Urban Swales

Before there were houses there was swamp… in Mayfield at least. At our current abode in Mayfield; topographically flat, thick, wet clay.

Thus when it rains we have a drowning effect which tends to rule out a lot of those plants that like it well drained. To help direct and hold the water while allowing the trees of our mini urban food forest to breathe, we dug a set of swales. Its easy to do and can be adapted to any scale and soil type. We dug out the planned pathway, using the excavated soil to mound the swales on either side. Now we just keep the path filled with heavy mulch for the walking surface which doubles as a water sponge and reservoir after heavy rains. In the super-heavy rains, the swales allow the fruit trees to stay above the level of water.

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