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Greening the desert projects

Posts: 104
Location: Hopkinsville, KY (Western KY) Zone 7
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I realize there is a forum for just projects, but I am more concerned about those related to greening the desert. What are you all doing, in practice, to learn more? What projects concerning earthworks, rainwater harvesting, water catchment/erosion control, etc., are you doing and willing to share with everyone? Large or small?

To start off, I have a few very small projects. By biggest one is erosion control. My land has two semi steep hills with a dry creek in between. The land itself is clay loam and limestone rock in most places. Whenever I find the time, I'll gather a few rocks and use them to control the erosion on the hill. Sometimes I'll just lay them on the ground to see what they do; other times I'll dig them into the dirt (like a gabion/check dam). My goal is too see how much silt and organic material they cath, and see what plants will naturally grow and help me re-vegetate my land.
Another small project is also related to water control. I have laid down some rocks to divert water flow. The rocks by themselves will not stop all of the water, but I want to see how much organic material it catches before it will.
The last project, and biggest, is a small swale. It is about twenty feet long by a foot wide, and about six inches deep. When full the water will be about eight inches deep. I want to see how well it'll catch seeds and other organic naturally and if it'll become it's on growing system. At the same time, it stops water from flowing into the back of my chicken coop. So if it does start growing green, then the chickens will have some grass to graze in while they roam around. I initially made a mistake in this project, I thought the water flow coming in would be severe so I placed rocks on the up hill side of it in order to slow the water down. Unfortunately the rocks caught nearly all of the organic material (most cedar scraps after we cut down most of our cedar trees). But I have recently moved the rocks and am waiting for more rain to see how it does.
Of course I have future plans, much bigger plans, but that is the jist of it.
What are all of you doing?
Thanks for sharing!
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