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Gleying small ponds  RSS feed

 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Who wants to help gley 2 small ponds during August and/or September?

32 acre homestead just outside Cobden Ont. (Google it)
Have done all the tests and now know what will work.
All materials on site.

Pitch a tent, or stay in the cabin.
Plain food, nothing fancy.
Baking done in rocket oven.

Thanks. K
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 377
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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I might if I didn't live thousands of miles away, but please do share the details--lots of online talk about gleying, but not many examples to be found. Let us in on "what will work." There is no clay available where I live and I need to figure out a feasible pond solution.

There's a little info at http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/2014/byte0606/ . Haven't heard the final outcome, though.
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Will do! Want to document process and, more importantly, the outcome!

K
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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As promised almost a year ago, here is the update on what's happened with my small garden ponds project(s)

In all I built 4 small garden ponds, more like frog ponds, using 4 different recipes for "gleying";
They all held water with varying degrees of seepage over the summer, but not to worry, they'll eventually seal... right?

What I learned about gleying ponds is as follows;

1) It is of the utmost importance to check the Geology in your area, soil types, and depths
2) Your climate has more to do with the success of your pond being able to hold water, seals in shallow ponds do not survive -40 C. So every winter the ice crystals expand and there goes the seal.
3) There are very different types of clay, with different properties and that goes back to the Geology in your area.
4) My area was part of a glacial sea, my property is sitting on rough terrain bedrock, has shallow non calcareous sandy loam, we have heavy precipitation and -40 C winters. This makes for "slip" terrain on higher ground, so my garden pond's never had a chance. I cannot seal by gleying, so I've turned to plastic liners overlayed with clay, and the frogs love it.

I have one last spot to build a pond, at the very bottom of my acreage, nothing but clay left by the glacial sea, and right on the water table. There I dig to my heart's content and it fills of its own accord with water. I use the clay as a building material for other works on the property. Eventually I will have a pond, and a rather big one at that if I bring in an excavator to help it along.

Cheers! K

 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 377
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Too bad. I had speculated about the effects of the kind of weather we get (it might get -50C in a test winter; has before) on that seal. I wonder if the pig technique is subject to the same phenomenon.
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Hi Victor,

I would imagine that if the pond was deep enough so that the bottom wouldn't freeze, then the pig technique may work.

This spring during the snow melt, my little ponds seemed to be full, as they had been just before the Snows.
Then we had a flash freeze, next morning all that was left was the ice suspended on top of where the water had been the day before.
We've had some heavy rains already, and two of the ponds filled, but within a matter of a few hours were empty.
I suspect it's the heave of the frost in conjunction with what I've learned about my area's geology.

It's not just a matter of putting a pond in, it's what the pond is being put into.
I strongly recommend to anyone to check their area's geology first, and see what they are dealing with in as much a soil structure, composition, drainage, etc.
That would give a reasonable gauge for gleying materials, thickness and compaction required to make a seal.

One scenario won't fit every circumstance.

Hindsight is 20/20

Cheers! K
 
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