John Elliott wrote:Move.
When I retired I had the chance to stay in the desert or go elsewhere. I decided that if I was going to do permaculture and mycology, I had better go to a place that had good rainfall. Since I was already familiar with South Carolina and Georgia, that's how I ended up where I am.
But if I had to go back to the desert and apply permaculture principles to green it up, I would say learn everything you can about water catchments. Go out into the washes and observe where things grow and figure out how they are getting the water they need. It's very subtle, and in the beginning, someone will have to point it out to you, but after a while, you will begin to see why plants are where they are. Once you can see that, you will know how to be able to make things grow.
Burra Maluca wrote:My advice would be to watch this (Greening the Desert - the original)
Brett Andrzejewski wrote:I was thinking about putting the same quote in from Brad Lancaster/Mr. Phiri, but decided to keep my post short and sweet.
Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:Wayne - what kinds have you planted? This is something I'm interested in trying.
Jennifer Wadsworth wrote: if you can, run thorny branches through a chipper - it still doesn't take care of ALL the thorns, but it takes care of a lot of them.
Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:Hi everyone:
If you have ever lived in a desert, you know that our dry climate and temperature extremes can be challenging. Not all permaculture standbys work for all climates. A really telling example of this is the Herb Spiral. Herb spirals are a poor choice for dry climates because anything raised is going to dry out more quickly. If you combine dry with HOT - it gets even worse. You've exposed your plants to a super-heated, super-dry microclimate.
So, desert permies, if you had ONE PIECE of advice to give someone new to desert permaculture, what would it be?
Alan Smithe wrote:Two factors need to be accounted for: Shade and Water Preservation. I live in the Mojave Desert and when I went to Austin for a month I had some of my gardener friends check on my garden and make sure the watering system stayed working and when I got back I was bombarded with "How in the heck did you get tomatoes to produce like that in 119 degree heat?!" They may be full sun plants in their normal environment but their shade plants in the Mojave Desert. Then I allow sweet potatoes to cover the ENTIRE ground to help prevent moisture from evaporating. No nursery or gardener around here have ever heard of sweet potato plants for eating, just as a landscape (non-edible) plant. I had to drive to Los Angeles to get an organic sweet potato to grow slips from. The nice thing about here is the LONG growing season, I'm still mass producing tomatoes.
Ardilla Esch wrote:A lot of good advice so far... I will just add:
Protect your plantings from gnawing critters. When you first start your oasis in the desert, the rodents will go crazy eating the new plants. They will eat plants the books say are repellent to rodents. Apparently they don't read the books/catalogs...
John Elliott wrote:if I was going to do permaculture and mycology, I had better go to a place that had good rainfall.
dj niels wrote:Unfortunately, in CO, and in Utah, I have been told, it is illegal to catch rainwater or use greywater.
Can you point me to any references that discuss the legality of greywater use?