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

 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 683
Location: south central VA 7B
82
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: 1359
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
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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What's your rain situation like? How much and when?
 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 683
Location: south central VA 7B
82
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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.
 
Cob is sand, clay and sometimes straw. This tiny ad is made of cob:
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