In the sun, among the rocks

I recently purchased a beautiful plot of land in a dry area so the soil is hard and rocky. I’m quite far away from a water source and rely on irrigation. 

Based on my observations, trees hardly grow in my area, it is a mixture of ground cover, tall grasses, and shrubs. My neighbors mostly grow annual vegetables for personal consumption and grow fruit and nuts for sale. There are also life-stock farmers: goats and cows are popular. 


I wanted to bring the soil to life and got really fascinated by permaculture in general and the concept of a food forest. I knew that if I could get dense ground cover it would protect the soil from the scorching sun and the trees would protect all other plants under them. 


I tested the soil and saw that it had a slightly acidic Ph and low organic matter content. I also saw that the soil had good phosphorus and potassium levels. I knew that if I got a good dense ground cower down, I could cut it and use it for mulch for the rest of my plants, improving the organic matter content, fixing the Ph, and increasing the level of nutrients in the soil.


I was looking for drought resistant perennials. I took inspiration from exploring the areas around me; rosemary and thyme grew in the wild so I took a few sections of bushes back home with me. Lantana is fast growing and dense and has lovely blossoms. Wall germander is a dense evergreen. I also made space for daisies and poppies which grow here all by themselves.  


Thanks to your support I have been able to buy enough lantana and wall germander to cover the property. The shrubs of rosemary and thyme will go in a few spots on the edges and daisies and poppies will be scattered throughout. 


It took me a long time to prepare the soil for planting- so many rocks to remove but I got it done in time before the hot midday sun would of made it impossible to do the work. I hope to post the first sprouts soon!

By: Abdi Njeri , 1 year ago

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