I live in a region of the midwest where majority of the landscapes are relatively flat. I know that there's no such thing as a truly flat landscape, but much of the land has some slight undulations and almost no elevation drop. What is the best way to approach such a landscape? What can we design in accordance with, or center our design around?
So far, the best thats come out some conversations is to rip the soil with a yeomans/sub soil plow to open the soil up for air and water. Perhaps alley crop in between trees, or run animals on pasture in between trees. Is there a particular pattern that would optimize this?
Thanks Jeremy. Perhaps read the post titled 'Flood irrigation question' and also 'Tree lines on or off contour' and I reckon we've got you covered. Otherwise feel free to give me another crack! Thanks and all the best, Darren
Thanks Darren, that does give me more to think about. I think its raising more questions for me though. We are fairly blessed here to get about 3 inches of precipitation per month nearly all year. There are of course large rain events where we can get 3 inches in a matter of hours on some occations, and lately getting a very hot dry month or two seems to becoming normal.
To avoid the flood damage to the soil profile you mentioned, it seems many farmers have drains and ditches to move water out of the fields. Water mostly sits where it falls or puddles in small lowspots across the land. In general, would subsoiling help sink that water, or would you be more at risk of drowning your aerobic soil food web? I'd imagine knowing the soil type may change the answer to that question. It seems that might help sink more of the water so that its not puddling in the low spots, but im not really sure.
The flood thread also talk a bit about irrigating with polypipe. What would the water source be accross a much flatter landscape? It seems we would need to pump from a well, or build catchment systems with elevated tanks all over the place. Would you build ponds, and then pump from there? I dont think thats what you have in mind, but I'm a little confused on that.
I'm hoping to use landscape shaping and management techniques to get away from some of the infrastructure of things like irrigation pumps.
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