I may be able to help if you open another topic
Travis Johnson wrote:We have the opposite problem here in Maine as we get plenty of rain, in fact in the past 20 years our annual rainfall has increased by 5 inches! We already get a 50 inches a year or so. But if you think that is great, consider again. We have to manage it.
r ranson wrote:Moisture capture in the soil - we spent a lot of time adding to the soil and building up this. We also keep the sheep uphill of this area so their manure can wash down into the soil in the winter and feed the microbes.
avoid mulch - mulch dries out too quickly in our climate and requires extra water. We've had success with mulch so long as it gets watered twice a week and deeply, but if we do that, it harbours plant-eating bugs, so it's a lot of effort and resources for minimal benefit. Since the goal is to avoid all irrigation, I'm reducing our mulch experiments.
John C Daley wrote:Lauren, I think you will find chickens will be beneficial to you and the build up of soil
John C Daley wrote:One chook or even better a Guinea Fowl may feed themselves. Guinea fowl roost in tress or anywhere high.
Lauren Ritz wrote:Hugelculture is another issue. Maybe I did it wrong. The logs just seemed to suck up any water provided and the area around them was bone dry while the logs were covered with fungus hyphae (but no fruiting bodies). I concluded that it was another of those techniques that works well if you have plenty of water. Which makes sense, considering where it was created. I'll probably get around to trying trenches eventually, but right now I just want the dirt covered so any life in it doesn't bake and it can start to recover.
Jonathan Ward wrote: I would be interested in your Hugelculture. Based on what i've seen + Paul's videos and such i think it would work. The question would be paul says it typically would be 3yrs before it's optimum. Also, you mentioned seeing the wood was wet but the area around it was dry. Was the wood not completely covered? What was the height of your Hugel? I'm looking at creating one too and i'm in a similar zone so i'm curious.
Lauren Ritz wrote:
Paul says the optimal size is 7 feet, but I just can't justify that in a small urban yard. I did more of a hugel-pit than a mound. I actually did a couple of them, all with the same result. The wood was fully buried, several logs covered with brush and then soil. I kept them watered for at least the first year, but when I dug down into the pile the soil was completely dry. Even drier around the logs than the rest of the area, if that's possible (which it obviously was).
Jonathan Ward wrote:Interesting. I would have expected different results.
Lauren Ritz wrote:Tyler, how deep did you bury it? Since it was a test, I did several different depths--up to 2 feet down, with exactly the same result. I'm curious about your soil and if that is the difference. Mine is primarily sand (which is why I need to improve it!)
raven ranson wrote:airwells are a big part of what we do. This has proven most useful with fruit trees. 48 trees out of 50 survive with a small airwell, and 1 out of 25 survived without. Planted at the same time, in the same soil, three years ago. The larger the airwell, the more the tree thrives.
Encouraging plants to capture their own dew has been the easiest way so far.