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  • Nicholas Cook

Growing plants in the desert

Updated: Mar 4, 2019

Oman/Yemen Border Image: © Dominika Pasterska 2019

The image of a lonely plant surrounded by barren earth is familiar to anyone who has traveled to arid parts of our globe. How is it possible that an individual plant can survive and apparently thrive in an otherwise barren landscape?

The simple answer is that when this particular plant was young, it was lucky enough to find water resources that enabled it to firmly establish its roots. Once established, it is capable of surviving by recovering water deep within the soil, as well as taking advantage of infrequent rain.

If we are able to help environment-appropriate plants to get established, they are capable of surviving and even shaping the landscape.

The story below from America's Public Broadcasting service is a inspiring story of a local farmer, Yacouba Sawadogo in Burkina Faso, who shows how human intelligence and ingenuity can change bare land to self-sustaining vegetation. His techniques have resulted in truly impressive results. However, even with his innovative water management, most is still lost, especially during the critical early stages of plant growth.

Horto-Logic could help him too.

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