I am new to the concept of forest gardens and need a recommendation as to what books to read.
I live in Roswell New Mexico (zone 7a), so I'll need something geared towards deserts and/or the southwest.
I'd be interested in knowing what edible perennials to plant as well as where to plant.
I also recommend Brad Lancaster's excellent books on Water Harvesting. Essentially, in drylands, you need to plant water along with the trees. You didn't mention if you were on a large property or an urban/suburban property, but Brad's Vol 2 has a chart on what the best types of earthworks are for you in your situation (p. 42). For example, if you're on sloped land, swales on contour are great. If you're on flat land (like most urban lots), infiltration basins are the way to go. Planting trees right in the basins/swales as opposed to on the berm/earthmound of a swale is also a dryland adaptation. Plants that have lower water needs are planted up the sides or at the top of swales/infiltration basins (cacti and succulents, for example - although not all of these are low water). Brad also includes edible and other useful plants that are low water in the appendix of Vol 1.
Here in downtown Phoenix, my property is FLAT! And some areas are very narrow. So I've chosen infiltration basins for rain and graywater, sunken veggie beds to keep water in the bed, as well as some French drains for some narrow areas.
Subtropical desert (Köppen: BWh)
Elevation: 1090 ft Annual rainfall: 7"
posted 6 years ago
Thanks for the information.
I live on 2 acres of FLAT DRY land.
Some years we have had as little as 1 inch of rain, but the average is supposed to be 15.
However, it usually comes in such small amounts that the ground is dry within a few minutes.
I had just assumed I would need to water what i want to grow, but you have convinced me to do a hybrid setup.
I will drip and spray parts of what I WANT, but will work on learning more about the basin approach for things that I NEED to have.
I pay about a penny for every 10 gallons--so I'm willing to use whatever I need to get things started, but I am concentrating on perennials that will need little to no help after 3 years.