wayne fajkus

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since Jun 07, 2014
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Central Texas zone 8a
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Recent posts by wayne fajkus

Thought this was cool. The oak tree is dead. The leaves are all mustang grape. Normally the vines would go to the ground and create a room. The other one I had, which finally toppled over, often had a deer inside when I walked by

The cows love the leaves so I doubt they will let the leaves vine down to the ground.
2 months ago
This is what I used some of the soil for. I guess I would call it a washout area. It looks like an old dried out river bed. It does not make sense to take an eroded, low elevation area, and make a swale (make it even lower). So I made just a berm with the excess soil.  Its pretty risky but I can fix it if it blows out. There is a lot of Bermuda in there and if I can get it growing, it should hold it together.  I also mulched it with hay and seeded it with a food plot mix. Oats, wheat, peas,  brassicas.

If you look at the top left you should see a culvert. That road was added by previous owner probably 20 to 30 years ago. The diagonal flow on my property goes through that culvert. This includes overflow of the last pond I built.. This berm is uphill from the culvert so won't be effected by that flow.

It should catch water from a small area. I'll look after a rain but I suspect it will hold 6" of water in an area ruffly 30 yards x 30 yards. It'll take about 200 ft of hose to get a sprinkler to it. Considering the small size of the berm it might be worth doing it to get Bermuda and other roots holding it together sooner.
2 months ago
Here is an update on vetiver. I planted the swale line with two plantings over 2 weeks. This shows how it turns brown and looks dead, then sends up new leaves. I've kept animals off this pasture to let it establish, but at this point I can tug on the first plantings and they stay in the ground.
2 months ago
Basically done. After filling with water, I can see the berm  is not level. I have a mound of dirt I extracted. I'll add to berm to level it off. The overflow area was cut into the lowest elevation, so the water is basically at or below the pre-existing ground level before I started the project. The berm/dam is not holding the water.  My big concern is getting roots established.

To wrap up, this project took one solid day, but spread over a few days-1 or 2 hours at a time. A skidsteer and a small tractor was used. The tractor had a little more reach to smooth out the slopes with the front bucket.

I also need to direct the outgoing water to the area I'll be posting up soon

2 months ago
The dam is pretty much done. Will hay/seed it soon. I'm about half way done digging out the pond.
2 months ago
Started on another unsealed pond. I basically dug out a swale, then filled with water (using water as a surveyors level)to make sure water entry and exit was correct. Everything looks good so far. Next I will dig out about the size of the red line. I'm using the soil in another area. Will post that one soon.
2 months ago
I know the main pond has them. I got a couple in a minnow trap I had set out. I'm not actively trying to get them.
3 months ago
This is a line of vetiver on my original swale. Just planted it. It's within range of water access. This is a horse pasture. I'll have to keep them out for a while.
3 months ago
Joe, the biggest obstacle is 100 days of 100 degree weather. Any newly planted trees/perrenials will need attention to survive the first couple of years. I have lots of fails for sure.

As far as the dams, I wanted to do both, and more. The downed log/tree was on the property. When I first saw a 1 or 2 log check dam on youtube I was like "I can do that!". It was pretty cool. I want to plant vetiver across the ravine also. It will filter sediment and build grade on the uphill side. Vetiver will reroot at that higher level and restart again. The problem is the short time it takes for them to root deep . If a cow attempts to take a bite, it will pull out the whole plant. So I have to work around the cow rotation as well as moisture in the ground.

3 months ago
This is a new swale. I hope to line this with vetiver at some point. It's probably 300 ft long and 6 to 8 ft wide.  I moved the soil rather than creating a berm.
3 months ago