Win a copy of For the Love of Paw Paws this week in the Fruit Trees 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

What are the needed ground conditions for swale construction? (how dry?)

 
Posts: 119
Location: Southern IL zone 6b/7
7
purity trees books
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How dry should the soil be before considering doing earthworks like swales? Does regular spring rains rule out being able to do swale construction until the heat of the summer? I don't want to wait, but have been persuaded that the ground must be dry.

THANKS!~
 
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
42
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are you using heavy equipment? I don't think ground moisture level is terribly important to constructing swales by hand (shoveling mud, no, but waiting for dry? unnecessary).

With equipment, tearing up the ground in general and compaction are worse with ground that is too wet, and too wet for a multi-ton excavator is much drier than too wet to shovel by hand.
 
Michael Longfield
Posts: 119
Location: Southern IL zone 6b/7
7
purity trees books
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am using a Kubota back hoe. I should have mentioned that.

I went ahead and dug the swales. It was only about a week of drying weather after a wet mushy winter. The swales with less catchment, were much easier to dig. There was minimum ground damage (besides some compaction). The only real issue I had is the swale berm is much harder to to shape when the ground is wet and clumpy. After a few days of the berm drying out, I came back, and shaping it was much easier. Thanks for the response!!

Take care,
Michael
 
Your buns are mine! But you can have this tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater heats your home with one tenth the wood of a conventional wood stove
http://woodheat.net
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!