• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • James Freyr
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • jordan barton
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Greg Martin
  • Leigh Tate

Moving Earth

 
Posts: 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok, so in my head I have the two options of :
1- Killing myself with a shovel
2- Hiring someone to do the work for me with a earth mover

Is there an intermediate $500 solution that makes me way more efficient, but also independent of getting someone else involved.

I need to dig several swails 90 feet across.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3684
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
134
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
$500 should get you a larger mini-ex rental for a couple days. Getting a mid-size machine is a lot harder, around here anyway.
 
Posts: 724
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
how wide and deep are you making the swales?

i was able to use a rototiller to loosen up the dirt, then i went back and shoveled the loose dirt downhill.
took a few passes, but it was easier than just a shovel.

i only did 1 swale at ~125 ft. it took an afternoon.


i do plan to rent rent a digger next time, but that is mainly to dig a pond, which isnt fun via shovel. i will also use it for swales.

good luck and post pictures

 
pollinator
Posts: 1809
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
751
forest garden rabbit tiny house books solar woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Renting a mini backhoe/excavator is something you could do yourself. Easy to operate. You can get a lot of work done in the matter of a couple hours. If I were putting in something as easy as swales, that's the way I would go simply because of the timeliness. Time is my most valuable and scarce resource on my homestead. Over the past ten years I've been forced to use it more wisely. When I first started, I did everything the slow way, by hand. I was rather hardheaded, so it took me a while to realize that my greatest detriment wasn't lack of money, but lack of time. But since I don't have lots of money either, I have to balance time against expenditure. But in this case, I'd be sorely tempted to rent the equipment. Do the swales, dig some pits for future hugel beds, scoop out a few pond/water catchment holes, scrape together a few piles of dirt for future use.
gift
 
6 Ways To Keep Chickens - pdf download
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic