• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Bill Erickson
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Bryant RedHawk
  • Mike Jay
gardeners:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Dan Boone
  • Daron Williams

Books and reference material for tropical/subtropical food forest in San Antonio, Texas  RSS feed

 
Posts: 2
Location: San Antonio, TX
urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live in San Antonio, Texas. We get about 30in of rainfall on an avg. There is a spot on my property that is facing the southeast and is guarded from the north by the house itself. So it does get scorched by the summer sun.  I was wondering if I can grow a small tropical food forest in there. I need some reference materials to research what species of plants I can grow there and how they might perform. I prefer plants including trees that can serve multiple functions. Any idea on what earthworks might be helpful in creating even a better environment for these plants? Thanks in advance for your help.
 
gardener
Posts: 1751
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
183
forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There definitely is some potential to grow some tropical plants in our area (I'm a few hours north of you), particularly as the climate continues to shift. I think the biggest limitations you'll find are the water needs and having a plan in place for killing freezes.

http://www.permies.com/t/31762/books/Book-Review-Grid This is a very large collection of book ratings that members of this site felt relevant. Each title is linked to the thread with more detailed reviews. Maybe you can find reference material there.

Many tropical plants might be okay with nothing more than a blanket and some nonLED christmas lights during cold snaps. I overwintered a pepper in the ground like that last winter. I'd be researching each plant to determine if that would be enough.

This year I'm trying to grow a mango tree from seed, but since it can't handle sustained chilly temperatures (not freezing) I'm going to keep it in a pot a aggressively prune for size. I don't think I could keep it going outside over the winter.

There are some tropical plants which have varieties that will fruit at least as far north as Austin. I don't know the varieties of the top of my head, but Central Texas Gardner had a recent episode that mentioned a fruiting palm, and my mother had a friend with fruiting bananas.

I'm going to give you a link to a nursery near me that specializes in native and adapted edible for forest gardens in this area. http://hillcountrynatives.net/ in particular I would suggest browsing his plant lists. Not everything on those lists is tropical, but many of them are. He also goes so far as to have a separate listing of nitrogen fixing plants for support species.

For earthworks, I suggest you spend some time browsing the earthworks forums on this site. Since you say you are in San Antonio I'm guessing you have a suburban or urban yard to work with. In my experience, swales and heavy mulching, and infiltration basins can all, with careful planning, be used without offending the neighbors.
 
He loves you so much! And I'm baking the cake! I'm going to put this tiny ad in the cake:
Rocket oven documentary pre-sale now available
https://permies.com/t/90306/Rocket-oven-documentary-pre-sale
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!