Hey all. We organic garden, and just built a house "in town". We ARE downhill from a wheat field, so I suppose it isn't a TRUE organic garden, but we try the best we can. Anyways, JUST above the garden we got a new neighbor this fall. Their backyard will run right into our garden, which is only a few feet away.
I tried letting him know that we organic garden, and would love a headsup before he uses chemicals this spring so we can get drainage in. But he said he doesn't use any...I said even fertilizer counts, and he said "oh that stuff won't hurt you" ugh.
So, I need to get some drainage in asap, but can't work with the ground (frozen solid) until early march at the earliest. What do you recommend? It's a pretty steep bank between our yards, so I think we'll be ok with something more shallow to catch most of the surface run-off. It needs to be something that can be LONG and won't clog (sticky mud) because it runs the whole 100 feet of the back of our property.
Any ideas? And what else can i do?!
Jill, mama to three fiery girlies and a sweet baby boy: Grace, 11.30.2005, Ayla, 3.22.2008, Norah 9.5.09, Reed 8.19.11 & dfs Gage 2.29.12 x4
I don't have a 'for sure' answer, but I'd be looking to books on permaculture for answers. A lot of permaculture books devote a fair amount of space to ideas for catching and containing water, and you'd probably find some ideas that would work for you. Rather than draining the runoff away, I think I'd go for building swales on the hill, and planting them with plants that are good at filtering the water. I know "Gaia's Garden" by Hemenway has a section on filtering grey water using a combination of gravel (to aid drainage) and plants (like cattails) that are experts at filtering water.
You mentioned mud - is your soil clay? Because it's my understanding that clay is very good at binding to chemicals. this means that the chemicals get trapped in the soil quickly, and really tend not to spread too far from the land where they were applied. That might offer a little more peace of mind!