Jen Fulkerson wrote:Cj I live in N. Ca. zone 9b and we get temp of 100 to 105 in the summer, and it is hard. I would mulch to help keep the ground temp down a bit and put up some shade cloth up so your plants get morning and mid day sun, but get some protection from the afternoon sun. It is the most brutal. Also make sure your are planting seed, or transplants for your zone. Seed packets are easy just read the info and usually you know if and when you should plant that seed in your area. Be careful about the seedlings you buy. I have noticed at a lot of the places, like Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe's That they often have things for sell that are not going to grow, or at least thrive in our area. If your new to the gardening game look for a local nursery. There you will have a better chance of a knowledgeable staff, and plants that are actually meant to grow in your area. You may spend a bit more, but at least at ours the people are so friendly and helpful it makes a difference, and it's just more fun to garden with a bit of success. Good luck to you, keep at it, there is something special about eating fruit and veggies you have grown yourself.
Eric Hanson wrote:CJ,
Did you mean 120 degrees?
Yeah, I can believe that growing in AZ heat and aridity is quite a challenge. For starters I will suggest the obvious—get organic matter into your soil somehow. By the way, what is the soil like? Is it sandy, rocky? Is it the dreaded Caliche? At any rate, organic matter can only do good.
Regarding that dreadful heat, is it possible that you could put up some screen-like material to cast just a little shade and not fry your veggies? And that lettuce is really a cool weather plant. Might you try growing it in winter? My region gets plenty hot, but it is not a desert and I really can’t grow lettuce except for spring and late fall.
Just a couple of suggestions,
Meg Mitchell wrote:This guy built a food forest in Arizona that's pretty neat. He has a lot of videos:
Leila Blair wrote:i have a PVC drip system and it works pretty good, but i still have to drag hoses around and deep water some trees. The pineapple guavas are fine with just the drip, but the nut trees need more water.
i use 4 way splitters with shorter hoses on a long hose so i can water 4 trees at a time. That way i can leave it on overnight or when im gone all day.
My veggy garden is a 30 ft circle so i can use a sprinkler. Also use a sprinkler in the hazelnut guild.
And i have a hose system going to my newer pine tree
guild. The older ones have hit ground water so dont have to water them anymore.
And i have volunteer mulberries and peach trees coming up everywhere. I give lots of baby trees away.
just found 3 four foot mulberries under the pine trees, gave the middle one away, leaving the other 2 there.
And these are all from a volunteer mulberry! ive never planted one!
ive been here 25 years and have 4 acres, so i can go crazy. But the back acre is fenced off for my miniature horse and 5 Nigerian goats.
my biggest problem is finding frost hardy food plants. i go down to 10 degrees on winter nights. Even had frost in the middle if MAY! A few burned leaves on my biggest pecan tree and the newest rhubarbs.
if you stay above 30 degrees try to find some Arivaca avocado trees. Makes me crazy that im too cold for them!
Leila Blair wrote:You can usually get free mulch from your local transfer station. If you dont have a truck, take a trash can, put trash bag in and fill up the bag. My back can handle about 6 bags,at a time. And find people with goats, horses, sheep, etc to harvest poop from. I use the same bag method from a neighbor with horses.
And start planting perrenials. I plant 2 year crowns of purple asparagus in the tree wells of every new tree. Buy on Amazon.
Also artichokes, and rhubarb. Im eating all 3 right now!
I have them planted in my hazelnut guild.
ive also been known to pick up bags of leaves left by the road on trash pickup day.
And you can call tree trimmer companies, they have to pay at the transfer station to dump their chipped trees. Ive had them dump them in my yard for free.
Scott Foster wrote:I lived in Arizona for 10 years so I know what "full sun" means. If it were me I'd look at acacias, nitrogen fixers, to build biomass, trios, and shade. Pick a spot where you can drive the water from your roof and build an oasis. Build out from there. Mulch get's vaporized in AZ (if you are in the valley), shade is king.
I had really good luck with Spanish Arbequina olives, olives, and some Tuscan varieties. A lot of trees that do well in the dry areas of Australia do really well in AZ. Paloverdes are nice but they don't build as much biomass.
I'd also consider creating some kind of shade cloth area.
Water, Shade, and Biomass would be my initial goals.