Trees/Plant suggestions for Shallow Rocky soil

Hello Farmers

I have 5 acres of red soil barren land in Tamil Nadu which is stony and Shallow (avg 3 to 4 ft soil layer available) in a small hillock terrain slope. Not a hilly region. Rain fall is around 600-700mm rainfall/year
Weeds grow scantily here and there.
This is an uncultivated land which is subjected to erosion. I wanted to improve the soil and organic content over time. I am also trying to get lake soil in small batches and getting it dumped along with green manure. Water can be provided in drip irrigation.
I am looking for suggestions.
Short term (2-3 years): What kind of soil cover and enriching/grazing crops can be grown to make it cultivable?
Long term (>4 years): What kind of Trees/ Plants can be cultivated in such soil?
Any other suggestions are highly appreciated.

cultivate vettiver to cut soil erosion plant malai vembu trees 30 ft apart

Thanks for your suggestion

Is creating a bund or a concrete belt to prevent soil erosion a problem ? Since you have red sandy soil and adequate rainfall why dont you try coconut and lime inter cropping ?

Shallow soil depth is what I fear of. I hear people saying that 5-6 feet of minimum depth is required. They say even it you plant trees, they will stop growing (by girth) and will be unproductive when roots hit rocks. This is what I fear off Suggestions welcome

Do you have a borewell in the field ? what is the depth at which rocks start ? How much of depth do the rocks go down ?
5-6 ft depth should be good enough for lemon /citrus trees . For coconuts the roots will find ways through the cracks .

Another method would be to see if the rocks are not too deep in the earth and if they are not too deep then blast those rocks .

An average of 3 to 4 ft soil layer available below which rock starts. It is not of uniform depth. Varies here and there. Not sure how deep rocks go down.

We dont have borewell on that field but water is pumped through drip hoses from adjacent field. It wont be a problem.

I dream of growing mutlilayered tree crops when we bought the land. We did not investigate on soil depth as we were new to agri by then.

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Which place is your farm located in ? May be I can suggest some solution based on distance . If the rocks are small say about 5-6 mts in diameter then rock blasting can be done easily . Fragmenting the rocks can develop cracks and help remove the bigger chunks .

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The kind of steps you see are slope downwards to left.

Dear Brother I did Research on your type of land, if you have drip facility why don’t you think about net house farming. This could be a good option because Tamilnadu Government is giving 65% subsidy for this technology.
Second option, you can grow lemon trees in this soil with the help of vermicompost fertilizer, and you can take guava too. On boundaries you can take bamboo (Katanga Bamboo) which is suitable for your type of land.

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Hi Sir,
Based on the description of your land, soil and terrain I would suggest you to go for counter bunding method of horticulture cultivation viz. Lemon (Balaji or Khagji) and Custard Apple (NMK 1 super golden). Take 1 feet deep furrows 14 to 16 feet apart across the slope. Form bunds with removed soil on the down side of the furrow. Plant trees on the bunds. Use pressure compensation drip lines for regular Irrigation. This method ensures rainwater harvesting into the furrows and to irrigate the plants on the lower edge of each bund. It also helps to reduce soil erosion.
Hope this idea helps you.