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My First Swale

 
                                          
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I just finished my first small scale swale. Its about 5 ft long and 10 inches deep.  I live in a semi arid hot area of southern california and I was wondering if it would be better to fill the swale with 1-2 cm rocks or really dry leaves? I've got beans, cucumbers, and some herbs seeded in the berm.
 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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I just made a swale and am in arid hot southern ca, too! i think if I can get my hands on some (free) i will probably end up putting rocks or some other mulching material in it, but for now i'm just leaving it be.
 
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In a hot dry area you want to plant food plants in the basin or bottom part of the swale where the water collects and reserve the berm for drought tolerant plants such as Prickly Pear.  Mulch the bottom with leaves and other organic debris.  If the berm needs reinforcement, you can put rocks on the downhill side of it. 

 
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generally swales are to hold moisture, rocks won't hold moisture in that type of situation I don't believe
 
                                          
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
In a hot dry area you want to plant food plants in the basin or bottom part of the swale where the water collects and reserve the berm for drought tolerant plants such as Prickly Pear.  Mulch the bottom with leaves and other organic debris.  If the berm needs reinforcement, you can put rocks on the downhill side of it. 



Alright thanks, how much mulch should I put on the bottom? Also do you think it would be beneficial to put potatoes on the berm. Potatoes and dought tolerant beans?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Potatoes probably aren't drought tolerant enough to live on the berm, I would plant them in the swale and cover with a few inches of mulch. 
 
                                          
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Potatoes probably aren't drought tolerant enough to live on the berm, I would plant them in the swale and cover with a few inches of mulch.   


alright. so do you think the beans should do just fine at holding the berm?
 
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