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A grass to help capture rainwater  RSS feed

 
Tom Connolly
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If land is at an excess...if an acre could be graded so that it had a gradual slope in the same direction, with a trench at the bottom...is there some kind of grass that could be grown on that acre that has a really tight root pattern...so that most of the water would roll off and into the trench?
 
Jd Gonzalez
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Location: Virginia,USA zone 6
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Not knowing your zone, i would venture to say Zoysia grass or Bermuda grass. Both reproduce by stolons and have a carpet like root system. Howeve, Zoysia does best under full sun. Both go dormant in temperate zones. I think Zoysia withstands dry spells better
 
Tom Connolly
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Is this idea plausible? Most of the areas I am looking for land in only get 10" of rain a year or so. Is it realistic to expect some kind of plant to grow such a tightly knit root structure that more than half of the rain flows off?
 
Bill Bradbury
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Location: Richmond, Utah
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Tom Connolly wrote:Is this idea plausible? Most of the areas I am looking for land in only get 10" of rain a year or so. Is it realistic to expect some kind of plant to grow such a tightly knit root structure that more than half of the rain flows off?

Hi Tom,

I'm no grass expert, but we have had good luck with using crested wheat grass in low precipitation/fertility areas. It is a perennial grass with a deep root system and the seed is easy to come by.
 
Isaac Bickford
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Location: Okanogan County, WA
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What is your soil and rainfall pattern like? Ten inches of rain in ten events per year is much different than falling evenly throughout the year.

Generally, I've seen vegetation as a way to decrease runoff, not to increase it. Some kind of hard scaping would be necessary if your goal is to concentrate all your rainfall into one area.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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DON'T PLANT ANY GRASS, the grass will slow down the flow of water helping it to infiltrate, (Bad). The grass will use up some of the water (Bad).
You need to compact the soil as much as possible, remove all organic matter, cover it with plastic, line it with cement, encourage gully formation, make the land as steep as possible to increase how fast the water runs off.
 
Jd Gonzalez
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Location: Virginia,USA zone 6
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Buffalo grass(Bouteloua dactyloides) is a native prairie grass that needs little water and spreads through stolons. It averages 3 to 6 inches tall.

By all means get a green cover and build water catchment features.

 
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