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?
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.
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.
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.
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