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Downhill, how do you trap nutrients? and other (dis)advantages of slopes...

Xisca Nicolas
Posts: 1272
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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nutrients... and water. Very practical permaculture.

I live in a valley, a little one, I have land mainly facing west + terraces in the bottom.
Actually, there is a path in the real bottom, because it is forbidden to cut the way (in case of water, very rare!)
some tricks to manage this without cutting the way are welcome.
...Sorry, no beavers!
I am investigating all I can do to profit of the slopes as advantages.
Of course I do not have any pump for watering... No need!

But my first concern is to keep all nutrients.
The last 3 terraces are planted with trees, avocados and mango and oranges.
Any other trick than planting a row of deep-roots plants after the trees?

In the sunny places I will put vetiver, at the border of the stone walls.
It is by far the best I know to keep water and nutrients in non-shaded places.
It is a herb, so I have more 3D room above them too.
It will also help to keep water and nutrients on the way, as of course I will not manage the problem only at the lowest point!
I also have to better the storage of rain-water up there... though my tank will never be big enough than storing for 2-3 months anyway...

what I look for:

1) I wonder if I can plant something at the downhill property limit...
At the same time I would like a thorny hedge there.
I have placed a natal plum for a start...
Some other bushes? What has strong roots?
Then some comfrey a little inside?
some other herbaceous you know?
No poisonous plant as I will have chooks.
And I have to plant mainly water-wise stuff...

2) Then, if we go a little inside the forest, I have some slope with no walls in the last terrace.
It is in the shade most of the time.
What bush that stand shade has good roots?
(at the moment there I have ageratina adenophora (known in California too) and some fennels).
Edibles are of course welcome...

I also have to solve the problem of transport down there. Even getting down a bag of manure... heavy. Because of some stone stairs, I cannot ride a wheelbarrow all the way!
So, plans for a cableway?
I really plan this for the parts where i can fix it on both sides. But it will damage the aesthetics... which is not talked about much though it is part of the pleasure in natural areas.
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more ... richsoil.com/cards
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