Another view of the ditch which leads to a wash. I also dug up a small swale and it collects water. Since I'm not there full time I haven't seen it fill up during a rainstorm. I know it works because when I arrive about a week after a storm hits, the swale will have a little water in it. Lots of grasses and weeds grow in and around the swale. I'm just experimenting at the moment. I'll post more pictures as I progress. Joshua Tree is a amazing place!
Nicholas Pulido wrote:Hey jon how is your property? If youve harvested any rainwater id love to see how. Visited joshua tree from apple valley ca.. we stayed in a air bnb tiny house. Coffees great
Whats up Nicholas, the property is doing well. I live in LA and drive to the desert on weekends. So far I am digging ditches to move the water away from my cabin to a natural wash. I started to plant mesquite trees near that wash. I figure they grow next to washes in the wild so it might be a good idea to plant them in that location. Even though it rains about 4-6 inches a year we get lots of water fast since we have a hill at our place. I've been busy planting native beavertail cactus around the entire perimeter of my fence. The rabbits dont eat them and I can get plenty of cuttings from the native beavertails that grow on our place. After growing different types of trees I have had the best success with mesquites and palo verde trees. Sometime in the spring im going to dig a pond to hold more water.
Hey Kim I have a little cabin near you, near Joshua Tree. I talk to locals about what does well up here. My neighbors say that a lot of things grow fine up here with water of course!!! First thing you have to do is plant some trees so they can provide shade for smaller plants. I love native trees like the honey mesquite and palo verde trees. Dont get the chilean mesquites they sell at home depot or other nurseries. I know a guy in Joshua Tree that sells them his name is Damian Lester. His email is email@example.com My neighbor has a bunch of Afghan pine trees also called Eldarica Pine or Mondell pine. They do great up in the high desert. I planted one last year and it grew 2 feet!! I only water it once a month (deep watering). Have you been to Cactus Mart? They have a lot of cool desert trees its in Morongo Valley.
I know people in the Mojave desert that receive 4 INCHES OF RAIN and are doing well. The key to their success is storing rainwater. Here are some cool youtubers out in Arizona that have great success harvesting rainwater. Build swales and 10 acres is a lot. Concentrate on a small area and work your way up.
My name is Simon Luckinbill. I am an artist and sell art in Palm Desert in a gallery (my acrylic paintings). I am buying 2.5 acres in Landers which is not too far from you and trying to do a bunch of different permaculture projects. I want to get into aquaponics and build an earthbag home and an aircrete dome. I was wondering if you might have anything at all that you might not want that you think I could use. I am pretty broke but am trying to do this anyway. I do know what I am doing when it comes to permaculture though, but just from intensive studying, not hands on experience. Email me and we can get together if you like. I really appreciate what you are doing. I am living in Yucca Valley now but will be on the land Sept 1st. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org 760 910 5083 Thanks
I finally got some Honey Mesquite seeds. I planted them in my home in L.A. I took a small seedling to my cabin in Johnson Valley to use with my Groasis Desertbox. While I transplanted the little mesquite seedling it went limp. I thought it would die. Surprise surprise I went back 3 weeks later and the little seedling did die BUT grew back! The Groasis Waterbox really works!
In the pictures you can see I have a California Incense Cedar (Left) and a Afghan pine (Right). Both are doing great but the Afghan pine (also known as Mondell and Eldarica pine) is doing really good. If you need a cheap hardy desert tree Afghans pines are the way to go. Home Depot sells them. During Christmas Home Depot Sells them as small Christmas trees. If you wait after Christmas they go on sale. Good way to buy a bunch for cheap.
Jon Snow wrote:I want to plant some trees in the high desert, Johnson Valley 20 miles north of Joshua Tree. I know its tough to get them started here.
It's easy to get palo verdes started, just give the seeds a good once-a-week soaking, like the equivalent of a 1" rain. In fact, that is a good strategy for most desert plants, as they use heavy summer downpours to get jump started. Since those types of summer rains are infrequent, seeds have to remain dormant for a long time, and they do. I have gotten samples of seeds that are 20 years old, and using the 1"-a-week method, they come right up.
What is your elevation there? Probably too high for desert ironwood, but palo verde should do just fine. Once it's set a good taproot, it will be very drought tolerant.
My elevation is 3400 ft. I planted a incense cedar and its doing great. I also have a few honey mesquite seedlings. The incense cedars are native to upper elevations close to where I'm at. They are very drought tolerant and can survive with 15 inches of rainfall.
My groasis waterbox just arrived in the mail a few days ago! Can't wait to use it. I definitely need it since I don't live in the high desert. I'm only there a few weekends a month. I'm also thinking of making something similar to a groasis waterboxx with 5 gallon buckets. The groasis waterboxx are pretty expensive. I paid close to $60 for one shipped to L.A. I'll keep you guys posted.
It's nice to see your progress. Your trees look good. As I write this I have about a dozen mesquite seeds soaking in water. I will plant them this weekend. I was told the tree from where I got the seeds is a honey mesquite. I think its a Chilean because the seeds taste chaulky and I didn't see any thorns on the tree. I'm no expert so I'm not 100% sure.
I was in Yucca Valley and came across a nice looking honey mesquite. Seed pods all over the ground. Ill send you some Sam. Will mesquite seeds germinate during winter or should I plant them in the spring?
Ryan Tollmann wrote:Get a horse trough and mix up some mortar in it, make it very wet then dip each post in it..this will jump start the petrification effect, dip and dry several times to get full effect, alternatively you could wet the post and roll it in a bucket of mortar and let sit. The lime in mortar will start the petrification effect...plus insects don't like lime. Motar oil will leach into the ground...Florida ban that practice with a fine of 500$ per drop.
I like this idea! I really don't like the idea of using used motor oil on wood. Thanks for all the advice guys
Jon Snow wrote: Here is a pic of the cedar split rail fence I installed on my property in Big Bear. After 2 years its holding up pretty well, its solid. Each post and rail is $6.50. I also installed some wire mesh and used a wood sealant. I read somewhere that termites don't like cedar.
That looks great! Yeah, cedar holds up longer but they'll eventually get into it. I'd dip the buried part of the post in motor oil, just in case.
How long do you think it will last if you dip the bottom of the posts in used oil? My neighbors fence is around 15 years old and is still in ok shape. Im thinking i might just spend the money and get a chain link fence. I only want to install 1 fence in my lifetime.
Here is a pic of the cedar split rail fence I installed on my property in Big Bear. After 2 years its holding up pretty well, its solid. Each post and rail is $6.50. I also installed some wire mesh and used a wood sealant. I read somewhere that termites don't like cedar.
kevin stewart wrote:Hi jon
So sorry, I gave sam half of what I had left over and just planted the rest. I'm always collecting bags of seeds so if I come across some more I will send them to you. I will collect more in a couple of months.
Yesterday I thought I saw what looked like thirty or fourty palo verde trees.
I was careening down the 405 freeway at the time so maybe today I'll have a closer look.
I just got my shade cloth from amazon. Did you know that their prices change?
Three months ago $50.00
Two months ago $63.00
Last week $33.00
Same product, same company.
Is their pricing like the airlines? Buy your ticket on a wednesday? Phase of the moon?
Thanks Kevin. I'm going to my cabin this weekend. Ill be on the lookout for some mesquite seeds.
I have 2 Australian Bottle trees (Brachychiton Populneus). I hear great things about this tree. Very drought tolerant. I have one planted in my yard in LA and the other in a 15 gallon pot. I will plant the other on my property in the High Desert. I rarely water them and they are doing well. They produce pods with seeds similar to mesquites. Ill keep you guys updated on how well it does. Here's a link with info on the tree
kevin stewart wrote:Seeds: if you want to try seeds this year I can send you mesquite from santa ana, juniper from sedona and russian olive from petrified forest.
I have been looking at jacaranda trees and those suckers are fast growing. I am collecting seed pods.
Get in touch for mailing if you want or I can leave a package under a rock at the arco station off the 40 next time I go.
Otherwise I will be collecting another batch this fall for next year
Of course, the price is that you have to share your progress for all to see.
The palo verde seed pod looked familiar. So cal has lots of public drought resistant trees. I will keep an eye out.
My problem is critters eat everything. Even prickly pear is not so safe.
Several years ago I was hand digging swales and planting a variety of seeds in them. As I continued digging those big ants were carting off all the seeds they could manage.
To get away from the winds I dug a pit greenhouse. Two months ago I wrapped the hydroponic trays with chicken wire to keep out the bunnies and kangaroo rats and successI was immediate.
I used wood rafters but I will try a
pvc hoop style roof this year.(since the pit is about 5 foot deep the roof is just about 2 foot high) the cost of connectors on a hoop house is prohibitive but I think I have an (untested) idea to use none.
Hey Kevin can I buy some mesquite seeds from you? I tried to send you a private message but I keep getting a error message. My email is email@example.com thanks
Last time I went to my cabin I saw about 15 rabbits....at the same time in the same small area! They are like pigeons! I think maybe someone is feeding them because you can get pretty close to the without them running off. I also heard that people kill coyotes and this causes a increase in the rabbit population.
Tyler Ludens wrote:Split rail demands too much maintenance and is very expensive if you can't harvest your own wood. The most successful fencing I've installed is T posts and concrete reinforcing wire. It inhibits deer somewhat but works better around small garden spaces which the deer think are traps so they don't jump in. This wire has the advantage of being nearly invisible in the landscape because of the rusty color. Personally I would avoid fencing a large area unless you need to for livestock. It's easier to fence smaller areas as they are developed, in my experience from having to put in virtually all of the fencing on our place, and redoing it several times. Kind of hate fencing, to be honest, especially sheep fencing.
Glenn Darman wrote:Jon what exactly would you be trying to achieve with the fence if you aren't fencing the rest of your block? I have no experience of setting up shop in the desert or desert like areas...round here all the farmers use star pickets they tension 3 wires and just wrap it with strong grade chicken wire so I guess that may be the cheapest option.
For now I am only going to fence 1 sq acre around my cabin mainly to keep out jackrabbits and other pests (human pests too). Im going to plant Mesquite trees and prickly pear cactus. Jackrabbits around these part are demons and will eat almost anything. In the future I will plant other trees and plants. I don't live at this property yet.
Im going to install a fence on my 5 acre property near Joshua Tree. Before I start I would like the advice of the knowledgeable folks on these forums. I'm planning on fencing only about 1 square acre around my cabin. I don't want to put up a chain link fence since I feel it doesn't blend in with the desert landscape. I thinking Ill put up a split rail cedar fence or maybe a wire mesh fence on t posts. What do you guys recommend? Any advice is appreciated.
I agree, its fun starting trees from seeds. I planted a bunch of Ponderosa pines from seeds. One morning I checked up on them and they all sprouted! I'm also going to plant some Mesquite trees from seed. Ill just buy a few large Mesquites because I really want some shade as soon as possible. I currently have some Kurrajong trees in my home in LA. They are from Australia and are very drought tolerant. They are also known as bottle trees (Brachychiton populneus). I planted one in my home in LA and seldom water it. Its doing great. I actually killed one by overwatering it. Im going to plant one on my property in the desert. Ill keep you updated.
I just bought a small cabin on 5 acres in Johnson Valley, not too far from Barstow. The high desert is AWESOME!! I'm also looking to plant some native Mesquite trees. There is a nursery that sells plants and trees in Yucca Valley called Unique Garden Center. I have never been there (but will soon) all the locals say this place is the best. Search for these helpful facebook groups: Joshua Tree Permaculture and Eden Regenerative Design. Here is a pic of my shack, I just bought it 5 months ago.