I will be replacing some failing almond trees with pistachios, which the extension service says should be more likely to bear nuts here than the almonds will. What should I consider planting with these trees? Zone 8, somewhat alkaline clay soil, very dry (extreme drought conditions).
I get worried about your dry place. I heard there is a drought in the southern states of America this year so maybe your situation will be better next year, i dont know where your land is. What about planting the prosopis cineraria, as it is a desert tree and a luguminouse tree, i dont know where you buy it, it is a treee that they use from arabia to the deserts of india, maybe in other places to, it is pretty edible its leaves feed the goats and other bit of it feed people if i remember right. I wrote about it somewhere here, i cant remember all the stuff i learnt researching it. When i got my garden i was not into permaculture and now i wonder how much more quickly the soil would have recovered if i had known about it and planted leguminouse trees everywhere. I have just started planting leguminous trees, wattle trees and the judas tree ii put in a acacia seed a while back. I think there is a south american mexican prosopis and indigenous one, it might be better to use a local one. There is a good probably USDA site, i think it was, on trees in Utah things like the rocky mountain curly leaved mahogany which might be usefull to you, it is also a forage tree whose leaf has a high protein content. They talk of dry place forage bushes too if i remember right. if you write the name of you state into google and the words natural forage plants, you might find something. Old man salt bush if a forage plant, there are bushy members of the chenopodium family of plants that are fodder plants and live in deserts, forage cochea is one of them. What about portulaca oleraceapurslane. Help my dog is nervous there is thunder some where he wont let me write this. i planted some decorative portulaca a few years ago on top of a wall and it grows like crazy, grows and flowers and sustains a lot of fat succulent type leaves all summer with no water. The birds must like the seed, it appears in the square where i live in madrid as a weedb the less pretty variety does, and the only way of it getting here that i can think of is by bird, in bird dropings. It appears where the pidgeons come to eat the berries of the aligustre japonicum trees that decorate the street. It serves as fodder for live stock and as a salad plant and in one place i heard it adviced as a plant for the thirsty earth as if it watered the earth and i have read on these forums that where it growns crops do better. brad lancaster has a site called desert harvestors.org. that talks of desert trees i think, i haven't visited it yet, i have just listened to some of his videos on growing things in Tucsan Arizona. t the site i have just found on heritage grains that i have written about does some old mexican grains and when i was looking for grains i came across the site of an organic farm that grew rye to provide mulch, it seems theere are some very long stalked varieties of rye. that can give you a lot of mulch. there are some six foot versions of oats does not fukoak plant oats and rye together ?agri rose macaskie.
Thank you, rose. Yes, I'm worried too! We're in exceptional drought and supposed to remain droughty for the foreseeable future. So I have to look at only extremely drought tolerant things. We have one or two Prosopis (Mesquite) trees growing as natives, I also want to try the Palo Verde which is mentioned on the Desert Harvesters site. So far Purslane has not grown for me though I have tried to plant seeds several times.
If you ever go into Austin (not sure how far you are from there), there are some free pamphlets at The Great Outdoors and probably The Natural Gardener published every year that have a really nice list of native or adapted plants that could be used as companion plants.
You could try pomegranate and agarita. Goji? They like dry climates supposedly. I have one that is limping along in a pot right now.
The weather man talking of the drought in the southern states did say it that it was a year of the niña so it should not be so dry next year, which is not to say there is not global warming think of the typoons and twisters and the general hotter years and the unusual floods floods and droughts, Here in spain it has been a bit cooler and wetter the last few years, maybe there are just many more trees. The idea I get from them is that Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton would have a ton of mezquite trees, like for every pistachio, a mezquite tree, at least i think they had a line of some sort of unfruit producing tree on top of each swale in the greening the desert in jordan videos, unfortunately geof lawton is more vocal about the fruit trees than the none fruit ones so he does not name all the none fruit trees they put in. Maybe he does, he names three, i have just cut out work for myself listening to the videos again. He planted a line of ordinary trees did not he and then a lines of fruit producing trees, a line of palms, figs, pomegranates, guavas, i dont remember. I do remeber that Geof Lawton said they planted a lot of none fruit baring trees were it is hard to grow even one tree and the locals thought they were crazy but it worked they started to get figs in record time and with very little irrigation and that on salty soils. I would get in touch with them, they have a site, as they do know about plants the names of lots of plants and the plants that do well were and it seems geof lawton is spending a lot of time jordan, a dry place place, so he must be getting more and more expert at that. It is plain in one video when he mentions that the Jordanians have changed the orientation of the drip lines, that he thinks the drip should go on contour. He did put in a foot and a half of mulch can you do that? Whatching all the brad Lancaster videos helpes me think about water harvesting, about where to put berms. A lot of argueing is not so much about information as about how to knock your point home or convince people, and Brad Lancaster has a good phrase, he says first you plant the rain, then the food plants. Permaculture does both at the same time as people are in a hurry to eat i imagine. It is also first you plant your soil forming trees. It is time i pulled up my botanny plant knowledge skills. i hate lists and learning words. learning languages and such. Maybe it is possible to get Mollison and Lawton to come places if they can use the visit to show pupils how to design a bit of land. get them to come and do your land for you. In north Africa it is the real acacias, mimosas, that border with the desert. A dune holding tree with very deep roots is the tamarisk tree. The pine tree pinus halepensis is usually planted as a tree to plant in the green belt to deserts in north afrrica aparently junipers hot country ones spring up of their own accord in these areas if they are not kept down. The dry country pine the umbrella pine has deliciouse nuts and smells great. Junipers smell great and the drought hardy rock roses smell great. Abies maroccan is a maroccan type of christmas tree. Jesus Charco. Cedar trees are natural to the hottest driest parts of the mediteranean. the prickly pear that brad lancaster is sittign in front of in some videos has delicouse fruit but here they plant them on the edges of feilds were you dont often feel like walking because they are so uncomfortable as close contact plants. There is always a petrol mulch that has been so successful in restoring the plants to desertified land in Irak. It holds the humidity in to the soil apply it and plant two mounth later when the dampness has had time to accumulate in a gap scraped in the petrol covered land. you scrap the petrol off the top of the land two years later when your plants have grwon a bit. Does the dampness come up from below? I wonder what grade petrol that is? would it be crude oil? Olive trees grow in the desert, ones that established their roots a long time ago and that live in places that are inaccsessible to the axe of the person looking for forage and wood. Jesus Charco. El Bosque Mediterraneo en el Norte de Africa. Bio-biversida y el lucha contra desertification . Mediteranean Woods in the North of Africa. Bio-diversity and the fight against desertification. This is a book that is worth transalating. Jesus Charco, a Spanish writer who writes about natural woods in the north of Africa, oaks woods olive forests juniper forests, pine and dry country fir forests and more. He says there are cementaries in Marocco that, as they are the burying place of some islamic saint, are closed to people and live stock and there, where neither man nor livestock go to eat the vegetation, grow a very small area of impenetrable forest, with deep damp mulch at their feet, a forest of olives palms and carob trees, ceratonia siliqua grow. The carob is your nitrogen producing leguminouse tree of the bunch. agri ropse macaskie.
I think it would be more permaculture not to take out the almonds even if they are dead they are a home to insects, just to add more things. If they are alive they probably have some root to them and could provide some shade and some mulch in the way of leaf litter to any new plants you put in and should be kept at least til the new plants have some decent root to them. If they are new, maybe they will do well later when they have more root, I read somewhere that trees flourish when they are ready to. In my garden full of pooor soil nothing did very well at first i just had to wait till the soil got better chaning plants would not have made any difference. Had I put on a lot of mulch in th ebegining and had chickens to manure things, then they might have done well sooner. agri rose macaskie.
Zander Company does a micorrhyzal mix that is for dry places in the middle east. You put a measure or two in the bottom of your planting hole in contact with the roots of the plants you are planting, i suppose, that is what Thompson and Morgans micorrhyzal mix instructions tell you to do, Tthe ZAnder companies product contains desert type mushrooms. Zander is a european, middle eastern company. Maybe Paul Stamets has a desert type mix too. rose macaskie.
Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop