It’s day 73 of the edible forest garden, and we finally got about an inch of rain today. It was good enough to test out the swale that I’ve been waiting so long for. This swale is part of my passive irrigation plan I explained here.
The point of the swale is to slow down or catch the water long enough for it to soak in the ground. This is not a pond for long term storage.
I think it’s safe to say it was a success. It took longer than I thought to fill it up, but it didn’t reached full capacity. I noticed the runoff from the sidewalk leading from the back door, as well as the runoff from between my house and the neighbor filled it up.
The front yard was a different story. I wish I could say the picture above is from the swale, but it’s not. This is my driveway. One clogged drain will cause this much standing water. yuck.
Before the next good rain, I have a few things to fix besides the drain.
Back yard: There’s just a few places I need to tweak in the swale to make it more level. I also need to plant out the low side of the swale. The last step is to fill up the swale with mulch. I’ve seen swales that were filled and some that weren’t. I plan on filling it up to help with erosion and to make it a pathway. Gutters are also a must-have in the future for even more catchment. I also need to consider the sill location with a possible second swale because it’s not if it fills up, it’s when.
Front yard: I need to connect the two drains to the swale. I think this will really improve the drainage in the front and increase my catchment capacity. There is also some tweaking with the ground between the two house to catch even more water.
The 2nd most stated comment about the garden: How are you going to water everything? Y’all- nature gives it to us. We just have to harvest it to be able to use it when we need it! This video has really got me brainstorming how I can harvest even more.
credits & resources: just my photos // geofflawton.com // thesurvivalpodcast.com // Brad Lancaster