Mini-Kraters and Swales handling winter melt

how to handle snow and the melt that comes with it

The temperatures are rising and our snow drifts are slowly melting. Snow harvesting was a wild success this year. If you’ve followed any previous posts than you know that the snow is a problem for our driveway but the melt is the real nightmare. Our driveway and road turn into a mud pit. So last summer we trenched with our new excavator and the results have been amazing!

Dry Road

That is one fabulously dry road!


The trenches are full  and the area immediately around them is saturated, but the driveway has been maintained fabulously. So far. We’ll let you know if I’m still confident about our earth works after a heavy rain.

All of the water kept off the driveway is then trenched to various places. Our swales receive most of it but we also have some retention ponds that get rather full.

The swales harvested a tremendous amount of snow and that’s melting off right now.


The harvested snow was wonderful for both insulating our fruit trees and now for watering them. The ground around the swales is amazingly saturated.

The kraters (some more than others) are still really full of snow. About 1-2′.


They are holding strong and I couldn’t be more pleased with our decision to dig them!

A downside of such heavy snow harvest is that the trees can be covered quite far up the trunk. We’ve suffered quite a bit of rabbit loss. My best, hardiest fruit tree was attacked. I tried to Dr. it but who knows if it will pull through the damage.


Doctor’d apple tree


Osage orange poking out of snow.


Blackberry. I covered them heavily this year as last year they were all entirely eaten away.

As always children running about with moisture inevitably ends with really wet children. I was taking a picture of the gorgeous ice designs in our trench when Son decided to go ice skating and…… well he learned to check the ice thickness before clambering on.

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  1. //

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  2. //

    Still learning. We just like to dive into things full throttle and learn everything the hard way.

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