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No such thing as FLAT land!  RSS feed

 
David Hogan
Posts: 36
Location: Columbia Falls MT
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Thats what I keep hearing anyways. But I beg to differ. As a kid I often watched my uncle laser level his property dead flat. Or as dead flat as technology of the time would allow. He hated standing water. It was detrimental to his crops, he said.

I asked why he did it. His reply was for soakage. The water pressure coming out of the valves makes a mini tidal wave and pushes the water down the field. Then when its about 3/4 of the way down I close all the valves. Momentum and the uneveness of the water carries it to the end of the row. Water wants to be flat. So the field gets an even dose of water and soaks in without erosion.

Well that was his answer anyways.

History aside (Im not interested in comments about what he did) one of the properties I am looking to buy is such a land. It was laser leveled as crop land for years. You can lay on your belly and not see a ripple across the whole thing. The owner claims there was no slope put in the land, its flat.

So my question is, how do you design such a property? Do you swale or keyline? What about ponds? Obviously there wont be any dams. Granted water moves through the land regardless but how does one speed up the snails crawl? Cisterns? Ponds?

I admit I am at a loss but I dont want to discount a potential location simply because I am ignorant of the solution. Any real world advice?
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Ponds would give the land something different. The soil that is heaped up would give some slope. Many catfish farms are dug on very flat land.

Swales and key lines would serve no purpose on a flat site.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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A swale would be a chinampa or moat. Nothing wrong with that, but not exactly a swale.

Keylines would be simple subsoiling--good for decompaction and infiltration but not for redistribution of water.

Where is the land in relation to the surroundings? Is it valley, or peak (mesa), or mid land? Is there water flowing in from somewhere or is it only what directly rains on your land? Can it escape if needed or will it flood?

 
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