Win a copy of Straw Bale Building Details this week in the Straw Bale House forum!
  • 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 experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Mike Barkley
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton

Build soil to eliminate standing water?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 40
7
bike rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey All,
I'm in mid central lower Michigan and we have lots and lots of sand.  We have 12 acres with sandy roadways and paths throughout.  We recently had a thaw and everything turned into a muddy mess with puddles all around.

I've been learning about building soil with mulch like woodchips and other organic matter.  I know this would help buffer the excess water but it might not be a good idea for a roadway/path.  I've been thinking about spreading charcoal in the worst affected areas.  

What can I do to prevent this wet muddy mess?

Thanks!
Rich
 
pollinator
Posts: 3005
592
books cat chicken duck rabbit transportation trees woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Rich Points wrote:Hey All,
I'm in mid central lower Michigan and we have lots and lots of sand.  We have 12 acres with sandy roadways and paths throughout.  We recently had a thaw and everything turned into a muddy mess with puddles all around.

I've been learning about building soil with mulch like woodchips and other organic matter.  I know this would help buffer the excess water but it might not be a good idea for a roadway/path.  I've been thinking about spreading charcoal in the worst affected areas.  

What can I do to prevent this wet muddy mess?

Thanks!
Rich




Rock
 
pollinator
Posts: 2385
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
122
forest garden solar
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paper


As in go back to the drawing board and make the pathways along the ridge line or if you must have the center of the path higher than the side like official roads in the city. with drains/ditches/berms to side water from one side of the road to the other to have it ultimately go down the slope.

But seriously what Travis said 'Rocks', unless someone has something for scissor
 
garden master
Posts: 3151
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
1109
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Please may you elaborate more on how to use rocks?
 
S Bengi
pollinator
Posts: 2385
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
122
forest garden solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh I got one.
Metal 'scissors' to dig trenches to drain the 'swamp'.
And to build up the center of the path with rocks and the addition dirt/sand to elevate the path above the 'flood plain'
 
master steward
Posts: 3998
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
967
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Do you think it will always be wet or is this just a once every 4 years problem?  As frost leaves the ground, or if you get melting snow on top of frozen ground, it will get sloppy.  

Sandy soil tends to drain pretty well.  Adding gravel in the paths could elevate you above the moisture if it's really a problem.  I'd be tempted to wait, watch and observe before doing any hard lifting.

I think spreading charcoal would just track black stuff into the house/truck and since it's light it could just wash away.
 
Posts: 339
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
75
cat chicken fish forest garden homestead hugelkultur cooking transportation trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I suggest your farm is a prime candidate to use Keyline Design principles to aid water infiltration and improve soil fertility.

There's many online sites, just Google: 'Keyline Design' or 'Keyline Farming'.
 
gardener
Posts: 536
Location: SoCal USA
88
bike cat composting toilet dog solar trees wofati
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are the puddles extensive and always in bad spots? If they are staying around too long and not draining that same day, perhaps you could dig a little trench to help drain the excess to a better spot so it's either out of the way or can accumulate into a water feature? Is there a slope above the pooling spots that you could put a swale on to redirect the water away to better locations?
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 3005
592
books cat chicken duck rabbit transportation trees woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The original poster is not referring to the need to farm on sand, but rather how to traverse roadways built on sand. The only way to do that in sandy conditions is to add rock. I suppose road fabric could be used, but it gets really expensive, really fast, and even then a foot of good gravel (rock) will needed to be placed on top of it.

Ditching is a great idea, but with sand you get liquification at times of frost or heavy weather events. There is no structure, no base to the roadway, so it just gives out. It does not really matter if a ditch is formed to drain excess water, if the road base is sand, it just turns to a quagmire.

If the roadway is fairly short, and no gravel pits are in your area, fabric and using rubble from concrete or brick might be an option, but that is probably more problematic then just getting loads of gravel in.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 3005
592
books cat chicken duck rabbit transportation trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

S Bengi wrote:Oh I got one.
Metal 'scissors' to dig trenches to drain the 'swamp'.




Of course, clamshell buckets...they are scissor-like!

I would actually like a set so that I could bolt them to my log loader so I could move dirt without having to remove my grapple and put on my backhoe bucket instead.


 
Posts: 27
Location: winston oregon
1
bike books dog
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
im biased but my advice is to build waru waru (raised bed sunken bed 1-2 foot deep water)or chinampas (more dramatic version of waru waru)
 
pollinator
Posts: 889
Location: Victoria BC
80
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've driven on a road built from woodchips, and it was fine... long as you had a 4x4... but this was an arborists property, it was continually being built up with more chips beyond what most people could practically source.


What about planting something along the edges of the road in hopes of lending some stability to the sand?

And for that matter right on the road as well, but probably a different something. Even a moderately well trafficked road might allow something to survive in the center between the tire tracks..
 
F Agricola
Posts: 339
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
75
cat chicken fish forest garden homestead hugelkultur cooking transportation trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

F Agricola wrote:I suggest your farm is a prime candidate to use Keyline Design principles to aid water infiltration and improve soil fertility.

There's many online sites, just Google: 'Keyline Design' or 'Keyline Farming'.



Okay, to add to the above, you could try corduroy or planking. Corduroy is a bit rough to drive over but in time it levels out with use - I've driven over lots of it in boggy areas, it lasts a long time too.

Planking is rarer to see these days, is expensive if you don't have access to a milling machine and free wood, and a lot more work to install and maintain.
 
Rich Points
Posts: 40
7
bike rocket stoves woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow thanks for all the feedback everyone!  Sounds like if I get a couple of loads of pea gravel and spread it in the affected areas it'd be good to go.

I'll try to do this in late spring or early summer.

thanks again!
Rich
 
master pollinator
Posts: 10832
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
544
cat chicken fiber arts fish forest garden greening the desert trees wood heat
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I advise strongly against pea gravel - it isn't stable.  The material to use is called "road base" and is rough irregular gravel.  I think the standard size is #2 road base.  I can't remember what the larger rock size is called, but at one time we got a load of larger rocks (about fist sized) to cover a mucky part of our driveway.  It worked well.  Pea gravel, which I mistakenly used for paths, slides around and also tracks badly into the house.  Ok for landscape use but not for paths.
 
WHAT is your favorite color? Blue, no yellow, ahhhhhhh! Tiny ad:
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!