• 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 skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

My First Swale

 
                                          
Posts: 27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just finished my first small scale swale. Its about 5 ft long and 10 inches deep.  I live in a semi arid hot area of southern california and I was wondering if it would be better to fill the swale with 1-2 cm rocks or really dry leaves? I've got beans, cucumbers, and some herbs seeded in the berm.
 
Posts: 81
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just made a swale and am in arid hot southern ca, too! i think if I can get my hands on some (free) i will probably end up putting rocks or some other mulching material in it, but for now i'm just leaving it be.
 
pollinator
Posts: 11796
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1039
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In a hot dry area you want to plant food plants in the basin or bottom part of the swale where the water collects and reserve the berm for drought tolerant plants such as Prickly Pear.  Mulch the bottom with leaves and other organic debris.  If the berm needs reinforcement, you can put rocks on the downhill side of it. 

 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
generally swales are to hold moisture, rocks won't hold moisture in that type of situation I don't believe
 
                                          
Posts: 27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

H Ludi Tyler wrote:
In a hot dry area you want to plant food plants in the basin or bottom part of the swale where the water collects and reserve the berm for drought tolerant plants such as Prickly Pear.  Mulch the bottom with leaves and other organic debris.  If the berm needs reinforcement, you can put rocks on the downhill side of it. 



Alright thanks, how much mulch should I put on the bottom? Also do you think it would be beneficial to put potatoes on the berm. Potatoes and dought tolerant beans?
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11796
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1039
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Potatoes probably aren't drought tolerant enough to live on the berm, I would plant them in the swale and cover with a few inches of mulch. 
 
                                          
Posts: 27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Potatoes probably aren't drought tolerant enough to live on the berm, I would plant them in the swale and cover with a few inches of mulch.   


alright. so do you think the beans should do just fine at holding the berm?
gift
 
Garden Mastery Academy - Module 1: Dare to Dream
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic