Ben Walter wrote:Something I've been experimenting with which will go a long way to improving our sandy soil is biochar. I'm growing a half acre of corn and sorghum on the property, half with and half without biochar. It's only been in the ground about 3 weeks but I can already visually see a difference. It is a bitch to make in any significant quantity, but I'm pretty sure that UF is going to come out in the next few years recommending it and that will drive a lot of business. A year ago you could barely find any online, and now there are already several places selling in bulk, it's still pretty expensive though. Biochar shows promise for holding water and soluble nutrients, as well as providing great pores for biology, esp. fungus.
Nick Garbarino wrote:So, this revised plant list was downloaded 16 times in less than 2 days, yet no feedback. I could use more deep rooted nutrient accumulator/mulch plants in this design. Any suggestions?
Nick Garbarino wrote:Diego,
I am seeing that my shallow rooted stuff is needing irrigation - including grapes, apple trees, citrus, avocado, fig, pineapple guava, peach, loquat, blackberries, and blueberries. I do expect the blackberries to become more draught tolerant as they become fully established, but I think they will produce better with some irrigation.
For me, I was somewhat aware of which plants were drought tolerant and which ones weren't, but now that I am growing and tending to the garden here in the sand hills, it is really hitting home. Also, it seems to me that the use of hugelkultur and biochar are more relevant to the shallow rooted plants than to the tap rooted ones.
Hope this helps.
Nick Garbarino wrote:
The rest of the state, at higher altitudes is very water poor, but not the valley. Every acre in the Phoenix area that is converted from agriculture to residential results in a net surplus of water, because residential areas don't use as much water as the agriculture there. You can bet Phoenix is going to become huge, and at 4 million people, it's well on the way to doing that.
Permaculture has helped me realize that every site has it's own unique set of conditions that must be understood and accounted for.
Nick Garbarino wrote:The plant list for our food forest was posted 4 days ago, and so far it has been downloaded 33 times. Since there appears to be some interest, I have posted our newest version, which now includes fields for water, sun, pH, and root structure. The selection of plants has also been improved, with many additions and a few deletions. This list is particularly designed for Zone 9A, where the soil is sandy, dry, and acidic, however many of the plant selections could work in other zones, particularly zones 8 and 10.
There are many other plants that could be grown in our area, but which I left off for various reasons, especially if I suspect those species would need baby sitting in order to flourish here in central Florida. We are willing to use some well water for the critical and highly prized members of the food forest, such as citrus and blueberries for example, but we are trying to design a fairly drought tolerant community overall. So, there are many sub-tropical species that could grow here, but we're leaving them out because they're too thirsty.
I want to encourage any feedback that would improve this list, such as corrections, additional plants, removal of plants, etc. I could use all the help I can get. So, for those of you who downloaded the old list, throw it away and use this one instead. It's a lot better list.