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New property, proper design

 
Daniel Ray
Posts: 64
Location: Stevensville, Montana; Zone 4b
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Hello all,

I just purchased my first property (5.12 acres) in the bitterroot Valley. It has tons of potential for growies and I thought I would throw it on here to help generate some design ideas.

Hopefully my photos get attached or else my description won't make much sense.

The entire west side of the property, which is the highest point of the property is a seepage spring and is bringing a whole lot of water across the property. The previous owner installed a couple of french drains and ponds to drain this water from his building site and off the property.

A) French drain that is silted in and flooding the property below it (B)

B) Very wet at all times of the year, growing cattails, tall marsh grass, wild mint.

C) Very wet, boggy with lots of green alder, aspen, cottonwood, gooseberry, wild rasp., etc.

D) Ponderosa trees and large boulders

E) Very Very boggy with tons of alder, aspen, and cottonwood. The alder is so thick it is hard to even walk through. (I'm planning on using the alder for wattle fencing)

F) building site (cob)

G) 2nd french drain that is still performing well and filling Pond #1

Initially I was thinking of starting with (A) and making a long duck pond going S/W along the old french drain that is no longer working and then start placing swale/berms on contour to slow the water down before it goes off the property. The biggest issue is that section (B) is very soggy and I'm not sure if berms will lift a food forest up enough to prevent the roots from rotting out. Any suggestions for design?

Each square is 20'x20'.

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Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6139
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Alder rots very fast. It can be used as a living fence, if bent to shape when very young. Almost all other wood outlasts it.

You must be super pumped about having your own land for the first time. 😎

We're in a dry part of the year right now. Have you seen this land during spring melt or heavy rain ? Right now, the water is a problem. Once you have the water issues under control, you'll be so glad to have an abundant supply.
 
Daniel Ray
Posts: 64
Location: Stevensville, Montana; Zone 4b
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Yes, I'm super excited to finally have some land. This particular property I've watched and walked for over a year before I made an offer. It had been on the market for quite some time and when the seller finally took it off the market I made a lower offer.

The driest part of the year on this property is November-February. Spring melt brings a lot of new water in, but July and August after all the snow has melted and is still permeating down into the Valley is when it is the wettest. Basically the "wet" areas I outlined are like that 8-9 months out of the year.

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