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Posts Tagged ‘Swales’

Swale spacing

permaculturenews.org writes…

“Douglas Barnes of permaculturereflections, who is a sustainable designer from the countryside in Tweed Ontario, has created a great tool that can be used to help with Swale implementation.

This calculator, located on his website here, addresses Swale spacing that has been a perennial question in Permaculture. This calculator turns the problem on its head and gives you the best estimate for spacing based on swale size.

WHY CALCULATE SPACING?

Installing swales costs time, energy, and money. Over-installation of swales is a waste of resources. Under-installation is a missed opportunity. If you want to have an optimal system, you’ll need to calculate spacing. The good news is that now it’s easy with our calculator!…”

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Temperate Climate Permaculture writes…

In Permaculture, a swale is a method used to harvest rain water.  They are long shallow trenches that run along the contour of the land.  This means that swales are perfectly level.  Swales do not direct water flow, but they collect water.  The soil removed from the swale is piled on the downhill side to make a slightly raised bank or berm.  When rain falls, the water runs along the surface of the topsoil, and it will collect in the depression of a swale.  The water will slowly seep into the soil and collect in underground pockets that will supply the roots of plants through weeks and even months without rain…

Illustration showing the water storage of a swale – from Gaia’s Garden

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