In an effort to greatly reduce and even eliminate irrigation we have implemented a number of features in our landscape.
In conjunction with the water storing properties of hugelkultur beds, when possible, our garden beds are shaped to maintain level ground with the slope of the land. By doing this we are putting our garden beds 90° to the flow of water, thus stopping, and sinking this water into our beds. This design allows for harvesting the most amount of water possible for a given garden bed.
Along the pathway of one of our food forest systems, a water catchment ditch (swale) was dug to allow for even more water to be harvested from the house downspouts.
The hardscaping is graded with a slight tilt towards the garden, moving the water from the downspouts and towards our plants.
The swale is broken up in three sections, where each section is graded to be level with itself. This allows for water to evenly soak the 8' section before moving downhill to the next graded section.
This allows for upwards of 450 gallons to be soaked and stored in the soil during a rain event.
It was finished off with a backfill of woodchips to maintain airspace for the water to seep through, while allowing a level surface with the walkway.