The ABCs of Homesteading: P is for Ponds and Preparedness


Pond Overflow Plan 

When I first started writing this blog series a few years back, I planned this post to be all about making ponds. This summer though, we had a climate reckoning on our homestead.

Climate Reckoning

From July 22 to August 21, we had 22.5 inches of rain brutalize landscape, bending tree limbs from the weight of water and testing the limits of our soil's water storage capacity. Shortly after that, we got a peripheral pounding from hurricanes Florence and Michael.

Mineral Maladies

After these events, everywhere I went I saw trees ad plants with signs of severe calcium, nitrogen, and other mineral deficiencies. In our vegetable garden, nitrogen disappeared and potassium and phosphorous rose to excessive amounts. The soil pH also dropped by about .5 throughout our landscape.

Our grape vines lost their leaves and went dormant for weeks in summer and then started putting on new leaf growth in mid-October. Some people's fruit trees blossomed as if it were spring.

Unexpected Outcomes

In other landscapes, where soil had obviously washed away in the flooding, loss of nutrients through leaching seemed a likely explanation for all those unhealthy plants. Yet, on our landscape, we only had erosion in two small areas which we quickly fixed.

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