Earthworks Update

I had originally planned on doing a single post to sum up the earthworks I had done. However, it was so long I had to break it into two parts. The previous Earthworks post was all about the construction. This post is all about the swales and basins in action.

Our driveway is a nightmare in all but bone dry conditions. Our driveway is lower than the surrounding land and simply collects and stores water. The ducks appreciate that and move from the pond I built them to the driveway after every rain storm.

bad driveway

We appreciate it a bit less as our cars are small and have to be towed out of the mud regularly. So I finally decided to dig a trench on one side of the driveway with the tractor. We were able to do that and use the back blade to make it fairly decent. The dirt dug from the trench was put back onto the driveway to try to get it crowned. It is working fairly well.

Here is the amount of water our driveway holds after a single rainstorm. This is just a small section of our driveway as well. This water used to spread out into large ponds all over our driveway. The trench has kept the water to one side for the most part. The trench is also draining into a small retention pond.

20140805_194209This is one of my swales collecting driveway water. It is slowly draining away. Works great!

This i a diversion ditch we dug from the driveway and into the swale.Another angle of the diversion ditch with the swale seen through the bushes.

My ditch digging helper!

Now all of that was just one rain storm. I also took some pictures after a snow storm.

rabbit trail

I just had to share a picture of this rabbit trail. It is insane how many rabbits we have!

snowy swale

nut swale

This is a swale on the nut forest side of our orchard. So far I only have a few walnuts planted in it. These swales were a bit smaller than the fruit tree swales. As you get closer to the edge of our property the swales completely disappeared under the snow. They held a lot of snow for us.


Now this was the retention pond I did at the lowest point of our property. It is hard to see how deep the snow is here but it was over a foot. It filled up quite well. My son is in this picture doing snow angels in it. He loved our adventure out into the snow.

fruit swale
This is what the fruit tree swales looked like. They did collect a fair amount of snow.

basin in the snow

And this is the retention basin that our driveway drains into. It is over 2 feet deep and it filled in completely. I think this shows me how great retention basins are for our property with the wind. I am going to do many, many more in 2015.

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