making my first swale
Hi,people! I think the best solution to my erosion/run-off problem in my sharply-sloping rose garden might be a swale; from what i'm seeing and reading on Internet, these seem like a GREAT idea. Too bad I didn't know about them 15 years ago when I started my garden,because now I'll have to work around what i already have.
Now for my questions. First of all, I understand the idea of digging the swale along the contour of the land. Is it really necessary to use an A-frame level for this? because frankly,in the area I am thinking to put my swale, the contour seems pretty clearly visible . It's very rough, uneven terrain, and I'm clearly going to have to bring in soil to complete the berm and make it all relatively even, but I guess the idea of using some kind of precision instrument just seems redundant, considering the nature of my site,and the small scale of my project: it will be dug by me with a pick and shovel,for example,and be no more than say, 10 meters long.
Secondly,I must decide at what level to make my swale. Do the plants on the up-hill side of the swale end out benefitting from the harvested water ,or are only the ones on the down-hill,berm side benefitted? Thanks in advance, bart