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white clay, red clay, orange clay, terraces, hugels & swales

 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
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Location: south central VA 7B
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bee books forest garden fungi solar trees
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Morning All -
need some input please. I have an acre+ that sits above our orchard and is one big hill and a guy with a bulldozer for a day. My thought was to terrace (soft edges vs a hard drop) with the plateau of each terrace being about 15' deep. With southern VA begin mostly clay, which is slow to absorb water, I thought I'd have him dig a 3' deep ditch to make hugels off center (closer to the drop-off edge) then step in a few feet (toward the rise of the next terrace up) and hand dig a ditch to basicly form a swale, kissing the hugel on that terrace. What I'm attempting is a catch basin for our spring rains, so the water has a place to sit while it leaches into the hugel. The are already 2 places on the top right and left of this "hill" that with minimal dirt movement to close in the outboard side of each, we can easily make 2 frog ponds. Thoughs or suggestions?
thanks
M.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Make sure the the dozer guy slope the plateau into the hill and not down hill.
 
Jordan Lowery
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Location: zone 7
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What's your rain situation like? How much and when?
 
Marianne Cicala
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Posts: 655
Location: south central VA 7B
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Rain: Lots of rain in the spring - sometimes 3" in 24 hours. mid - late summer can have weeks without a drop and temps in the 90s. Sept., Oct., decent rain then it's a crap shoot - we've had 1.5" since Nov. 1 to date. I was considering the ditch to hold water (as clay will allow that) and slowly release to optimize the soil, hugel saturation.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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