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Grow beds, slope, and water

 
Posts: 21
Location: Prattsville, NY (Zone 5)
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Hi All.

Urgent question!

An excavator is coming next week to clear, level, remove stumps, and landscape about 1/4 acre for vegetable cultivation (misc vegetables... onions, corn, mesclun, etc) for a market garden.

We'll be building 30 inch grow beds, with 18 inch (or so) walkways.

The soil is very clay.

The area is on a slope. And very wet in the spring or during heavy rain events (but pretty dry in the summer and fall months). Water channels off the slope from above the garden area into a few channels making it's way down, where it eventually all gathers in a small creek.

We need to know the best way to control the water via the grow beds. We need to know if we should just move the water away from the beds with an initial drainage ditch at the top (and irrigate the beds using on site pond water), or passively move the water past the beds along the footpaths, zigzagging until it reaches the bottom.

Your help would be much appreciated.
 
Posts: 3370
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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If you can zig zag it without making the paths unusable, that would save pumping it later.

I built one garden completely on contour with curved beds, looks cool but is a pain from a production point of view. You can't string tomato trellis like normal, row covers gap and sag, etc. Getting the beds close to straight makes working them easier.
 
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