Description of practice

Planting pits are a form of in situ rainwater harvesting for the benefit of the plants and crops grown in the pits. In addition to collecting moisture, the pits facilitate the creation of favorable micro-climates and fertilization.

Examples of how to use planting pits Further information
(see Note below)

AMP45 01

Small planting pits

Maize, sorghum and millet plants are cultivated in their own micro pits in order to improve water harvesting and efficient use of precipitation.


»WOCAT technology 1395

AMP45 02

Nine maize pits

Nine maize plants are planted in pits at a spacing of 30x30 cm. The pits collect runoff from impermeable soils to enhance plant water availability.


»WOCAT technology 1676

AMP45 03

Banana planting pits

Pits in banana plantations are filled with a mixture of manure, organic material and soil to improve soil moisture and fertility and enhance production. Relatively large pits are needed.


»WOCAT technology 1587

AMP45 04

Vertical growing of potatoes in pits

Potatoes are grown in vertical pits. Compost or enriched soil is gradually added as the plants grow to keep the potatoes covered. They are also watered regularly.


»WOCAT technology 1038

AMP45 05

Precision conservation agriculture

Mulch and small doses of nitrogen-based fertilizer (either organic and/or inorganic) are precision-applied. This is facilitated through the establishment of planting pits and combines aspects of conservation agriculture.


»WOCAT technology 1327

AMP45 06

Rehabilitating land with planting pits and stone lines

Degraded barren land covered with a hard crust is rehabilitated through manured planting pits in combination with contour stone lines. The pits are used for millet and sorghum production.


»WOCAT technology 1100

Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.

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