• 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 skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Haasl
  • Pearl Sutton
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Carla Burke
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean

Swales not draining in heavy clay

 
Posts: 3
Location: South Africa
earthworks composting toilet bike
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey ya'll

Need some suggestions for the site I am at. We dug some swales about a month back in a horse/cow paddock, the soil is heavy clay and is heavily saturated with water. We dug the swales to spread the effluent from the hotel's laundry water. The water is not draining completely, and this is attracting mosquitoes to start a breeding ground.


My ideas:
1. Plant trees on the swales to help suck up this water. We have cows and horses that will be grazing, so preferably something they find palatable, can stand in water and is hardy in zone 7.
2. Fill the swale with organic matter like woodchips so the chips act as a sponge and will not allow mosquitoes to breed.

Any suggestions will be appreciated!
 
Posts: 75
Location: Rural North Texas
11
purity solar homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would start a compost heap in the swales that are not draining.  Compost is THE best thing for losing up clay soil and getting it to absorb water,  If there is a hotel there, maybe you can get the food scraps from the kitchen, add the wood chips and poo.  Cow and horse work just fine and if you are using their paddock they should be around somewhere.  
 
Posts: 389
Location: On the plateau in crab orchard, TN
33
hugelkultur urban books cooking writing ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Also try to integrate organic material into the clay.
 
Riis Lemmer
Posts: 3
Location: South Africa
earthworks composting toilet bike
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Compost isnt really an option as these swales are 100m long. We planted some cover crops on the berms and I a thinking to chop and drop them to add organic matter to the soil. Maybe even spraying it with some comfrey tea to speed up the decompostion process.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1432
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
22
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The woodchips do help, I did this once with greywater on a smaller scale and it removes all the smell. You could still plant some water loving trees there like american pawpaw or bananas depending on your climate.
 
pollinator
Posts: 780
Location: NW California, 1500-1800ft,
173
hugelkultur dog duck
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Daikon radish has been the best initial cover crop for me in heavily compacted soil, allowing me to follow with more successful runs of fava beans, vetch, and clovers. Woodchips or straw on any bare soil has also been essential.
 
Michael Moreken
Posts: 389
Location: On the plateau in crab orchard, TN
33
hugelkultur urban books cooking writing ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gather natural wood, when when swale is dry dig the swale deeper, save dug up clay/soil on tarp or wheel barrow, drop wood into deeper dug trench, cover wood with all saved clay/soil.  You can do this hard work in steps/number of weeks or days..
gift
 
Rocket Mass Heater Manual
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic