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Ain’t Life Swale?

 
pollinator
Posts: 164
Location: Asheville NC
58
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A few months back before I got my excavator, I had just returned from a lengthy stay riding trails and exploring out west. It was right at the height of the summer heat and no rain conditions for two months. My renter, hadn’t fulfilled their agreement to water everything. Not once or ever and Boy was I ticked! Anyway, I started watering heavily to try and save what I could. (Some were good drought tolerant and tough survivors). Besides running the sprinklers and hand watering with the hoses strewn about the farm, I wanted to look at more serious ways of drenching my soils with water, without having to tax the wells. I have a single plow but it’s almost too big and heavy for my tractor and awkward to plow on my slopes with something so heavy as this land anchor is. So, I decided to use my middle buster plow and even though it only went about 6”-8” deep, it made a big difference when the next rains came. Especially since I ran a bunch of parallel lines along the contours and following in between my already planted rows. Just recently I picked up my Yanmar Vio 35-6A excavator. I’ve been so busy lately that I hadn’t had the chance to start the swales until a few days ago and I dug into the night. The next day it rained all day and the swales operated wonderfully. It’s a bit tight working between the rows and trellises but it’s all coming together in a grand fashion! Ain’t Life Swale!
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D. Nelson
pollinator
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Location: Asheville NC
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I forgot to mention that I plan on filling the bottoms of the swales with wood chips and composted leaf matter I’ll be collecting with my leaf collection business. Thank you for this forum!
 
pollinator
Posts: 236
Location: Athens, GA Zone 8a
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Wowsie! Thanks for sharing all those great pics!

 
D. Nelson
pollinator
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It’s silly hat swale time!
 
D. Nelson
pollinator
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Filming and digging swales with the excavator
 
D. Nelson
pollinator
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I have a question....Is it ok to add organic material like Woodchips and shredded leaves to the bottom of the swales? pros vs cons? thanks
 
gardener
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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I think Geoff Lawton does this. Either way i have heard of it being done but have never done it myself. One advantage could be the inability of mosquitos to get to standing water.
 
D. Nelson
pollinator
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Started working on the second swale. I had already installed my 2 x 300' trellises almost two years ago and I didn't have access to an excavator at the time, so I'm doing this a little backwards, as I only recently purchased one. I didn't want to dig everything up and start over. So, I'm happy that I left enough room to install these swales between plantings. I'm also thankful I was thoughtful enough to have installed all the plantings and trellises on contour.
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