I know my writing is a little back to front but I am writing this to encourage people you can do anything you desire if you put your heart soul blood sweat & tears into it, you will surprise yourself… Go for it.
So Tuesday little white flags in hand I head out the back just outside the house yard there’s an area under a stupid palm tree(whoever chose to plant palm trees in an area known for snakes bats & cockroaches should be sent up a beanstalk to live with the giants, such ridiculous is beyond me).
I don’t know if you can see in the picture just how split my trusty mattock is but believe me with every blow to the earths crust it grabs my skin. I in agony only after a little while & wondering how long before the handle was going to end up embedded in my hand, had the logical bright idea of electrical tape the fixer of all things that need fixing, you can never have enough, that also goes for bailing twine but that’s another story for later, So taped up & back to work. From the pictures you can also tell what kind of soil (not) I am dealing with.
In the pictures below you can see my berm not huge but my swale does fit a wheel burrow as the instructions suggested, I will accumulate some money, I will top up the berm with soil but in the meantime there is a heap of top soil around the edge of the dam I will wheel burrow up & horse poop. Can you see my trusty little flags well one is standing at least in the distance so cute!
The log in the middle picture the flaming thing weighed a ton, but under my pick mattock & a drenching with water underneath, it finally moved, it’ll be great firewood.
You cannot imagine my excitement at making a puddle. Are you ready, now for the reveal of such an amazing feat I very tentatively got the hose the whole time telling myself not to panic if it doesn’t work its only dirt (well mostly clay with a dirt like substance) it can be moved, so with the grip of a small traumatized minion on the hose, turned the tap on & the water flowed into my very first swale & it sat there, it worked, IT WORKED, IT WORKED. Talk about academy award-winning moment, it worked.The water didn’t rush off it sat there. So with my holey joggers full of earths clay like core with the cold & dark of evening settling in I reluctantly dragged myself up into the house, as on this high I would’ve kept digging all night. Alas there was no rain all night, I should know as I was awake most of the night with delirious hopes of rain just so I could see my swale in action. Waking the next morning to find the swale was still wet, it really does work, the proof is in the swale. after having moved the log & filling that gap with a large rock it worked & over time as soil is created I will replace it if I need, I’ll let you know in the future.
I just started with a pic as we haven’t had decent rain in a couple of months now & combine that with clay ground, a pic worked wonders to initially break it all up, then using the mattock to get a bit deeper to break up what seemed to be the earths core & then shift it with the spade. Sounds monotonous I know but it does work & if you can’t afford machinery I encourage you persevere you can do it.
Swale digging directions it had been suggested to me to use a flat or square nosed spade NO the easiest spade I found was slightly pointed & I sharpened it with the grinder, after all the pick & mattock have done most of the work with getting the swale to the right depth & width, now spade & I together moved the earths core like substance to create the berm. to get the all important even surface I used a metal rake. Yes I do refer to my yard tools as us as when you are working on your own & looking for reliability why not they are there with you through all the hard yakka never giving up never complaining like a true trusted friend. This is my life, I love.