Now, I know you want to grow wine grapes in poor soil so that the grapes come out sweeter to compensate, but I hadn't heard of dry farming before.
Is this really a thing?
it rains for six months out of the year, almost every day.
in those parts theres people who are into dry farming, but a major part of it is using mulch and other methods to hold the abundant rainfall during the wet seasons, to be utilized by the plants during the dry season. and they also like textures and hills....
i dont do dry farming, i sometimes water, but only during the most dry times. half the year theres no need to use any water...at least in the rainy parts of northern cal.
On a total of about 30 acres we where farming 3/4 of the land without irrigation. This included all of our potatoes, onions, and head lettuce. The most important thing in (dry) farming (in my opinion) is to be able to read your land and select crops appropriately . The land we were dry farming was mostly bottom land in the center of valleys. One was an extent of rocky silt which quite obviously was a stream bed since the end of the last ice age.
The other was a large area of peat which sat on top of a large aquifer. When we ran the tractor atop it you could feel the whole field shake. Both of these sites had natural subsoil irrigation. I would be happy to comment more and I could probably answer further questions if you have any for me.
it makes sense to do dry farming, or at least *water wise* gardening here, but this probably wouldnt work as well in a different region.
A huge number of tree/shrub crops can be dryfarmed with underlying annuals.
Around here it's very location dependent. One valley has this hard clay soil and this bedrock, while just on the otherside it's an annual floodplain with deep topsoil. Which just means you grow a different set of plants/crops.
Dry farming is fun but has advantages.
Landon Sunrich wrote:On a total of about 30 acres we where farming 3/4 of the land without irrigation. This included all of our potatoes, onions, and head lettuce.
Both of these sites had natural subsoil irrigation. I would be happy to comment more and I could probably answer further questions if you have any for me.
Hi Landon, I hope you are well, and still around! I'd love to hear more about dry farming lettuce and onions, specifically. I'm in Western Washington, and have never heard of anyone dry farming lettuce!
And I'd also love to learn more about your natural subsoil irrigation, and how densely you planted your crops to take advantage of it without stressing it too much. Thanks for anything you can share!
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