I would like to hear examples of ways to irrigate using open ditch gravity flow irrigation. I grow a small market/CSA garden using this method and have wondered of better ways of doing this. I currently have one area in traditional rows that we send the water down the row and once full we block with dirt/sandbag and send down to the next. Another area we set up small "blocks" that we let flood, this works well but I think is tough on seed starting. Recently I set up swales on contour and will let the water flow from one swale to the next, think meandering stream, and maybe block each swales low point to hold water on contour. We are blessed with a huge amount of water from a 15ft x 10ft main ditch. The water gets to the garden via a 6" pipe with vertical gate at the main ditch. I will try to post some pics soon. The gardens and bees are in northwest NM along the San Juan River. PS I wish it would rain!
So any experience out there with gravity flow, good or bad. One thing I always wondered was how many permaculture gardens are cursed with electric powered wells? I am so jealous of people who do not have to worry much about lack of rain for their gardens!
Maybe I should go make hugelkulture beds instead of asking dumb questions.
My system catches rain runoff off the road. I filter it a bit through woodchips...runs through about 5 feet before it get on site. Goes into a catchment pond that overflows into the top swale, cascading down to the lower swales as it overflows. Also dug out the overflow (vertical to the horizontal swales) and put rock gabions so the water will back flood and soak into those areas