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Hugel location theory

 
Dave Tedford
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Ok. Here's my plan. Our back yard drains to the south into a natural trench about 2 or 3 feet deep and maybe 50 feet in length. This area is wooded and I am currently clearing it. The trench holds standing mosquito infested water all year. The plan is to drop three or four large poplar trees into the trench and throw every thing else that isn't lumber or firewood worthy on top of them. The theory is that the wood will sponge up the drainage from the yard and reduce the Mosquitos as well as provide gardens. Just wondering of these things can be too damp?

I have a panoramic picture of the area that I took a month or so ago when the snow was on the ground at www.dirtybillyoffgrid.com it's not great but I will update it this weekend.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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If the trench holds has space for "100gallons" and you fill it up and the sponge can only hold "30 gallons". The extra "70 gallons" will have to go somewhere else. Somewhere that you dont need it.
 
Marianne West
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Location: Lemon Grove, CA
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can you throw some Mosquito fish into the water and start planting a bunch of trees along the drench. They probably will take up a lot of the water and store it for you. And/or grow some water loving plants right in the drench.
 
Dave Tedford
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I was actually thinking about what to do with excess water. It would only be an issue early in the spring. I'm thinking about putting some big-o drainage pipe along the bottom so that it can get rid of the excess. What exactly are mosquito fish? I don't think they will work in this application but we have a ton of water around here.
 
Roberto pokachinni
Posts: 677
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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Some good advice given here. another thing to consider would be that unless you poplar trees are dead already, they will likely root up and shoot up a bunch of new trees in your ditch area. If you girdle and make sure the trees are good and dead before you drop them then you eliminate this possibility.

In elaboration of the M West, and S Benji's comments, you could dig out a deep pond area in one part of the ditch and put mosquito eating fish in it. Fill the ditch with woody matter in all other areas so the deep area is flooded by the excess from the area you filled.

The woody matter will saturate, and that will saturate your soil at that level and that could be bad if it's just on the level, and so you will want to put woody matter above the ground as well, and build up a hugul mound. You definitely will not have to water this bed in the future, which is a bonus, but it will hold water (like rain and snow melt) which could actually make the wet area wetter, so build your mound tall for drainage and aeration.
 
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