Gaines Co, Texas - Everjams Acres

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Everjams, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Everjams

    Everjams Junior Member

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    Finally moved from town out to my 30 acres here in Gaines County. Other then seeding yearly for the past few years while I was in the military and up north I am back and just before Christmas 2015 I finally moved back to the place I have to work with. I haven't done to much but i do know that rabbits and quail are loving what I have done so far. I started working up close to the house recently to pull down some of the dirt that has built up on it and starting to make a channel for water to be collected and soaked in just up from where my water well is to help recharge water down below.

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    The before and current stage of my work so far. plans are to use the sand trap tank flooding to control water by the house and then channels down to a basin where water from the drive way to pool just east of the house or right side on third picture above. thinking of maybe digging in to the caliche and making it a possible shallow pond area or just a rain garden to soak the water before going down the hill into the draw. as seen below.

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  2. Everjams

    Everjams Junior Member

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    Also started to build some check dams along the draw edges where I can to open up the soil under the rocks there and create more space for vegetation.
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    also over time plan to do the same going down the front of the house area and each layer plant a group of trees and bushes to help spread down stream as future seeds drop and go down the flooding times.
     
  3. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Looks like you might have some clay in your soil? Are those mesquite in the background of your last photo??
     
  4. Everjams

    Everjams Junior Member

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    Yes in the background is mainly mesquites but there is some soap berry trees as well. As for the soil I think some of it may be clay but most of it is 40' or more in caliche. other then that working on getting cover crops in grown and using a pick axe to break up areas and mixing in wood chips and other organics to improve the soils as you can see the layer just inches under the soil.

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    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  5. Everjams

    Everjams Junior Member

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    So a little build up per day due work I finally finished a small Hugel bed for planting a garden out near my front yard area. With work and other stuff took me a month to do. But I did get it done.

    first layer cardboard
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    Just some cotton cloth curtains and blankets that was rotting away.
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    Next I placed some logs from some trees that I had people come dump on my land.
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    Sandy dirt from a hill that was dumped years ago before I came in.
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    I then placed smaller branches and pine needles from the trees.
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    Added more west Texas sandy dirt.
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    The final layer was some topsoil, compost and then wood chips to top off for now. Over time I plan to add more amendments as money permits.
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    Last edited: May 29, 2016
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  6. Everjams

    Everjams Junior Member

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    While working on my Garden bed I started to work on a swale as I gave in and bought a laser level and I tested out filling in part of it. Still working on this project as by shovel is taking time with the rocks as you can see in the last picture here.
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    Dogs enjoyed the water as I was filling up to make sure it was pretty level at this point.
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    So after two hours of work and about 13 in deep at this point I figured I should just work one project at a time so went back to garden bed and been here awhile. But going to work back on this now due to the garden bed is done and have some plants starting to come in now.
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  7. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Wow, nice work! Have you tried using your rocks for mulch anywhere? I would imagine that with your caliche, your soil is somewhat alkaline and that putting pine needles in the hugel bed would help bring the pH down.
     
  8. Everjams

    Everjams Junior Member

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    I am leaving some areas that I dig up on swales as they are loaded with the caliche rock but going to add in grass clippings and top soils I mainly did pine in a few ares due to putting plants that like more acidic soil like my berry vines on the fences. the first hugel bed only used pine due to only trees that have been brought in so far. My mom works for a earth moving company and they take down many trees so she has them starting to dump the trees here now. So hopefully in time I have all types of trees. which means I need to invest in a wood chipper.
     
  9. Everjams

    Everjams Junior Member

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    Here is an overview of my land and a rough observation of water flow on my land. I outlined my land in red. Black circles are where water pools for a few days after storms come through. the blue is water flow in general.
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  10. Everjams

    Everjams Junior Member

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    So with my camera I did a property walk video took 43 to walk and explain some ideas/plans that I have for the land. As a warning wind started to pick up as the sun came up so plenty of moments you have wind. Hopefully you like what I have planned. comment on video what you think.
     
  11. Everjams

    Everjams Junior Member

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    So yesterday I started working on the swale again that I started a few weeks ago I have it about halfway done.

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    Close up view on deep end looking down the unfinished portion giving you an idea how shallow my dirt is till rocky layer.
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    This image with shovel is just to give a scale on how deep it is and with me level pole it showed around 13 inches deep at this point. the two feet dug down to that depth took nearly 2 hours due to the rock you see in the portion of the pictures. So I am debating on leaving this one alone for now and seed is all now or go ahead and dig it all about the 19 inch and smooth it out. I wouldn't mind the advice as I am still researching while doing my own thing in the mean time.
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  12. Grace Pignatello

    Grace Pignatello Member

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    Hello!
    We are working with almost the same climate, soils, ect. You have done a great job! It looks like only with some hand tools. Thanks for all the pictures! Keep it up!
     

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