEEUUWWW they were anaerobic).
Wood chips were fully saturated.

How long it takes to waterlog wood depends on several factors.

Size of the wood
Surface area of the wood
Bark on them or not.
Age of the wood.
Temperature of the water being used.

Want to saturate them faster then get seasoned wood and drill a bunch of holes into it about 1/2 way. Bigger the holes the better to let water in (and air out).

Hardwoods will take a lot longer to saturate then softwoods due to the density of the wood.

Plant wet wood about 3 feet from the seedlings to ensure that you have no soft soil too close for when they grow.

If you want to water them without too much worry, then plant some Ollas around them, tie them into a drip irrigator line hooked to a 55 gal drum of water (elevated at least 18"), and just fill the drum when low.

The ollas might not last more than a couple years though due to the type of roots that will compress it.

Or tie in a 'stick' watering wand to those lines.

I planted roses one time a while back. Dug a pit 3 feet down and 2 feet across.

Put in a green drain tile (like PVC but factory holes in it) at an angle.
Filled the drain pipe with very coarse rocks.
Planted the rose bush, then watered via that pipe.

Worked very well too.

You could try this and put in a gravity fed drip irrigator line to it.

Some people just use a bottomless coffee can (if you can even find them anymore) within a foot of the tree.
Water that way.



 
Lukas Rohrbach
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Cristo Balete wrote:Until they sink to the bottom in water.



Perfect and easy! Thanks Cristo.
 
Lukas Rohrbach
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Hi Kai
I am afraid I don't understand what Ollas are. (The original meaning in spanish is clear, but I guess you don't advise to bury a fry pan in my garden)
cheers
 
gardener
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The Ollas he is talking about is a clay pot that is planted in the soil near a plant or group of plants that will need water.
The Olla is filled with water and this seeps out the sides over about a week, watering the soil and thus the plant (s).
This method has been in use in South America, all the way up to New Mexico for at least 600 years.
Ollas can be purchased with large openings and lids or small openings with stoppers or lids, as long as the containers aren't crushed by root expansion they can last over 10 years.

Redhawk
 
Kai Walker
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Location: South Central Kansas
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:The Ollas he is talking about is a clay pot that is planted in the soil near a plant or group of plants that will need water.
The Olla is filled with water and this seeps out the sides over about a week, watering the soil and thus the plant (s).
This method has been in use in South America, all the way up to New Mexico for at least 600 years.
Ollas can be purchased with large openings and lids or small openings with stoppers or lids, as long as the containers aren't crushed by root expansion they can last over 10 years.

Redhawk











Just tie in a drip irrigator line to each with a TEE on each to a 55 gal water drum 18" above the highest Ollas for a gravity fed system. Ollas will only use what the soil needs and remain filled automatically via the gravity feed system.
You only need to fill the water drum when it gets low and not each individual Ollas.

Fertilizer (chemical anyway) can be added to the drum at 1/4 strength is you are not into organic.

Here is a deluxe one we made for my wife:


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When butterfly drop time to refill the Ollas!
 
Kai Walker
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Location: South Central Kansas
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Purple ball was a cat toy we got a 6 pack of from the Dollar store.
Steel rod we got from hardware store - brass costs a fortune and aluminum was not my choice.

Do not glue the top cap onto the pipe! You have to refill it from there (takes a min or two) and fill till it can't hold anymore.
A larger pipe could be adapted to the bottom fitting to hold even more water in reserve.

The thing holds about 1 gal of water (two 8" pots plus pipe).

The metal was a fire ring we bought for around $40 (it was damaged but we fixed it so got it for 20% off).

Now wifey can sit in a chair and enjoy her little garden or less bending over for things.


Edit: she used a decorative contact paper to cover the PVC pipe.
 
Kai Walker
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Location: South Central Kansas
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Lukas Rohrbach wrote:Hi Kai
I am afraid I don't understand what Ollas are. (The original meaning in spanish is clear, but I guess you don't advise to bury a fry pan in my garden)
cheers



Ollas were first used about 4,000 years ago in China and North Africa.
From there the Zeer pot was invented as well.
 
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