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applestar
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I dug a swale! & Plans for future swales...

I'm forging ahead with ideas from Gaia's Garden.
Today, I dug a tiny swale in the place I plan to put in a small pond in the near future. I wasn't ready to do the pond, but I needed a place to put my carnivorous plants, So a nice little swale to catch-basin water from a downspout next to the patio -- turned out to be solid clay subsoil -- filled it with peat moss (sorry opabina, but I already had a bale of it in the shed) and some sand. We just had a steady day-long rain so water started seeping into it right away. Sank pots of pitcher plants and Venus fly traps. Left to do some shopping, came back to the little spot now named "The Bog Swale" (sounds grand, doesn't it?) completely filled with water. Topped it off with more sand and peat. Aww, the li'l tykes look happy already. :wink:

The plan is to dig another, slightly larger swale in the 2nd Future Pond area, which will catch the spill over from The Bog Swale and will then direct it to my Shady Garden. Hm Hm 8)

I also plan to dig a swale in front of the Blueberry Patch. I originally envisioned a little rocky dry stream that will rush the downspout water to the blueberries, which will be surrounded by a moat. But my idea now is to dig and level the ground at subsoil level in front of the blueberries where a garden bench sits on a little mound (DUH! :oops: ), line the swale with pea gravel then top it with some slate stepping stones I have lying around for a nice little bench patio. :wink:

Let me know if you spot any flaws in these plans.

TheLorax
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Sounds awesome so far!

Photos???

Consider rinsing your sand very well if it is your intent to use it as a medium for planting carnivorous plants. Sand that hasn't been thoroughly rinsed might not take a toll on them this year and possibly not even next year but it definitely can do in these types of plants.

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applestar
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Oh wow. I forgot about washing the sand... :( Well, I used playground sand which is supposed to be pre-washed, but ... ee gads, do you think I should dig them up and repot? :?

Here's a pic of my little Bog Swale -- it's tiny but serviceable for now. My little milkweed patch is behind it. No Monarch eggs so far, and I haven't seen any adults yet although my 6 yr old insisted she saw one the other day.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image983.jpg[/img]

Here's the Blueberry Bench:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image1004.jpg[/img]
This plant is growing next to it. I've no idea what it is -- the leaves looked interesting so I let it grow and now it's has these darling yellow flowers -- looks a bit like a potentilla. Each flower is open for only one day.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image1010.jpg[/img]

TheLorax
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What's done is done and no way would I dig it all up to pre-wash playsand. If you were going to forget washing sand, that one is the lesser of the evils to have forgotten to rinse.

You've really put a lot of hard work into that area. It's going to look even nicer when the vegetation starts filling out.

Looks like a classic white potentilla to me. You could try Potentilla erecta and see if that's a match. Something isn't right with the leaves to me although I'm not getting a good peek at them in your photo.

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applestar
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Oh darn. I checked out Potentilla erecta, but the the number of petals and the shape of leaves weren't the same. I think this one is Potentilla recta (sulfur cinquefoil) and is on noxious weed list in several states. :?
Sulfur cinquefoil is native to the eastern Mediterranean region of Eurasia. It occurs sparsely in England, and occurs in central and southern Europe from central France and Germany to central Spain, Sicily and the Middle East. It is found in western and central Asia to approximately 100 E longitude, and south to Asia Minor and northern Iran. Sulfur cinquefoil also occurs in the mountains of North Africa [91].
I'll enjoy it for a little while longer, then bid it adieu. Probably when I dig the bench swale. (funeral march :wink: )

Thanks for the encouragement (and for saying I don't have to re-plant the swale) :D

TheLorax
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I definitely have Potentilla recta popping up here. I'm familiar with that one. Mine has leaves like this-
https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PORE5&photoID=pore5_001_avd.tif
Does yours have leaves like that?

I can take a photo of one before I waste it here if you think that would help.

Your "swale" is perfectly fine. You'll be able to experiment with many different types of plants just because you have one. Sure, you might lose some carnivorous plants over the long haul because they simply don't tolerate nutrients in their medium all that well but there's a learning curve to just about everything we do and playsand is considerably cleaner than most of the other sands you could have gotten your hands on. If you begin losing plants, plant some nutrient hogs in your swale for a few years. That oughta help. Then try carnivorous plants again.

opabinia51
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Whoa! a bit late into this thread. But, wow apple, I'm so proud of you! That's wonderful! Gaia's Garden is my bible for gardening. Good on you!
Feed the soil, not the plants.

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applestar
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Thanks :D
I planted a couple of satoimo (taro?) corms in there to suck up extra nutrients. One has come up, the other one is just below the water surface. (Normally, the water isn't this high, but it ACTUALLY sprinkled a little bit last night (We're in the drought season.) [img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image1220.jpg[/img]
Only concern is that these will get big, but maybe I'll just keep cutting the leaves -- more greens for the compost, and maybe it'll force the plant to suck up even more nutrients. For the moment, growing edible corms is not the main issue. After I experiment a little with this little bog/swale, I can think about that when I expand. Now I want a sundew. 8)

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