Sponge Ladders: A Water Harvesting Method for Establishing Perimeter Shelterbelts on Sloped Sites

Mr. Chris Meuli came up with the brilliant idea of soil sponging. As stated in my earlier post, soil sponges are holes dug in the ground that are filled with organic material (such as paper, cardboard, wood chips, etc.). The purpose of the soil sponges are to absorb and slow down the flow of water on a downward slope. The water is then redistributed among the area, allowing nearby trees and plants to thrive. Below is a picture of a soil sponge my friend Will and I created in the Desert Oasis Garden.

Mr. Chris created a useful reading that is titled, Sponge Ladders: A Water Harvesting Method for Establishing Perimeter Shelterbelts on Sloped Sites. In this reading, he explains exactly how simple it is to create a water sustainable garden. He explains that no matter the size of the landscape we are using, results will be effective. Mr. Meuli states the importance of nearby shrubs and trees among the shelterbelt landscape. Shelterbelts are areas of land in which we have modified to effectively hold water. Trees and shrubs are important to have nearby, because the soil sponges/ladders will need areas to replenish with water. The true difficulty is, many of the sights we want to modify are not level. It is very challenging to hold rapid water runoff from the rainfall long enough to soak into the soil sponges.

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