Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Dead Wood Swale
We read about dead wood swales in Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway. Since dead wood can hold a great deal of water, you can bury it under the ground and use it as a sponge. As it has been over 100 degrees around here lately (A forcasted cold front this weekend will put the highs in the high 90s- brrrrrr) and with no rain in sight- we are desperatly looking for ways to keep water in the ground. I also like the permaculture idea of no waste- we get to use our trimmed tree branches for good.
We dug a huge trench about 3 feet wide and and about 1.5 feet deep, then we dug a thin trench inside it.
Sorry the photos are not so great- we did it all at night so we didn't die of heat stroke. We put rocks at the bottom of the little trench to make air pockets for the water to stay in.
Then we threw in all our tree trimmings.
Then we put the dirt back on top of it making a berm on one side and a shallow side where the water can catch. I also threw in some of our red wiggler composting worms for good luck. We also made a clearing/ drainway from were the water usually flows from the side after a rain to direct it into the swale. We are going to plant the berm with herbs. Hopefully this will keep more water under the veggie garden were we want it. I will post finished photos when it is complete.