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Water retention at seaside location?

Maja Gustavsson
Posts: 12
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Hello everyone!
I just recently got the okay to borrow some land from a farmer I know, and once the snow melts I'll be starting an edible garden project. It is a very lush, Scandinavian savannah landscape already (it is normally a semi-wooded sheep pasture), so I have a lot going for me. My goal is to create food value for myself this summer, and long-term to encourage perennial plants that will benefit the sheep, like nitrogen fixers and long-term browsing plants, once I move out and they move back in.

My question is about water. I've seen a lot of talk about swales and ponds, and water retention, in general, makes a lot of sense. My location is just beneath a hill that serves as a sheep pasture and will be getting a lot of runaway nutrients from there, so catching it makes a lot of sense. (Especially since I'm next to the Baltic sea, which isn't exactly doing so hot right now.) But it is a flat location right above the sea level so the natural ground water will be high, it isn't unusual for us to get a lot of rainfall, and I'll be getting the runaway water from that hill I mentioned as well... and if I add swales to that, I am a little bit worried about drowning the land I am trying to take care of. It is already quite green. How much water can a site hold before it becomes counter-productive and damaging to tree roots, for example? And how do I know if I'm there? I have no intention of turning this plot into a swamp, after all...
And now I present magical permaculture hypno cards. The idea is to give them to people that think all your permaculture babble is crazy talk. And be amazed as they apologize for the past derision, and beg you for your permaculture wisdom. If only there were some sort of consumer based event coming where you could have an excuse to slip them a deck ... richsoil.com/cards
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