Cj Costa

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since Jun 05, 2019
Bought Land to start a Food Forest.
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Recent posts by Cj Costa

Welcome! Bernard and Cecile,

I'm looking forward to reading your book. My family started on the journey of growing our own food after being sick for so many years. As humans we tend to like things that are not good for us or beneficial to us. Why do we do this? My Family moved away from the city for a more get back to nature attitude.  We planted fruit trees and gardens. It has been very challenging because it got up to 129 degrees during the summer. Lots of my trees died but the strong ones survived. I planted lots of medical herbs and I started eating weeds.. After 5 years of not able to get out of bed till 2 in the afternoon and not able to do much. I cured myself without pills or the help of any of the  32 doctors that couldn't help me. Eating all natural and not meat, gluten, or dairy saved my life.. I wish you much success more people need to understand there is consequences to what we put in our body. That is why our nation is so sick. Let the food my thee medicine and medicine be thee food. Get outside and she what is out there. It has helped my family it can help anyone..

Good Luck and God Bless
4 months ago
yes I tried a shade clotha nd it worked ok but I think I had the wrong veggies for the season at that point. everthing bolted and didn't get much. I'm still trying to figure out seed timeing. so different from new england. but seems like I will have more growing season just at different times then I'm use too.

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.

1 year ago
yes 120 to 125 it's hot. but love it.

both sandy and rocky. so I did raised gardens and bought soil but that is getting expensive.

I put a shade on the garden in the heat but it didn't work to good. I think I over watered because I didn't want them to dry out.

I did plant lettuce, beets and corn in the winter and it did pretty good. I might have to do early spring and late summer fall gardening.

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,


1 year ago
I just started gardening in AZ. I'm new to the heat in zone 10. We don't really get a freeze whitch is nice becuase I have grown lettace, beets, radishes, corn and herbs.

My problem is I can't get the right  soil for melons , cucumbers or tomatos to go more then a few on a vine. plus it get 220 degrees in the summer so a lot just dies if not covered. So I have to plant way early in the winter to have melons in the spring.

any advice?
1 year ago
I'm just starting out and it has so far been challenging because the dirt out in arizonia is so hard to dig. My go to tool now is a huge and heavy long pick. It has made digging holes for my fruit tree way easyier. I'm not sure what the real name is but it is totally work the $35 I pent on it.

Tools are so helpful and it has been great learning about different ones that I never heard of that will make my live easier.

1 year ago
Welcome YURY .. This is a great tool. Never saw it before but man how could I live without it all thi time.
thanks for showing us this cool tool. and welcome to the forum.
1 year ago

Meg Mitchell wrote:This guy built a food forest in Arizona that's pretty neat. He has a lot of videos:


yes I have seen alot of the videos. That is what I'm going for but more fruit trees. thanks so much
1 year ago

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!

Great advice. I'm thinking pvc drip too. I have been looking for mulberries but no one ships to az. That I found anyway and I'm looking for female and male date palms that I can eat the dates. I figure to start with plants that do very well in heat and are easy then move into the harder plants. I started some mangos, ice cream bean, and moringa and 3 garden beds so far. But I'm limited on what I can do due to health issues. but we will get there. Thank you for your info. It's very helpful.
1 year ago

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.

fantastic idea. I'm going to track down some tree companies. I will need to cover about 1 acre of land in thick mulch for what I have planed. I'm thinking I need about 30 truck loads. But I will start small for now to get things going.
What is your advice on irrigation. Drip, soak or hose?
I'm going to try to focus on fruit trees and garden veggies and herbs.
1 year ago

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.

I was thing a large shade structure like that have at nurseries for trees. or try to get the moringa large enough to do that.
1 year ago