[permaculture] Drylands water capture question

Jason Gerhardt jasongerhardt at gmail.com
Thu Apr 25 01:25:58 EDT 2013

Linden grows well in Colorado, which is very similar climatic circumstances
as Pine Ridge. They do need a little more water, but once established are
very hardy. We eat the young leaves in spring and harvest the flowers and
bracts to dry and sell to a local apothecary.

My advice on windbreak species would be to consider black locust. Of all
windbreak species planted on the plains during the Soil Conservation
Service days none had a higher success rate than black locust. None grow
faster too. Black locust is arguably more useful than any of the others as
well. These can be grown out cheap from seed. I do this each year in
Colorado. Once you have one windbreak you can take a tractor with a disc on
it and rip the ground on either side of the black locust line. This will
encourage them to root sucker and then you have all the trees you will ever
need for propagation. This is how it was done back in the 30's/40's, or so
I'm told. Disturbance definitely aids sucker sprouting in many suckering
species, *Amelanchiers* as well, which would be another valuable one to
plant up there. Good sense of place species.

As far as planting I have a few suggestions. One is to plant every tree in
a small basin to at least capture a little extra rainfall. Depressions will
also capture wind driven snow. Another suggestion would be to add snow
fencing to the windbreak lines to aid establishment. If you can't get snow
fencing, try a line of strawbales, or even bundled tumbleweeds, staked in
place, anything to get the snow to drop out of the wind. If you do use snow
fencing then you can just move it on after a couple years to the next
windbreak. Strawbales of course just turn into mulch, so that may be

Just a few of my thoughts on the matter,

Jason Gerhardt

PO Box 4355
Boulder, CO 80306

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