Low Down

Water runs downhill, so look to the right side of this photo. The planted and naturalized areas offer proof.

PicachoMtn-EntryUp01_2017-06-12-SML

Another person just told me how “it’s not a good idea to plant in ponding areas and drainage swales.” Like this:

DonaAnaPlaza-EmptyBasin01-SMLDonaAnaPlaza-EmptyBasin02-SML

I bet my person would find that acceptable, if only the weeds were herbicided. It’s even a historic plaza on El Camino Real.

As a designer who values enduring aspects of history or nature, that basin would be much better with native arroyo trees filling in and softening all the gravel plaza area behind it. Human and wildlife habitat.

These basins in my decade-old design were perfect for the latter, on the right side of the first photo and now below.

PicachoMtn-EntryDown01_2017-06-12-SML
Prosopis pubescens L, Celtis reticulata R / distant, some grasses and Atriplex canescens

I’m not sure all the grasses specified and installed in the pond bottoms made it, but some did. Most of the unirrigated native trees made it.

Xeric trees were specified, typical of settings getting deluged then staying dry, yet the deluge elevates soil moisture enough for long-term tree growth…similar to what’s observed in many of our arroyos.

PicachoMtn-EntryUpDown01_2017-06-12-SML

Trees were planted from smaller sizes than is regional convention. No irrigation was used in the basin, except DriWater or water truck applications the first year. That same idea was used in other basins in the same development, with similar success.

Soil: sandy loam or gravelly sand, which allows water and roots to develop deeply.

6/14/17 weather: 100 / 60 / 0.00

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One Reply to “Low Down”

  1. What I wonder is Driwater?

    Good question! It’s water suspended in a gel, as opposed to polymers that absorb water from nearby soil…more effective to temporarily irrigate in my experience on several projects than polymers. They used to sell retail directly and wholesale for contractors through irrigation distributors. They appear to have closed their business, but Driwater was used in remote locations for xeric, native plants in other dry areas, where irrigation was not available.
    http://driwater.com/ tells more.

    Liked by 1 person

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