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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Water Catching Time

One of the strengths of hugelkultur is its ability to catch the water while things are moist, and retain it for later (kind of like a wetland does!)

This is the lake that naturally formed from snowmelt, at the base of our driveway next to the garden. How convenient...

All it took was gravity and one 6 foot length of pipe to span from the garden's edge to the closest hugelkultur bed in the making.

A pile of vertical spruce wood, leaves and manure is a sponge waiting in the wings.

The melt water enters the pipe from the temporary lake...

...and the water exits right where I need it. The plastic under the pipe helps disperse the water as it enters the hugel-bed. This is the time of year to recharge the beds, to be ready for the dog days of summer! It's hard to imagine the heat of summer right now, but it is coming... Catching some of the water that flows so freely now is akin to making hay while the sun shines.

Does water collect where you live, in a place where you can capture some of it? 
If so, I'd love to hear about what you are doing to catch melt and rain water.


  1. What a boon!

    There is a draw with a seasonal "creek" running through our property. The driveway crosses over it. There used to be an enormous 24" culvert under the driveway, but one end was crushed by logging trucks, and it was clogged throughout with debris. When we replaced the old culvert, we installed a high row of three 8" culverts, instead. The idea is to allow a pond to form on the uphill side (as it was already wont to do), to slow and sink the meltwater. We also wanted to slow and sink the debris, so only clean water flows through the high culverts.

    (You can see photos of the culverts in action last year, on our old blog site:

    In the future, when we get some hugelkultur beds set up in the nearby garden, we plan to drop a hose in the pond and siphon some of that water out to boot the recharge on the beds. Looking forward to it! Your blog is inspirational!

    1. Thank you for sharing about your meltwater project, Kristin! It looks like you've been working hard in your draw to maximize the benefits that come with this time of year. That's great! How is it looking this year? You will be glad you went to the effort of slowing the water down. All the best with this project! Please keep me posted.


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