The Field spends 50% of it’s time being dry and dormant, and the other 50% flourishing with flowers and grasses over 3 feet tall. The longterm goal is to optimize the natural spring moisture and summer drought in this area.
In the next two years I plan to till in the grass, add some compost and old chicken bedding. From there I’d like to form several hugelkultur mounds and swales and plant a slew of self-seeding spring wildflowers and early herbs to take advantage of the spring moisture. During the summer I can plant heat-loving veggies as well as some melons and squash with large leaves to shade the soil a bit to help retain moisture.
If I’m feeling brave I’d also like to design a small marsh pond in the center with shallow troughs that radiate out to surround the hugel mounds. This will catch any excess moisture we get naturally and/or store any runoff from overwatering.