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So here's the 2 acres I'm probably getting 😆

 
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https://youtu.be/ikuxwf-uELg
Then ground is full of rocks like below 2 inches in most places. It is sloped a little and there's some trash.
Screenshot_20230330_180114_Maps.jpg
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20230330_180114_Maps.jpg]
 
philip hernandez
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You guys see that doe?
 
master steward
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Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland. Nearly 70 inches rain a year
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No - was it on the video? Looks like a beautiful spot, nice trees, but arid.
 
Posts: 152
Location: Southern Colorado, 6300', zone 6a, 16" precipitation
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Did you have any specific goals for the property? So I am guessing you are posting this here so you can get some feedback on the range of possibilities available. Here are my observations

-#1. Water: 14 inches of rain and zone 7 means you need to focus on maximizing water.

-Darn it seems you just missed that arroyo to your south and your neighbor got it. That and the rocky soil probably will preclude you from a pond. So I would go with swales.

-Both Agave and Amalia seem to have a slope and could have a roll out berms installed if you get approval from the neighbors. So, this technique was described by Brad Lancaster and is basically putting a short, wide, and diagonal speed bump (made of dirt) on  road to funnel water off the road. It needs to be wide so it doesn't break any cars. In fact, it will be like a small gentle rise in the road. This should be placed as high on the road as possible to direct the water at the first opportunity back onto your land. Secondly, this method prevents erosion of dirt roads for the long term, so that's how you could sell it to the neighbors.

-Sounds like you have a lot of rock. So put it to use first with one-rock dams. Construction of the one-rock dam is described by the Quivira Coalition https://quiviracoalition.org/category/technical-guides/one-rock-dam/. This will collect fine sediment to begin later plantings. These dams are easy to emplace and you can do them every 20-30 feet. Each dam can be a planting area.

-you seem to be rich in juniper. Put it to use. Prune the bottoms of the tree and use the cuttings to mulch your tree starts. Juniper duff also makes perfect mulch as it doesn't absorb water, and allows even minor rain showers to go down into the soil.

-Leave the junipers until your own trees are well established and at the same height. That could take a while. At this time they are providing windbreak and temperature buffering.  Chickens also love to roost around them. Don't worry about swaling close to the junipers - you can rip up their roots all day and heavily prune them and those trees keep surviving,

-Find seedling junipers under the adults and transplant them to the edge of your property to make a windbreak. That's whatever edge the prevaling winds come from. For me in Southern Colorado, that's southwest. You can also transplant cholla cactus into the windbreak as they grow tall. Cholla planting is as easy as chopping the cactus into lengths and then throwing them on the ground. You can also make a brush wall out of juniper cuttings though the neighbors might object. See this case study for windbreaks in New Mexico https://www.harvestingrainwater.com/case-study/snow-wind-harvesting-case-study/

-Look around your area for trees that are growing well and collect their seeds. Then sow the seeds at all times of year into your swales, and dams.

-Tree list for this area: Nuts - pistachio, almond, arizona walnut, pinyon pine, pecan.  Fruit - jujube, elderberry, apricot, goji/wolfberry, raspberry, blackberry, prickly pear. Nitrogen fixers - black locust, honey locust, russian olive, false indigo, desert mahogany, apache plume, New Mexico locust. Fast growing shade trees - siberian elm, black locust, and tree of heaven (note this tree is alleopathic and doesn't play well with others)
 
philip hernandez
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Skyler Weber wrote:Did you have any specific goals for the property? So I am guessing you are posting this here so you can get some feedback on the range of possibilities available. Here are my observations

-#1. Water: 14 inches of rain and zone 7 means you need to focus on maximizing water.

-Darn it seems you just missed that arroyo to your south and your neighbor got it. That and the rocky soil probably will preclude you from a pond. So I would go with swales.

-Both Agave and Amalia seem to have a slope and could have a roll out berms installed if you get approval from the neighbors. So, this technique was described by Brad Lancaster and is basically putting a short, wide, and diagonal speed bump (made of dirt) on  road to funnel water off the road. It needs to be wide so it doesn't break any cars. In fact, it will be like a small gentle rise in the road. This should be placed as high on the road as possible to direct the water at the first opportunity back onto your land. Secondly, this method prevents erosion of dirt roads for the long term, so that's how you could sell it to the neighbors.

-Sounds like you have a lot of rock. So put it to use first with one-rock dams. Construction of the one-rock dam is described by the Quivira Coalition https://quiviracoalition.org/category/technical-guides/one-rock-dam/. This will collect fine sediment to begin later plantings. These dams are easy to emplace and you can do them every 20-30 feet. Each dam can be a planting area.

-you seem to be rich in juniper. Put it to use. Prune the bottoms of the tree and use the cuttings to mulch your tree starts. Juniper duff also makes perfect mulch as it doesn't absorb water, and allows even minor rain showers to go down into the soil.

-Leave the junipers until your own trees are well established and at the same height. That could take a while. At this time they are providing windbreak and temperature buffering.  Chickens also love to roost around them. Don't worry about swaling close to the junipers - you can rip up their roots all day and heavily prune them and those trees keep surviving,

-Find seedling junipers under the adults and transplant them to the edge of your property to make a windbreak. That's whatever edge the prevaling winds come from. For me in Southern Colorado, that's southwest. You can also transplant cholla cactus into the windbreak as they grow tall. Cholla planting is as easy as chopping the cactus into lengths and then throwing them on the ground. You can also make a brush wall out of juniper cuttings though the neighbors might object. See this case study for windbreaks in New Mexico https://www.harvestingrainwater.com/case-study/snow-wind-harvesting-case-study/

-Look around your area for trees that are growing well and collect their seeds. Then sow the seeds at all times of year into your swales, and dams.

-Tree list for this area: Nuts - pistachio, almond, arizona walnut, pinyon pine, pecan.  Fruit - jujube, elderberry, apricot, goji/wolfberry, raspberry, blackberry, prickly pear. Nitrogen fixers - black locust, honey locust, russian olive, false indigo, desert mahogany, apache plume, New Mexico locust. Fast growing shade trees - siberian elm, black locust, and tree of heaven (note this tree is alleopathic and doesn't play well with others)


Thank you anything helps. Lemme see this arroyo your talking about. Yes the ground is very rocky underneath that is my  biggest concern. I plan on collecting alot of water in the begging and getting atmospheric water generator no plans for pond on this property I fell like it's too small and too much work for what I have planned. I'm planning on getting 40 acres after this that's where the ponds hopefully can be done. Yes it has a nice slope idk the degree put I'm pretty sure it's enough to use for passive irrigation probably one of the few strong points besides random cows pooping around and dead trees I'm sure no one wood miss for biochar.
 
pollinator
Posts: 228
Location: Southern Utah
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A few thoughts.....
Check with any tree trimming service in any of the nearby towns/cities and ask about getting wood chips.  Even if you have to drive to get them it will be very helpful to enhance your soil and property.  Wood chips help keep down the dust (which will still be everywhere because you live in a desert) and will work great to reduce mud for walking paths and parking areas on the few occasions you do get rain.
Drive to the mountains occasionally and collect pine needles, pine cones, or leaves.  The leaves will likely be in the higher areas and usually you can spot the colorful trees from a distance.  Even a few trash bags at a time will be helpful and will help with the soil.
Look around the other homes in the area and see what trees or bushes they have.  Most will require some irrigation but there may be a few that will survive on natural precipitation once they get established.
Speaking of trees and bushes, check with the closest nursery and ask for suggestions.  Maybe get some native grass seeds and scatter them in areas with decent shade.  They may not grow right away but they will sprout when it rains.  Plant a little at a time and each time a rain cloud approaches scatter some more seeds and keep adding to the few that sprout.  You wont get a lawn but grass will help shade to soil and retain moisture, just don't let it get too tall during fire season.  Use the clippings to supplement other areas or in your compost bin, which will also need to be in good shade and kept moist.
A soil sample test might be best for starters to see what nutrients are there naturally, however slight.  The soil test will help you know what supplements/fertilizer you need to get the plants established.  I suspect your entire property is the same so a single test kit may be enough for starters but as you progress each area will be a little different so a kit capable of multiple tests may be a wise investment if you can afford it.  https://www.amazon.com/Environmental-Concepts-1663-Professional-Tests/dp/B004W6JC2U/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=soil+test+kit&sr=8-7
You mentioned cow pies.  Take a drive and collect as many as you can.  Usually free range cattle will hang out near a water source, water trough, and there should be plenty around that area.  Maybe take some empty jugs with you too and bring back some water for anything you want to try growing or to help your smaller trees grow faster.
And, if there is enough privacy urine is a good nutrient for what's growing.  It's gotta go somewhere so water a tree or a bush.

All these suggestions are a good starter, but like others said make swales or level off the ground in terraces to help the water soak into your property instead of running off your property.  Even if each small swale is made of your available small stones or some gathered dead tree branches or if you have to borrow or rent a small tractor or mini-excavator for a weekend it will be well worth it.  When you take a couple inches off the uphill side of each area push that dirt over about 15 or 20 feet to the low side and repeat until you have several small steps down your sloped property.  If you  can't afford a machine get a shovel and each time it rains scrape an inch or two from the high side and use it to make the swale on the lower side.  You can also use the shovel to make small channels to direct even the slightest run off towards anything you decide to plant.  Odds are you can't dig the dry soil so you will need to play in the rain.  You may need to keep in mind your downhill neighbor (if there really is one) may not appreciate major changes depriving them of the water.  It doesn't look like you have neighbors that will be concerned but keep it in mind.  Once you have the start of swales or the ground sort of leveled off in areas then you can enhance the dirt with everything I mentioned above.  Even if you only want to level off 2 or 3 small areas do it sooner than later so anything you add can start helping to nourish the native soil.

One last suggestion, if you decide to trim back some of your trees lower branches make the cut horizontal about waist high and use that level-ish end of the branch to make a shelf.  Screw a piece of 2x12 or other flat material onto the flat surface and you have a table under a tree to keep your favorite beverage or to place tools or other items you are working with, I just used the saw to cut a larger branch length wise and made my own boards.  If you want the entire tree gone but you are OK with the stump cut it off table top high and you can screw down a table top or work bench.  Keep n mind though that those trees create shade so don't cut too many too fast.  I made the tables when I first started clearing my land because I was tired of kneeling down to sharpen the chain saw blade on the ground.  Junipers hold a ton of sand in the bark and will dull a chain saw blade real fast.  8 years later and I still have several of the old "tables" I made in the yard.
 
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