Friday, January 17, 2020

Water design for version 2

In ways the new version of the gardens design is not as good as V1. V1 of my gardens was basically all designed about the winter water catchment and its in-soil flows over the year. But now the Zone 0, house and so Zone 1, main gardens of Version 2 is up on the hill with far worse natural water capture into the gardens. So it is a lot drier. V1 I barely had to water, and the new medicial garden area that V1 has evolved into, still barely needs water. Now this year hot season I have specific tanks for the zone 1 and 2 garden areas and am watering from there by hand and as I do it I'm thinking about how to automate it. Mini swales and trenches, pavers as hard surface captures, mini hugelculture piles. plus actual automation with gravity fed hoses and pumps and computers if I need it. But I enjoy the little microearthworks. Hopefully I'll get some photos to add to this blog later. Water flows down hill everything flows (ha) from that. So my main gardens are up on a hill now. Water flows from the farms on the mild uphill slope to the north, down across the ridge, past my house area, down the hill to either the quarry formed transient wetlands or down to one of the flood plains and to the creek.

So I need to capture and slow it on the way. I have minimal larger scale earthworks so its is mostly micro scale. ie earthworks per garden, per terrace or even per plant.

Hugelkultur and berms.

This is building up downhill of the plant. Rocks or old branches or building up the soil. I just build more and more over time. I am not particularly doing a hugelkulture where it is focused on compost for the soil but over time in effect it's the same thing. I'm mainly considering just directing the water, where I want it, ie the root system of the plant uphill. It's a tiny dam.
This improves with time and focus and materials but anything starts it. it marks the area, it starts to capture wind blown junk or soil.

Hard paving

Water will flow past a little rock or a stick. It won't flow past a concrete paver. still might flow under. But with manufactured products, pavers, tiles, concrete you have water impermeable material that can placed where you like. They often even have built in channels.
Roof tiles, pavers, concrete edging, big rocks. These give you lots of control of the flow.
plus they're thermal mass.

Water infiltration swales.

What's more more permaculture than swales. Compost? Everyone loves swales, but they don't need to be big. They just run perpendicular to the slope to slow water and make it enter the soil instead of running over the top.


Stick it all together and do a big bit of slope and you get terraces.
My main real terraced bits are the orchard since that is on a slope.
But all the gardens have some level of it.

Ollas, ponds and other water storage

Ollas are ceramics pots buried to slowly let the water out. These help a lot when you hand water.

Hoses and gravity feed

Right now I just have IBCs up the top of my block that gravity feed down through an attachment to normal garden hoses that I hand water the zone 1 beds.


Pumps are cool things. Pressure control. but I have to say one of the hardest peices of technology to deal with. Priming and shears and kinks in hoses and rats eating cables.


Well if you have pumps and power you may as well add a processor and some brains. You've done the hard bit.
So I could add sensors for water in the soil. temperature.
I'm most likely first just to drive it off how much water and power is spare. Checking batteries, solar pickup and levels of water supply ponds.
Dripping at best time of day so infiltrates, probably just before dawn.
So lots of neat stuff. but really none strikes as super urgent.
The main thing that would be useful is so don't need to be around on hot days.

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