Most people recommend waiting and watching your property for the first year you own it, prior to building any land works or planting anything. To an extent, we’ve observed the sunlight and water patterns for almost 3 seasons. But mostly, we’re watching and building as we discover issues that need managing (I.e., our swales, the terrace garden, etc.)
In order to get a jump on fruit and nut trees, we’ve planted our bareroot trees in 8 gallon grow pouches. That way, the roots have time to develop before we put them in their permanent home, and we have another year to watch the light and water patterns around the homestead to determine the best location for the orchard.
What I noticed yesterday after about 2 inches of rainfall was that the swales are effectively slowing water run off and preserving our garden. What a wonderful feeling seeing your efforts prove worthwhile. But the biggest observation of the day was the collection of water near our willow tree. It is at the lowest point in our property, and at the point where our driveway splits into a circle around the house.
It’s a lot of water.
In fact, even after wind and sun today, it’s still pretty swampy. So, we are now considering some water loving plants. Perhaps some marshmallow, water cherries, duck potatoes, lotus, or possibly melons?
In any case, if we decide to turn the space into a rain garden, we will utilize the naturally occurring excess of water in order to create an environment where we can grow useful edibles or medicinals. For now, we’re continuing to watch and observe the weather patterns this spring and tracking rainfall and inches of water accumulation, and length of time the area stays saturated to determine what will grow best. But for now, the area makes an enormous splashy puddle for my little man.