Marco Banks wrote:You might start with laying out a single swale on contour with a A-frame, and see how it works with your garden plans. If it were me, I'd dig the first swale down toward the bottom of your hill, and then plant a row of fruit trees below the swale. The water captured by the swale will soak in and provide moisture to the tree roots below. If you like the look, feel and function of that, you can continue up the slope and lay out your next one.
Pearl Sutton wrote:A weird question: how hard is it for you to walk on the slope? I am terracing mine, it slopes a lot like that, but I have health issues, and hard time on slopes, I'd rather go down, then walk level, rather than be sloped when I walk the whole time. Plants will grow fine on a slope, it's more you that is the deciding factor.
Dave de Basque wrote:Hi Miguel, from your climate analogue farther to the east!
From the looks of your photos, I would guess that you don't have slopes over 10 or 12 degrees. So I think terracing might be overkill, unless you just really want to do it. Of course, once you break the soil open, you need to worry about erosion and keeping it covered.
I'm a no-dig fan, so I personally would sheet mulch on contour without disturbing the soil. When I sheet mulch on a slope, I make the downhill side much thicker (even though in a year it will flatten out). Also I may drive in a few short stakes on the downhill side if I'm foreseeing any slippage problems. Since it's grass at the moment, your soil is likely to be very bacterially dominated, which is not bad for annual crops, but you might want to work on increasing the presence of beneficial fungi in the soil to balance it out. If you've been lurking for a while, maybe you already know about Dr. Redhawk's Soil Series? There's some fantastic information there.