Carma Nykanen wrote:One thing I have not found on here is anyone using broad forks for making swales?! After selling a dexter yearling I went out and splurged on one. I drove an hour down to Boring, OR and bought one from the maker of the tool. Bob from Red Pig Tools. That was a fortunate bit of inspiration! He taught me to make a trench first equal to the width and depth that I want to dig and how to use the weight of the tool to do the work and how to work with the tool instead of against it.
He also makes his broadforks with a curved edge on the bottom and not squared off like many others I've checked out. He said it increases the strength of the tool many times over. He said the tool is guaranteed for life! His or mine which ever comes first
All I gotta say is "WOW!!" I am so impressed! If anyone is letting needing a tractor stand in the way of swale making - you can be done now!
Yesterday without the broadfork we (myself, and 7 children mine and cousins of mine) made a -passable for the situation- swale roughly 20" wide by 12" deep and 12 feet wide and it took us most of the afternoon.
Today with the broadfork my husband (!!) and I in 20 minutes did a much nicer 2' wide 1' deep - crisp edged, even bottomed swale that was about the same as long. I am SO tickled! I have been held back for SOOOO long because of the idea of needing a machine or tons of time that I couldn't round up. Now I can see the area I'm swale ing done in the next week easily, by myself!
Let the planting begin!
Anyone have trouble with birds eating all the seeds before they can become the lush plantings I envision? Can I plant seeds under woodchips with any thoughts of success?