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Monsoon (aka water and wind)  RSS feed

 
Andie Shire
Posts: 12
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Lets start with: I'm very new to permaculture (i.e. read a few blogs, started reading books, etc.).

I live smack dab in the middle of the city, with neighbors all around. While I don't want have the ability to run out and buy everything I need to plant an amazing permi-landscape, there are two distinct frustrations that I need to deal with: water and wind

Water - I live in Washington, and when it rains it pours! My house lies in the middle of the western sloping plot with a driveway to the south and a (neglected) sideyard to the north. As you've probably guessed, when it rains my back doorstep drops down into a muddy swamp. I've managed to divert most of the water in the front yard away from the house, however, the backyard has been a challenge as the soil is heavily compacted and difficult to maneuver. Any ideas?

Also, my chickens have eliminated all vegetation in their run and now that is a giant mudhole (when it rains & for several days after any rain). The chicken run is, unfortunately, in the shadow of a giant fir tree until noon in the summer. Drying it out has been a challenge, and we've been in near-drought conditions since May. I'm dreading winter for them. I'm thinking rainbarrel & french drain... Any ideas?


Wind - my arch nemesis. Summer winds from the west, winter winds from the southwest. It funnels through the street and during a storm will blow you over. There used to be a tall and mighty pine tree in the front yard of the house, I long for the protection I am sure it offered. What can I plant that will block the wind, will be aesthetically pleasing to the neighbors, possibly offer some privacy, but not block the driveway?

Well... I suppose that's where I will start. It's definitely not my first question for permaculture... I'll try to attach my picture here (I did it!)
plan.jpg
[Thumbnail for plan.jpg]
Base plan
 
Andrew Millison
Instructor
Posts: 112
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
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Andie,

Water - I live in Washington, and when it rains it pours! My house lies in the middle of the western sloping plot with a driveway to the south and a (neglected) sideyard to the north. As you've probably guessed, when it rains my back doorstep drops down into a muddy swamp. I've managed to divert most of the water in the front yard away from the house, however, the backyard has been a challenge as the soil is heavily compacted and difficult to maneuver. Any ideas?


In my own yard in Oregon, I've created lower drainage areas (like serpentine rain gardens), and used the excavated soil in "hugelkultur" beds (buried wood) to raise up well drained areas. So the wet areas are very, and the raised areas dry.


Also, my chickens have eliminated all vegetation in their run and now that is a giant mudhole (when it rains & for several days after any rain). The chicken run is, unfortunately, in the shadow of a giant fir tree until noon in the summer. Drying it out has been a challenge, and we've been in near-drought conditions since May. I'm dreading winter for them. I'm thinking rainbarrel & french drain... Any ideas?


Chickens seem to do best when rotated around. You may think about moving your chicken coop out of the shady area (their laying is also photo-dependent - they lay more with longer sunlight). I have my coop in the center of the backyard, then rotate them through different gardens every few months to give the land time to recover nd also grow a crop. Heavy mulch like leaves, woodchips, straw in their coop area soaks up a lot of water as well.



As far as wind goes, incorporation of hedgerows on the property boundaries, and how about trees on the West side, where they will also shade the house from the setting sun during summer?
 
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