just doing some research on nitrogen fixing trees and although Acacia trees do well in Phoenix (with irrigation at least) I was thinking of using native trees. Mesquite immediately came to mind since the seed pods it produces resemble legumes and based on some prelimanary Google results, Mesquite, Palo Verde and Ironwood all seem to be N fixing, but I was wondering if any of the more knowledgeable folks here can confirm these findings?
I did a search of the forum but couldn't find any specific hits regarding this topic so I hope it's not a repost...
I'm going to be using Palo Verde; though Mesquite grows here more prolifically I'm concerned about the massive, tire-puncturing thorns. In my youth the family car got two punctures on the same day from driving in a field of Mesquite trees. Mountain Mahogany Cercocarpus montanus is another possibility. http://medplant.nmsu.edu/mahogany.shtm
The pods of both Mesquite and Palo Verde are edible. Mesquite pods are sweet and taste a lot like graham crackers. I haven't had a chance to try Palo Verde yet. http://www.desertharvesters.org/
Location: Phoenix, Az
posted 8 years ago
i hadn't actually gotten around to tying the mesquite seed pods yet. lol.
I'm maybe leaning more towards the Palo Verde myself. For the time being I'm limited to backyard homesteading and I'm thinking of six trees in the back. 2 for N fixing and 2 pomegranate and 2 Black Turkey fig and maybe 2 date palms in the front. Based on what I've seen of Lawton's Greening the desert in Jordan, these are basically the same trees he used.
I've got two sunken Hugle beds completed and working on a third now. I plan to just plant the trees right in the middle of the beds and grow my herbs and veg, etc. around the N fixing trees. I plan to eventually get a pigeon loft completed to bring pigeon manure into the yard.
I'm leaning towards the Palo Verde because the Mesquite can get really big and cast a lot of shade, so i'm thinking the more sparse vegetation on the PV will allow more filtered light on the beds...