Monday, December 1, 2008

Drainage Project: It Finally Rained!

We had our first appreciable rain of the season last week. Here in L.A. we get about 5-10 rainstorms with an inch or two of rain each. It creates a dramatic feast or (mostly) famine situation. Besides a little half an inch tease last month we haven't seen any rain at all since the spring. We'll have more posts about the positive effects of the recent rain on our native garden later but first comes this maintenance project.

We have some steps that lead down to the vegetable garden by way of a decomposed granite path. We love decomposed granite (DG as the pros refer to it) most of the year but when it rains the paths are muddy and are easily contaminated with other dirt or mulch that can float onto it from other parts of the garden. Even worse than the contamination is the erosion that the flow of water directly over the paths creates. You can see that a little river ran through our path in the picture above.
I added a small break before the steps which should divert most of the water to the side, away from the path. It also creates a nice spot to locate the hose which is currently feeding the trailer. You can see in the first picture that it used to just run across the path.

I also cleaned out some of the dirt in front of the first step and angled what was left slightly so that it would drain to the side into a little adjacent swale.

We'll see how it does in the next rain storm. I'd like to place another similar break/step a few feet in front of this one. That won't happen until it reaches the top of a long prioritized list.

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