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My Weeds Last Summer...What Do They Say...

 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 105
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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greening the desert
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about my soil? Normally, I have native grass, some weeds, gourds, & native wild flowers. This year we had over 9" of rain in July alone and I ended up with this. The ground hasn't been messed with since the 1960's if ever.
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Walter McQuie
Posts: 49
Location: Northern New Mexico
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A great resource for understanding the role of "weeds" in your ecosystem:

"Weeds -- Guardians of the Soil" by Joseph A. Cocannouer, Devin-Adair, 1950.
Professor Cocannouer, who taught biology and conservation for 50 years, demonstrates how the controlled use of weeds is sound ecology, good conservation and a boon to the gardener. Weeds as indicators of soil conditions, weeds as companion plants.
Full text online at the Small Farms Library


 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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I can't quite tell what the weeds are from the photo.

Beautiful view!
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 105
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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greening the desert
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We always get lots of weeds, but last year we were slammed with Pigweed in particular. I've read a few sites, but all I got out of it is Pigweed is an indication of nitrogen. I also don't know what all these weeds are. I will try to get a better pic. I'm scanning photos.
 
Ann Torrence
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
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Weed id book: Weeds of the West. Might see if your library has it, not sure it will cover AZ, although you are high enough, it might.

Pigweed means at least 3 different plants, so it would be helpful to know which one you mean. This one?
Did you get pounded by non-stop monsoons last August/September like we did? Are you seeing results of the extra rain?
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 105
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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Ann Torrence wrote:Weed id book: Weeds of the West. Might see if your library has it, not sure it will cover AZ, although you are high enough, it might.

Pigweed means at least 3 different plants, so it would be helpful to know which one you mean. This one?
Did you get pounded by non-stop monsoons last August/September like we did? Are you seeing results of the extra rain?

Here is a pic of the pigweed.
We had an intense July, but August wasn't anything special on my land. I think there was a lot more rain 50-100 miles west of me.
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Walter McQuie
Posts: 49
Location: Northern New Mexico
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Ann Torrence wrote:Weed id book: Weeds of the West. Might see if your library has it, not sure it will cover AZ, although you are high enough, it might.


Several on-line descriptions begin: "Weeds of the West is the foremost guide to identifying weeds in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming." Sounds great; I'm ordering it now. Ann's review (link in the quote) is the most helpful.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 105
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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greening the desert
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Walter McQuie wrote:
Ann Torrence wrote:Weed id book: Weeds of the West. Might see if your library has it, not sure it will cover AZ, although you are high enough, it might.


Several on-line descriptions begin: "Weeds of the West is the foremost guide to identifying weeds in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming." Sounds great; I'm ordering it now. Ann's review (link in the quote) is the most helpful.

Me too. I need to get a soil test done. I'm going down there this Thursday for 4 days. I'm going to remember the mason jars this time.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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Looks like amaranth to me.

Do you plan to use the land to grow anything in the future or are you just observing what happens?

When you say the land hasn't been messed with, do you mean it hasn't been mowed or it hasn't been used to grow anything, or no chemicals have been applied? There are so many ways that people mess with soil!
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 105
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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Matu Collins wrote:Looks like amaranth to me.

Do you plan to use the land to grow anything in the future or are you just observing what happens?

When you say the land hasn't been messed with, do you mean it hasn't been mowed or it hasn't been used to grow anything, or no chemicals have been applied? There are so many ways that people mess with soil!

From what I've been able to find out, it's just been sitting since the 60's. It might have been farmed before that, but I don't know for sure. I drilled a well last year, but have not dropped in the pump or mounted the solar panels yet. I have everything here, but the pole. I will need to buy that down there because of the size. This area looks different than everywhere else around here because there is no mesquite to speak of & lots of wild flowers.
I've planted Mesquite, Palo Verde (Freezing to the ground), Mexican Bird Of Paradise, & Jujubes. I'm taking 7 large Jujubes Thursday to plant. For 2 years, I've been planting & watering every 6-8 weeks. Except for the Palos freezing, I'm running @ 100% success so far...knock on wood. The only other issue I'm having is the loads of Locusts in the summer. I've been trying to get something (Pioneers?) going & continue to expand out, mulching big time as I go. I think the ground will work & that I could stop watering the trees that have been in the ground for a year.

One of the Jujube trees...
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