Anne Miller wrote:I found your topic in our zero replies topics.
These may not offer an answer to your question though they may offer some suggestions:
Maybe some of our forum members can answer your queations.
shauna carr wrote:
I'm not certain some of my growing experiences would also work in your area, but I will pass on what I've experienced, see if it will help. I live in a slightly cooler area - 37-43C is the common temp during summers, but can go up to 47C every once in a while. Winters a few degrees cooler, often little to no water then, and while mid-summer we get some monsoon rains, the crops have to survive the hotter 'dry' summer month before that, so a lot of folks here have that 'let it go dormant during the hottest season' mindset as well (although then there is planting just after it, when rain comes.
So, to answer your questions:
1) Sunflowers have worked well as shade here - I choose some local varieties that a local conservation group sells that grow very tall, and are more heat adapted, but they die in the summer heat, so I have shade left over from them.
Corn is the same, but needs more water. But a row of corn does well for providing shade as well. I also use some heat adapted varieties of these.
Have used small bamboo/wood poles to make a tripod kind of shape and grown heat adapted beans (tepary ones, around here) over the poles to provide extra shade.
amaranth is common here as well, although I don't use it as much so I'm not sure if it might have a bit more of a 'choking out' issue with other plants.
Also, while not a specific plant, a technique to help provide shade has been to plant things too close together. For example, tomatoes. Planting bush tomatoes (indeterminate) really close together, so they are growing into each other, ends up making this much denser planted area within the bushes. So while the outside fries and turns brown, it leaves this inner area that is cooler and a bit more humid, a little micro-ecosystem, and can stay green and still give tomatoes for longer. Some years, it means I can keep the tomatoes alive through the summer, where they will start producing again after the heat ebbs a bit. But some years, it just makes it last longer than it normally would, is all. Again, I tend to use some local varieties that are desert adapted (we have a local library that has a 'seed library' where people can donate seeds of the garden plants that produced. They are trying to build up a collection of desert adapted varieties, and so far, seems to be working. )
Mexican yellowshow (Amoreuxia palmatifida ) - I love this particular plant. They are small herbaceous bushes that only poke green above the ground when it is over 37C and they get a little water. The leaves are mild and edible (raw or cooked), the seeds are edible (raw when tender, cooked when hard - but small seeds/beans), the flowers are edible, and if you get a big crop and can dig a few up, the root is edible as well (cooked or...dried, I think). When it starts to get cold, and they get no more water, they die back completely, so you can't even tell they are there, until it is over 37C again and they are getting some water (they are native in areas where they get between 5-12 inches of water a year, almost all of it during mid-summer).
Asparagus has done well in my area. i planted a patch and forgot about it for a few years when that patch was abandoned, and the asparagus is still alive and grows every year. Needs more water to be thick, but it is still kicking, anyway!
Chiltepin might be a good choice, if you can find the most heat tolerant varieties. these are small, perennial, chile pepper bushes. The chiles are small and round, sometimes only 1 cm or less in size, but most are very hot so you can use just 1-3 for an entire dish, if want only a little heat. Mine wild-seeded in my yard, but always just slightly NE of a large bush or tree, for the shade. But they do well with fairly low water and high heat.
Wolfberry or hackberry bushes- both give berries, both adapted to high heat, but both might require water during mid-summer as both are used to a monsoon season, so...not sure if they would work, you know? There are desert and non-desert varieties of hackberry bushes, but unsure about wolfberry (wolfberry tastes MUCH better though). These can also get quite large, so might do as something to give shade eventually for an entire garden patch, you know?
malabar spinach - this is a climbing vine, with leaves that are thicker, and does well in high heat. Often used here in summers because the spinach doesn't survive or goes bitter with the heat.
Some other plants for seeds or leaves that folks grow here that can be hard to grow elsewhere, that might do all right in your area (but that I don't have much experience with): sesame, safflower (sometimes see the seeds with the Spanish name, Corrales Azafrán), okra, panic grass (a native grass with a very large seed that can be harvested and eaten), chia (used for the seeds), and pignut (spanish name: Guarijio Conivari, latin: Hyptis suaveolens) (used as an herb or to make tea, seeds or leaves used).Some of these might do for shade purposes as well.
Wish I had more in terms of garden veggies, but most of the really desert adapted things here are the larger perennials, like cactus and trees.
As for publications - while this guy might not be a perfect fit, this particular youtuber lives in a very hot desert as well, so often has a lot of desert-friendly plants and advice (this video is where he's visiting another desert gardener, so you get a two for one, sort of. ^_^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHgMrprGgIY&list=PL0SCyGoq8S_eEk33zMgiOJ1Olk0StYgCG&index=3 )
I am sure there are more, but I'm blanking at the moment. I'll pop back in to add more when I think of any.