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What to do with solid rock?

 
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I have some fairly steep (+/- 30% grade) Colorado property that is pretty much solid rock with a token amount of organic material on it and a bunch of trees. In my dream world, I would build terraces and everything would be amazing. In reality, I don't know how much the neighbors would appreciate me blasting 1/3 of my mountainside away, and I don't have any soil to put there anyway. I can just walk down the hill and drop seeds, but there's got to be a better way of improving the land here. There's more description and pictures of the land here https://permies.com/t/45591/introductions/Denver and I've started a thread about building soil here https://permies.com/t/45665/soil/Rock-Mountainside-top so hopefully I can start to get some ideas to form a plan of action. The land is off-grid and completely unimproved, so clean slate, but the county thinks we're in the middle of Denver as far as zoning goes so either stuff that can fly under the radar or that will be completely agreeable to the powers that be.

Thanks so much for your thoughts on my situation, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!
Tommy
 
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Hugels. Selectively drop trees on contour, the weak ones or places they are too thick, etc. Hopefully at the start of the rainy season, so you can plug them with mushrooms and add some sort of compost or soil to the upslope. Just enough to get some soil building plants started.
 
Tommy Kilpatrick
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R Scott - I'm planning hugel-type-thingies, but there is virtually no soil there. As much as we don't want to import everything, I'm thinking it would be in our best interest to truck in some soil/dirt/compost/whatever to get hugels started that can then build a much larger growing space than the soil itself would make. Thanks for the ideas!

Tommy
 
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cause cracks and holes with subsequent cracks to occur (blast, pound, pound...)

put thin layer crushed/pulverized granite

put logs, thin layer p. granite

put deep layer green manure

put lesser size wood (mixed species, branches, non-allelopathic), mixed dried weeds (no longer "propagatable" and other fibrous weedy substances with deep root mineral stored accumulation...) pack..pack..pack

somewhere in process, check progress of soil wall/earth buildup integrity - is it holding? need more, long lasting heard wood, structure? Plant different variety oak seeds....

put complex, fibrous top (e.g. sod turned upside down other such rooty/soilish/bio-acccumalated mass) the weedy stuff you would never put in your compost pile (dried in sun above round first)

soil, compost, cover... water, plant seed...
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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One log laid on contour will collect a surprising amount of organic matter. Done with intention and the results can be amazing.

Get whatever organic matter you can, and you should only need a little compost to act as a starter culture. But sometimes finished compost is cheaper, especially if you figure the volume lost as you make compost from raw organic matter. Go figure.

 
pollinator
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Are you soild rock only, or do you also have chunks of rock you could construct with? I'd look at making some mini terraces by placing stones on contour. The rows of rocks will trap organic matter and some fine particles of soil and give you bands you can plant in.

Mini-terraces forming using collected rocks
 
Pia Jensen
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I recommend the blast, cause cracks, pound scenario for the mineral releasing (fast plant root / top growth development) and structure in-filling - build the base with a strong-interwoven, multi-material foundation. It will rapidly hold strong and last long. I do believe.... Look at history: Germany's dying Black Forest granite application,forest healing ... apply the sciences on nutrition & structural integrity...
 
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