Sherwood Stolt

+ Follow
since Jan 20, 2017
Merit badge: bb list bbv list
For More
Washington, zone 8B, gravelly sandy loam, PH 4.8, 40 in/yr, warm dry summer - wet cool winter
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Sherwood Stolt

Maybe crimson clover.  It's an annual but reseeds well, can be contained by mowing around the edges and is a nitrogen fixer.  
1 month ago
I don't know what the requirements are for your area but in my Western Washington area any land development that disturbs more than 7000 sqft of land or involves removing vegetation form areas that disperse runoff from driveways or roofs would require a permit.  That would likely involve hiring an engineer to either meet the prescriptive requirements of an 1100 page design manual or do a detailed computer model analysis.  However, since your roof runoff is just aimed downhill it sounds like your property has never had to meet such requirements.  

Your roof drains seem to just end in an open area.  There should be some sort of splash block or rock pad at the end of those drains to disperse the flow and then to prevent downhill runoff that open area should be 100 to 200 feet of native vegetated flow path.  I suspect that is contributing to the wet area below.  The prescriptive method to fix that would be to break up the soil to an 18 inch depth; mix in a lot of compost; plant with native trees, shrubs and groundcover and cover with mulch following a down slope line from the drain ends.  

You didn't mention what the deeper soil conditions are.  The several feet of water that falls on your impervious areas each year has to end up somewhere.  Diverting it onto your neighbors property is usually not allowed.  If your soil can't infiltrate it then it will pool at the surface.  Is your road is acting like a berm to retain the water but occasionally spills over?  If so adding more soil might just make more mud and make the road worse.  Maybe you could turn the southern part of the wet area into a rain garden that would better infiltrate the water.  You might be able to shift some soil around while building that.  
2 years ago
You say that the incoming water temp is 8C in winter and 25C summer.  Seems like that is adding a big load just when you don't need it.  Maybe you can find an affordable way preheat the incoming water, maybe an uninsulated tank located indoors that would warm up to room temp.    I've also seen schemes for DIY flat panel collectors located on a south facing wall and so better optimized for winter use.  
2 years ago
We have power outages about once a month, mostly caused by trees falling on power lines, usually for less than a day but occasionally longer.  We got by for the first year without a generator.  We have a well and the 86 gallon captive air tank was originally set to vary from zero to 28 gallons of water in it and so did not provide a reasonable short term water supply.  I reduced the captive air pressure when empty from 40 psi to 30 psi.  That makes the pump cycle a little more often but makes sure there is at least 20 gallons still in the tank at the low pressure end.  

The septic system has both a fluid pump and an air pump.  The pump tank has about five days extra emergency capacity at typical usage but one time the circuit breaker popped and we didn't notice for a while.  The tanks flooded without backing up into the house and continued to drain to the leach field and so I guess we could get by for as long as we have water.  

It seems that the modern GFI/AFI circuit breakers occasionally trip on the power outages for no apparent reason.  Whole house surge protectors don't seem to prevent that.  I now have several UPSes and I've also learned to check all the circuits every power blink and make sure the light on the front of the freezers is on every night when I go to bed.  

So far our natural gas line has never lost pressure.  

We did get a generator.  It doesn't prevent the first 15 second power drop, doesn't power all the circuits like the air conditioning, dryer ...  and is only supposed to be run 200 hours between scheduled maintenance and so isn't an extended off grid solution.  

One frustrating issue is the that cable TV and internet goes down whenever the power goes out.  In fact the cable company's DVR refuses to run if there is no cable connection and so we can't even watch anything we have previously recorded.  At least the cell phones usually keep working.  
3 years ago
Interesting "essential guide".  However, I would have liked to see some discussion of the native beaked hazelnut, Corylus cornuta, that I have many of around my lot.  They are a variety of sizes from a medium shrub to 15 foot tall and 20 foot wide.  I have rarely seen a few hazelnuts but most years there aren't any.  I would like to know what if anything I could do to produce better yields.  
3 years ago
How thick did you apply it?  Too thick can smother things.  Also was your watering getting through the mulch layer?
4 years ago
I had to remove a number of larger rocks from a newly cleared yard and found that a large two wheeled wheelbarrow was easiest to roll rocks onto and move them through soft dirt.  Though sometimes I had to turn around and pull it.  I also noticed that after using a cart with a loop type handle for a day that my fingers were sore, stiff and the joints seemed to loosen up some.  Maybe I needed a harness.  
5 years ago
Pages C-50 to C-56 of the following has some plans for infiltration systems that don't use a manufactured tank.  Note your worst case storm may require a different size than this indicates.
6 years ago
That's a good idea for plant selection.  Most of the seeps and springs in the area are in valleys that cut through the deeper aquifers and have a much higher PH.  However, the seasonal wetland just off the low SW corner of my property must be wetted by the same ground water flowing through my property.  I'll muck around there next spring and see what I find.  I seem to remember a lot of wild ginger but maybe that wasn't right down in the wettest part.  

Wood chips are another idea.  Maybe I'll divide my wet spot into two or three sections and try different materials to firm up the soil and see which the plants seem to like.  
6 years ago
There is some volcanic ash content to the soils but it is mostly PH 4.8 sandy loam.  Weyerhaeuser logged this land several times and there seems to be a lot of organic matter (16%) that somehow got mixed into the top foot or so but has not broken down to humus yet.  There is not much alive in the soil and I have only seen one earthworm after a lot of digging.  It does drain well down to the till layer.  I think our current swale is working well enough (basically chiseled into the hardpan) and so I'm just trying to decide what to do with the wet spot on the uphill side of the swale.  I have seen rain garden instructions that say to add a lot of compost and a bog garden instruction that say to add a lot of peat.  Since it is already very acid and high organic content I'm not sure those are the right things to do.  

6 years ago