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Wet area

 
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New farmer with new small farm. In some of the fields the soil does not drain particularly well (a feature of the soil series). I’m going to explore installing tile drainage but there’s one spot that’s really bad and I’m curious about (see images)

After a good rain the water pools and it stays there. Only if there is an extended dry spell will the area dry out. You can see it is a low spot but could this just be bad drainage? Serious compaction? or is there a spring under there? This field has been hay for several years but look at the vegetation in this area. One idea I have is to plow the area with a subsoiler and see if the drainage improves but I would appreciate any advice or observations. Maybe this post belongs in the soil forum? Thanks!
wet-spot.jpg
wet spot
wet spot
wet-spot-2.jpg
wet spot 2
wet spot 2
 
pollinator
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Location: Monticello Florida
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I'm no expert, but that looks to me like a great opportunity for a pond. Or you might hit a spring diiging it out. From what is see, is there a creek in those woods in the upper photo? If the wet spot isn't a collecting point for a watershed, would that indicate a spring?
 
pollinator
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It depends on where you live.

I live in Maine and so rainfall is not an issue. If it was me, and I wanted to use the field, I would just belly out a broad ditch headed towards the corner fence post and allow the excess water to drain into that ravine. I would not waste good farmland on a pond, but I have other areas better suited for that.

But if a person wants ducks, well you could try building a pond.

But it does not look like it would be a very hard issue to deal with no matter what you wanted to do with the field. Ditch to drain, or build a pond.

Subsoiling will not hurt anything either.
 
gardener
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Because of the location of the standing water I'm going to suspect compaction is the cause.
Notice that the fence creates the alley and that only in the junction which is a prime area for animal or tractor compaction to occur.

I would use Travis' suggestion of a sub-soiler, to open up the compaction without turning the soil over, then place a good quantity of a mulch over the area so the leachate from that mulch will start conditioning the soil.

Redhawk
 
Bill Chepel
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Thanks Guys, compaction is an issue in these fields so I'm going to try that first. Any recommendations on a good subsoiler - one that goes fairly deep?
 
gardener
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I have 2 areas like that and i think the cause was determined as seepage. Some say seepage, some say seasonal spring. I see some hills in the background but can't really see the big picture.

Basically when it rains the water from those hills start migrating downhill and my land is the low spot where it accumulates. Depending on the rain event it can last a week up to 12 weeks. If you could drain it one day and look at it the next day you could probably tell if it is seepage vs a standing puddle of water. If it is seepage the level would rise back up. At least that is my theory.

You have a good opportuinty to do good things with that. The cleanest water is the water cleaned by the earth, by getting it into the ground.

While the water is standing it kills the grasses but bermuda seems to follow it. As the water drops, the bermuda is right behind it to take its spot. That bermuda stays green when other areas go dormant brown. My cows go straight to it when pasture is opened to them. Same would be true with any grazer. It's such a lush area.


 
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