Win a copy of Permaculture Design Companion this week in the Permaculture Design forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Road Maintenance

 
Posts: 4
Location: Home, Washington -Zone 8b- PNW
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live on a small farm roughly 2.5 acres in a small neighbor hood, being the nice guy that I am (and they only one with anything close to heavy equipment) I maintain our 2 roads (only a few hundred feet total), I have a small tractor and a box scraper but just wondering if there was some better equipment that I should be looking for, also what do you guys think of running short huggle beds down the sides of the the roads.
 
Posts: 3375
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
37
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Box blade will do everything you need, but a drag, tilting blade, or harrow could speed it up.

As for the hugels, that depends on the contour. They can control runoff and stop erosion, but can also slow drainage so the road stays soft.
 
Posts: 99
Location: zone 6a, north america
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
matthew, i was out on my 1/2 mile long driveway digging drainage strips with a pickaxe today thinking the exact same thing about the hugel potential. we actually have the problem to which RScott refers : a natural-made swale mound has formed parallel to the driveway making the road super soft & mushy.

as i noodled on what to do with future excavated material and all the brush behind it that needs to be whacked, i envisioned these hugel-mounds running ~45 degrees perpendicular to the driveway that are shaped like the Nike swoosh. height of the mound is lowest nearest the edge and highest at the swoosh/hook. drainage trenches are cut across the driveway and filled with gravel to drain towards the mound. driveway would be sloped ever so slightly towards the mounds.

i think this might work if you had a downward slope away from driveway (as RS noted) or could create one using the box scraper/dozer blade to skim off a wedge of soil that goes deeper the farther you are from the driveway. the swoosh of the mound would allow more water to collect while still channelling far enough away from the driveway to avoid mushy road syndrome.

thoughts?
 
Matthew Swainston
Posts: 4
Location: Home, Washington -Zone 8b- PNW
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like the idea of the "swoosh" beds but sadly would not be able to do it because most of the area (more then a few feet off the road) is other peoples properties. There is quite a bit of run of, the majority of it comes off of my property and next door neighbors property.

I'm planing on putting in several ditches across my drive way to mitigate some of the run off and send it in to my orchard, currently I have one ditch running diagonally across the end of my drive way linking into a ditch running along side the road feeding all the run off into at swamp at the end of the road away from my property, but if you want to get technical I own the property that the road leading to the county road is on (sort makes a tail for my odd kite shaped property) I cant do much with it thats why i was originally thinking huggle beds or something like that and I could plant things that would still help me like bee forage and/or native berries.
devmap.jpg
[Thumbnail for devmap.jpg]
simple map
 
siu-yu man
Posts: 99
Location: zone 6a, north america
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
ahh, the map is much help. for the next step, you could overlay a contour map over this and your property and see how the contours correspond with the water flows, both natural & man-made. (water moves perpendicular to contour in nature) my guess is that the swamp is the lowest elevation around. the drainage ditch may not necessarily create the problem (i/o/w swamp would be there even if road wasn't there), but it definitely exacerbates it.

is the neighbor whose land includes the swamp having issues with it? is there any structures sited in/around or is it otherwise causing a problem for them? if so, you might be able to talk them into a hugel-type remediation (similar to the swoosh-type above) to mitigate the drainage.

if not, then as RS noted, building a hugel that close to the road parallel to it risks creating a mushy road, especially considering you have multiple vehicles going up & down when the earth underneath it is moist. you'll get a stream going down the tire track closest to the drainage ditch. i know this, cuz i have one. another thing to consider is that if you do something experimental and it creates the aforementioned condition, you're going to have a bunch of angry neighbors calling you up and you're gonna spend even more time and fuel than you are now maintaining the road.

how about this alternative to consider: spend your efforts slow/spread/soaking the water before it leaves your property (the kite not the tail). start thinking in the area above where the map shows, especially if its at a higher elevation. divert as much of that runoff that you can before it gets to the driveway. is your orchard on the lower right of the kite in the drawing? what's residing in the lower left of the kite? which way is south?

you could alternatively plant some clover into that drainage ditch along your tail, cut and harvest it, and use it to mulch your plantings in the kite. clover is also good bee forage.
 
Matthew Swainston
Posts: 4
Location: Home, Washington -Zone 8b- PNW
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry i didn't indicate it on the map north is the top of the map. The land with the swamp is currently owned by a bank, and is undeveloped.

on the right of my drive way is me vegetable garden at the top, then the orchard (~15 different fruit trees + berry bushes and other things), then a winter pasture for my pigs at the bottom.
on the left of my drive is my septic field/chicken pastures (my county doesn't count them as livestock for some reason so i don't have to waist the space of the septic field) at the top, but the bottom past that flattens out for about 20 feet before the road. I could divert my runoff in to there and put in a pond or huggle bed there.

I could also divert some of the run off into the property I'm managing into a pond to irrigate
 
Posts: 1976
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
156
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We maintain our roads with a box blade and a back blade. The back blade is best for getting the road in shape. Put it at an angle and do what you've got to do. The box blade is best for annual maintenance aka smoothing.

I'm crap at reading maps so I'm no help there but our road gets the most runoff from our property and our neighbors as well. I've dug several "wildlife ponds" (Don't call it an erosion control anything or you'll be regulated to death) and have put swales right up to the road which have helped mitigate all the water problems caused by us.
 
Goodbye moon men. Hello tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!