Saturday, August 20, 2011

Permaculture and Rocks - Mico-dams

So I was studying my yard for about an hour today.  This "study" consists of walking around while the sprinklers run and just looking.  The back of my yard is a very steep slope up to the yard behind us.  I'm in Utah so we are in an alpine desert.  The slope is eroding.

After a while I began asking my self, "why does that plant (weed?) grow there?"  I noticed that around the rocks that are a foot around lots of plants grow. but on the barren eroding slope nothing grows.  The dirt eroding down the hill get dammed up behind the rocks and forms a small flat spot where the plants grow.

The rocks also deflect the rain to the plants and keep the soil under the rock cooler and moist.  Our back patio has nice green grass between the flagstones for the same reason.

I have taken lots of the rocks that were along the bottom of the slope, and moved them up into the erosion gullies as little dams to hold back the dirt.  We will see how it looks next summer.

P.S. In the spirit of getting many synergistic things done at once, I also got some good weight lifting in without the cost of a Spa.