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peaty waterlogged sites  RSS feed

 
ronan Watters
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Location: Ireland
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Hi

I have been looking at lots of cheap land in Ireland over the last few months. Most of the cheap plots are in the west of the country and are very peaty and waterlogged often to the extent of outright bog in parts. But where it's not bog it is very waterlogged with lots of rushes growing.

This summer has been one of the wettest on records so you get a clear picture of what the land is like all year round. The soil looks very dark has huge amounts of organic matter in it. But the water is stopping or slowing down the decomposition process and keeping out oxygen and i would imagine it would be acidic. On paper it would seam like good base for veg growing once the water level was dropped. Am I missing something as most of the land is just used for summer grazing of young cattle?

Gone through a lot of permaculture literature and have not come across this particular type of land or any real discussion on drainage. It's all focused on catching and sinking water.

Any ideas for permaculture approaches to this type of land or ways of drainage where i am not losing all my nutrients ?

Thanks
ronan
 
Olivier Asselin
Posts: 63
Location: Ariege, France
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When I did my PDC, we discussed very briefly a technique that could be applied in wetlands, where you'd basically built stripes of raised beds in a marsh area, leaving untouched stripes in between. The idea was to build them with some kind of fences with posts that would go deep enough for good stability, then fill them up and plant trees along the edges that would build a root system and keep the soil together, and in between the trees, plant vegetables. Obviously this would be appropriate for species that thrive on pretty humid soil.

 
James Slaughter
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Olivier Asselin
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Location: Ariege, France
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Yup, this is it, exactly what I'm talking about. Thanks!
 
Aranya
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Location: Seaton, Devon, England
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Hi Ronan,

We grew on some pretty peaty mountain land near Sneem in Kerry and we made the most of what the locals called 'turtogs', the mounds of sod originally built up I believe by ants to get themselves dry. We planted all our trees on them, especially important for apples.

The chinampa model would work well indeed for crops needing it a little less wet. We also took advantage of the climate though by growing a great crop of watercress in the stream (someone brought some to us from a local shop & we just plonked it in the stream). We also juiced (with a hand powered device) a lot of the grass that grew lush with all the rainfall.

Peaty land will be pretty acidic though, so looking into plants like the Vacciniums (blueberries etc.) that like those conditions is a good strategy. Wet soils often leach nutrients quickly too, so you'd need to manage that. Scottish hill farmer Bruce Marshall doubled his yield from his upland boggy land by a simple strategy. He applied rock phosphate to address a mineral deficiency, then lime to increase the pH to a place where clover & earthworms could survive. He then sowed clover seed over the existing vegetation and brought in some worms from down in the valley. The clover then fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the system and the earthworms kept the soil from drifting back to a more acidic state. Clever chap!
 
Sam White
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Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
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Aranya, do you know if Bruce Marshall has published or otherwise described his methods and results in detail? I tried Googling his name but didn't come up with anything.

Thanks!
 
Aranya
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Location: Seaton, Devon, England
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His story is told by Patrick Whitefield in his 'Permaculture in a nutshell' book, but I have no other references with any more detail.

So the one line of inquiry would be Patrick himself...
 
Sam White
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Cheers, I'll try and borrow a copy of Patrick's book (the only one I don't have!). Much appreciated,

Sam
 
Burra Maluca
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Aranya wrote:His story is told by Patrick Whitefield in his 'Permaculture in a nutshell' book, but I have no other references with any more detail.

So the one line of inquiry would be Patrick himself...


Well as it happens, Patrick will be with us next weed for a promotion of his rather awesome Earth Care Manual, so you could ask him yourself!
 
Sam White
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Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
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Burra Maluca wrote:
Aranya wrote:His story is told by Patrick Whitefield in his 'Permaculture in a nutshell' book, but I have no other references with any more detail.

So the one line of inquiry would be Patrick himself...


Well as it happens, Patrick will be with us next weed for a promotion of his rather awesome Earth Care Manual, so you could ask him yourself!


That's convenient! Cheers for the heads up.
 
Tristan Vitali
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Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
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Burra Maluca wrote:
Aranya wrote:His story is told by Patrick Whitefield in his 'Permaculture in a nutshell' book, but I have no other references with any more detail.

So the one line of inquiry would be Patrick himself...


Well as it happens, Patrick will be with us next weed for a promotion of his rather awesome Earth Care Manual, so you could ask him yourself!


Excellent timing - would love to see more pointers on managing wet and waterlogged soils
 
Paula Edwards
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all vaccinums are good as said - how about cranberries?
How about water or wetland plants (there is a book called edible water gardens by Nick Romanowsy - spelling?)
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