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Corey Naughton
Posts: 3
Location: Arizona High Desert
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Hello, I've been a long time reader of Permies and have finally registered because I have a few questions.
Firstly, I live in the Arizona High Desert (Sonoran) at an elevation of about 5,000'.
I've had great success using no-till beds with extensive composting as well as fruit trees of various types.
Recently, I decided to add some perennial permaculture plants into my beds (dedicated perennial beds).
The beds are coated in a layer of compost annually and I use straw for mulch. All beds are shaded on the west side.
I'm curious if anyone has had experience with these in the desert/high-desert.

Moringa, Stinging Nettles, Comfrey, Peanuts (Carolina Black and Carwile's Virginia), Jerusalem Artichoke, Catalogna Puntarelle Dandelion, Red sorrel, Borage, Italiko Rosso Dandelion, Lovage, Purslane, American Groundnut, Texas Wild Cherry Tomato, Arugula, and Evergreen Onions (green onion).

All of these have already been ordered (some have arrived). The intent will be to have these grow in beds dedicated to just perennials and to propagate these into new Hugle beds once I build them. I'm curious if anyone has had success in such a harsh climate with these plants in particular. Advice would be very helpful as well. Also, I'd like to plant these in a manner which best manages itself. All the beds are ~4' wide and slope to the south. The most water loving plants should reside on the southern most side of the beds but also the most sun loving. Not sure what plants like being around which others. I'd like to keep the shade loving plants on the inside most portion of the beds so that the surrounding plants provide the most shade.

Whatever information can be provided is greatly appreciated!

I'll soon post about my slowly developing off-grid homestead here in the High Desert of Arizona
 
Corey Naughton
Posts: 3
Location: Arizona High Desert
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Oh, I figured I should supply some weather data to assist. These are simple averages and don't truly reflect the full condition of the area.

J: 36-60 1.01"
F: 38-63 0.80"
M: 41-69 0.73"
A: 48-77 0.32"
M: 55-85 0.28"
J: 63-94 0.61"
J: 66-92 2.98"
A: 65-89 3.17"
S: 61-87 1.60"
O: 52-78 0.98"
N: 43-68 0.64"
D: 36-60 1.05"

I live at a higher elevation but on the southern slope from where this data is pulled.
High winds are common.
It's not unusual for it to snow a few times in the winter but it's typically off the ground within 24 hours.
The area is predominantly populated by Prickly Pear Cactus, Sage Brush, and Mesquite Trees (all of which are being propagated into an edible hedgerow/windbreak.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 115
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
1
greening the desert
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Looking at your 2nd post, I'm guessing you're in the S.E. part of the state. Am I correct?
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1274
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
128
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
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My climate is extremely arid too, and capers grow wild here, a perennial shrub. I've posted how I had success germinating caper seeds, and how to make them into food.
http://www.permies.com/t/34882/plants/Success-planting-caper-seeds-plant#273224

 
Corey Naughton
Posts: 3
Location: Arizona High Desert
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Yes, I'm in SE Arizona. Near Sierra Vista / Ft Huachuca.

Right now I'm concentrating on perennials to grow in the actual beds. Though, after reading that thread I think I will add capers to the list of plants to be grown in the surrounding area. Thanks for the idea
 
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