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Soil Articles

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This site has hundreds of articles on rainwater harvesting. But the often overlooked place to start is with your soil. Do you even need a tank? This section of articles is intended to assist you in answering this question. Once you are comfortable you have great soil, next check to see if your irrigation system working as efficiently or effective as it should?

Below are some articles to get started or start with the FREE Site Analyzer and save some time. >> Site Analyzer

Where Do I Start?

There are hundreds of parts in a typical-sized rainwater harvesting system. With time and research most aspects of a rain water harvesting system can be figured out. The article and tools it links to will help you get started. >> more

Passive versus Active Rainwater Harvesting

There is wide spread interest in water conservation and specifically in capturing and reusing rainwater in both residential and commercial buildings to reduce costs, reduce the environmental impact of the building and lessen the load on the municipal sewer and stormwater systems in the arid southwest where droughts are a way of life. >> more

Free Fertilizer

When fall is in the air the evenings are cool and out here in lovely Santa Fe, the smell of pinion smoke is in the air, we are blessed with wonderful sunsets and spectacular fall colors. It is time for a little yard cleanup. Pruning trees and plants, cleaning the yard and maybe a little fertilizer on the plants before winter sets in. Raking up the fallen leaves and putting them in bags to be hauled away or blown on the street for others to deal with is a fall ritual. >> more

Conserving Water by Mimicking Mother Nature

One of the biggest potable water uses is outdoor irrigation. There are many mechanical and active ways to reduce this water use but maintaining healthy soil has not been talked about as a popular method. For example, installing a rainwater harvesting system, installing a gray water system, upgrading your irrigation system with rain and moisture sensors; replacing plants with more drought-tolerant ones; or simply adding a few more inches of mulch around your plants are popular methods. These are all great improvements and all will definitely result in a lower water bill. >> more

Swales & Berms: Low Tech Solution for Rainwater Runoff

iHere's a sample of email questions I've been getting lately:

  • What can I do with all this rainwater? I have rain barrels, but they overflow. How can I deal with the overflow?
  • I don't have time or money to install rain barrels or gutters, but I still would like to save rain water, what can I do?

Swales or berms could be your answer. They are literally as old as the hills and have been used to control water flow for centuries. Today they are still used around the world but have been all but forgotten here in the United States as a way to conserve water. (This is getting to be a familiar refrain!) >> more

Store Water Underground with Watson Wicks

When we hear the term below-ground water storage, a buried cistern is what usually comes to mind. Yet there is another approach that has been used for centuries — a water wick. These structures hold water and release it slowly over time. They are also commonly known as Watson wicks or pumice wicks. It has been known for centuries that mixing organic materials into soil helps it absorb and retain water. Water wicks are taking this concept to the next level by providing a large, constructed basin for this water storage. >> more

What Do Worms Have to do With It?

On small farms and in gardens around the world, a legless invertebrate has been quietly helping crops grow - simply by eating and pooping. >> more

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