[permaculture] swales in Santa Barbara

sals3 sals3 at cox.net
Wed Sep 9 20:06:07 EDT 2009


Thanks this is all  good to hear.  what a dream.  I guess I have to learn to 
make these swales.  I guess the best way to do it is set in a rain storm and 
watch the water flow.  I am on a south facing slop and the trees are in the 
middle of a tarsus.  darn spelling . so the trees have a hill behind them 
where the swale should be.  the ones on the hill are at the bottom of the 
tarsus on kind of flat land then down to the next tarsus.  .  the flat land 
on top I guess I just watch the rain and dig a trench.  guess I better get 
on u tube and learn how to make those two poles with the string hanging down 
in the middle.  on the hill side I may already  have a berm in place. Make 
sure the swales are
> absolutely level, unless you want to channel water to certain places  I 
> have to learn to do this.  hope I can find it on utube.

thanks for all the feed back.
the way drips plug up and critters eat the line it would be nice to have the 
back up of a swales and berms.  I will have to read up on berms.  I'll check 
out that web sight.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <lbsaltzman at aol.com>
To: <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 2:28 PM
Subject: Re: [permaculture] swales in Santa Barbara


>
> Living in Santa Barbara, I agree with these suggestions. In our Forest 
> Garden at our house we have one swale filled with leaves and debris.? I 
> would definitely do that. We also have a few smaller micro-swales around 
> beds in the garden. We have basin planted many trees and other perennials, 
> and we have constructed some terraces with berms at the end on a gentle 
> slope. And obviously we mulch heavily, and also use sedum?as?a living 
> mulch in many places.?We have?over a hundred fruit trees on a 1/3 acre 
> site.? Once the deciduous trees reach about 3-5 years old they are 
> withdrawn from irrigation water and make it on the winter rains 
> exclusively.? Citrus trees and a few?tropicals need some summer?irrigation 
> which we are trying to handle more and more with gray water.
>
>
>
> Early on we didn't build swales aggressively enough because we didn't know 
> what we were doing.? But now I am also reluctant to damage tree roots by 
> retrofitting big swales.? Berms are another possibility to sort of 
> simulate swales in the low area next to the berm. That way you don't 
> damage tree roots.
>
>
>
> Larry Saltzman
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rain Tenaqiya <raincascadia at yahoo.com>
> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Sent: Wed, Sep 9, 2009 11:58 am
> Subject: [permaculture] swales in Santa Barbara
>
>
>
>
> Art Ludwig of Oasis Design has done some swale work in your area and 
> claims they
> cut down his irrigation season by three weeks to a month and a half (I 
> can't
> remember, look at www.oasisdesign.net).? So, in our climate, they can 
> help, but
> they are not a panacea.? You can put in swales after the trees have been
> planted, as you described, but be careful of removing too many of the 
> trees'
> roots.? It is probably more effective to fill the swales with compost or 
> other
> organic matter to hold the water in the soil as long as possible.? Also,
> obviously, the deeper the mulch around the trees, the better.? Light shade
> trees, such as black locust or some acacia may save more water than they
> consume, and increase yields and decrease frost.? You could try these 
> methods
> out on part of your land and observe the results.? Digging by hand is best 
> as
> you can observe the tree roots, learn about the soil, and avoid fossil 
> fuel
> use.? Make sure the swales are
> absolutely level, unless you want to channel water to certain places.
> ?
> Rain
>
>
>
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