Re: HD ridging, Reuben Hofshi, 13. Sep 2013 20:37
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Reuben, I don't quite understand how mounding the ridges up and down the hill would help with erosion. Seems you're creating riverbeds. Wouldn't putting them on contour -- perpendicular to the grade -- capture the rainfall and prevent erosion better, or does it depend on the soil type?
Creating riverbeds is what I want to accomplish. One hectare is (100X100 M =10,000 M2). Each ridge is 2.5 M wide at the base and the combined channel between two ridges equals to 2.5 M. so let’s say that there are approximately 20 ridges per hectare each 100 M long. You need to have 2-3 WELL DESIGNED roads that are perpendicular to the ridges. (The distance between roads depends on factors such as slop, tree density, soil type etc.). The ridges are constructed with an excavator that mixes the soil one meter deep with the top soil scraped from the surrounding trench. The resulting ridge is a rather uniform blend of top soil from 5 M and together with the soil that was excavated. The trench is a depression with no loose top soil and therefore rather compact.
If a fair amount of rainfall comes down continually (assume 5 cm) on a soil that has been soaked by rainwater during previous events, you have 20 “riverbeds” to carry 5 hectare/cm. Not having these riverbeds the rainwater will tend to create a channel to drain the water with a potential for serious erosion.
If your grove is on flat land you will have no problem building ridges in any direction you wish. On hillsides, ridges that are perpendicular to the slope especially if they are constructed along the contour will require draining channels or you will end up with erosion that is likely to destroy some of the ridges. I think that your best choice is, if you find it necessary to elevate the plants that you just create mounds and plant the trees this way.
I don’t like ridges in any direction because you are likely to end up with hedgerows which are difficult to harvest and require sophisticated pruning strategy.
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