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Difficult hilly spot

 
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Hello longtime lurker, first time poster.

I recently inherited a house and am planning on converting the yard into a food producing no till garden. The only problem is that part of the yard is extremely hilly from where the property was bull dozed.
Currently there is a forsytia bush and a patch of Angel trumpet planted there plus a few comfrey plants that i planted last year. There are two small ditches that were cut by erosion diviving the area into little hillocks.
On one are(the side with the half buried log) i plan to plant some raspberry bushes, comfrey, garlic, and multiple onions, and the next little hillock I plant to put an asparagus/ strawberry bed.
I am curious as to what to do with the ditches I want to mulch them with cardboard and wood chips but I am worried the rain will wash the chips way. Sorry for the long post but I am looking for some constructive criticism for my permaculture plan.
 
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Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
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Hi Cody

I would say you need to tackle that erosion, your instinct is right, it will be taking away nutrients and soil resources from your land.  Where is the water coming from that is feeding the ditches? Is it good quality clean water or is is loaded with nasties from someone else's actvities?  This might influence what you want to do with it.  If it's loaded with pesticides and you have plenty of water yourself, you may wish to pipe the ditches and get rid of it, but in a way this is just shifting the problem further on down the catchment.  If you want to turn it into a positive thing, you need to slow that flow.  Building swales on the contours will allow anything the water is carrying to settle out and the water itself to infiltrate the land.  

Maybe the ditches developed from when the bulldozing and building work was going on and the water is now captured in other ways before it reaches this hilly spot.  I would still look into creating swales or sediment traps in case it is a seasonal event. Maybe a series of dams to delay occasional floods and allow the water to travel sideways into irrigation channels.

Housing developers here are starting to be required to build SUDS into their plans - Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems.  Basically these take the appearance of ponds which are dry most of the time but catch water from flood events and release it slowly.  Seasonal ponds are good for a lot of wildlife as fishy predators do not get a chance to colonise.  
 
pollinator
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Location: Dry mountains Eastern WA
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Rocks.

I grow everything vertically.  Luckily I have rocks and boulders to create terracing.  You can grow a lot of food and flowers if you make terraces out of your ditches and hills. It stops the erosion.  Be creative!  You don’t have to garden in straight rows and flat lines.  

No rocks?  Use other manageable materials to make your terraces.  Logs, hugelkultures, anything to hold back soil. Terra es are really just pockets of soil he’d back by something.  

Enjoy!
 
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Have you been at the property long enough to observe what happens when it rains?

Your description reminds me of my uncle's place where the land was bulldozer before the house was built due to flooding and the ditch was for rain runoff.

It sounds like if it were mine, I would turn that ditch into a french drain.

Here are a few threads that might help:

https://permies.com/t/138581/Sand-Gravel-Suffice-French-Drain
https://permies.com/t/138737/Simple-drainage-wet-lawn
https://permies.com/t/139200/Faster-Woodchips-Compost
https://permies.com/t/148015/Water-diversion-trench-swale

If we could see exactly what you are talking about might be very useful.
 
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like Anne says
you should probably watch what the rain does first
no sence in wasting time effort and investment in what might just get washed downhill.
 
Cody Watkins
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Thank you for your input I was finally abke to get some pictures of the yard.
16095294591691238694502827370021.jpg
[Thumbnail for 16095294591691238694502827370021.jpg]
 
Cody Watkins
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I do need to do something about said ditches. When it rains heavily the water flows through them and around my yard. I want to dig a swale higher up on the slope or convert then i to French drains.
16095296324897730582312048090833.jpg
[Thumbnail for 16095296324897730582312048090833.jpg]
 
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