Find out your water capacity, and start raising what you like, rather than what will be suited to your environment...nothing teaches you faster than trying to save delphinums in a hot Santa Ana wind, or watching your gardenias hit by the cold Santa Ana's, or washing the snow off your roses on New Years Eve to save the buds from freezing. Then change the environment to grow what you like along with what is happy without any loving care...Plant quick growing shade trees with slow growing hardwoods five feet away, and as the hards wood begin to get large, slowly cut down your weed trees...plant to be shading from the morning sun, and the midday sun, and even the last hour before sunset...use your driplines and manure plentifully, but only next to the plants, for the weeds need no help...growing the gardenias in your heated and cooled greenhouse just for the pleasure of it, and planting sweet peas with your cucumbers, winter and summer, spring and fall. Plant your white roses on the north side of the house, and the reds and golds a little further out to the west under the Robinia trees you need for the flowers to hold their color, and since they can take the sun a little better. Plan your perennial's and annuals and trees and shrubs to give your chickens places to play and eat, and get the chickens later when your paddock system is built, and you have the equipment to take care of them.
Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:Hi everyone:
If you have ever lived in a desert, you know that our dry climate and temperature extremes can be challenging. Not all permaculture standbys work for all climates. A really telling example of this is the Herb Spiral. Herb spirals are a poor choice for dry climates because anything raised is going to dry out more quickly. If you combine dry with HOT - it gets even worse. You've exposed your plants to a super-heated, super-dry microclimate.
So, desert permies, if you had ONE PIECE of advice to give someone new to desert permaculture, what would it be?