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New Swales

 
Posts: 22
Location: Mid-Michigan 6a/5b
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I'm planning to rent a front-end loader to build swales this spring. It's cheaper to rent it longer term, so I'll be able to do a lot of earthworks - more than I'll be able to plant trees into all at once. Is there anything wrong with just planting clover and other plants my bees will like on most of the swales for now and adding trees and bushes later? I'll plant the ones closest to the house with fruits, nuts, and berries, but the ones out in the pasture will have to wait. I'd like to get the water-soaking in the pasture as soon as possible, too. Chris
 
Posts: 127
Location: Boyd, Texas
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Go for it. There is nothing magical about swales needing trees. It goes the other way. Swales help the trees. Get the earthworks in and start conserving the water and reducing erosion as soon as you can. Then add trees as your time, the seasons, and your pocketbook allow. I will be putting in many more trees next winter into swales built by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service in the 1940s and 1950s. They were originally put there for corn, peanuts, and melons. I have been using the area as a straight pasture for years, but will be adding more trees to the natural pecans the squirrels have planted over the last 20 years and convert to a silvopasture setting.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3551
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Go for it. Once the swale charges, you may be able to plant a LOT of trees from seed. I intend to use a garden or a corn planter to plant a LOT of seeds. So what if only 1% survive, I can plant THOUSANDS of seeds for the price of a few decent nursery stock.
 
Chris Gallo
Posts: 22
Location: Mid-Michigan 6a/5b
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Great! Thanks for the encouragement , guys. Chris
 
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