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Author Topic: Landscaping  (Read 5686 times)

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Enchantra

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Landscaping
« on: November 02, 2014, 02:46:51 PM »

Last night we went to Home Depot and bought trees.  One Palo Verde and one Chilean Mesquite.  Both are members of the Legume family and thrive in our poor desert soils without to much fuss.

Today Peter and I spent about 3-4 hours outside digging two large holes, amending the soil and planting these two beauties along with attempting to till the area by the front door for the herb garden.

The Palo Verde which gets yellow flowers on it in the Spring has green bark and tend to be multi-trunked.  We put that one up closer to the house (It's about 15 feet from the house, at least 15 feet from the walkway and 20 feet from the driveway), and the Mesquite went to the Northeast corner of the front yard down in an area where water collects in rainstorms and about 15-20 feet in from the road.  It's also a good 30-40 feet away from the Septic area which is uphill from the tree.

Both trees will get canopies on them in the 20-25 ft wide range, and will not impede on the house where they are planted but will provide some shade and protection.  I plan on laying down some gravel and putting in a sitting area between the Palo Verde and the house.

Digging these holes was a lesson in patience.  Took another trip to Home Depot this morning and got a digging bar.  If you have ever had to dig into rock hard soil you will know the benefit of these things.  They weigh about 30 lbs, but they power through hard soil.  Each hole was dug about three feet wide and three feet deep, so we needed something that could get through the rock, clay, sand and silt mixture they call soil here.

Took a second trip to Home Depot this afternoon and got mulch to help hold the moisture in the soil till these trees get established and to get the tree supports and tie backs.  Once these trees are established their water needs are minimal since a Palo Verde is a native tree to this part of the world, and mesquite trees are also Native to the desert.  I'll be removing the mulch probably sometime next year and leveling things out and covering the area with gravel instead.  The mulch is temporary and what is left of it next year will go straight to the compost heap.

So our landscaping is slowly, piece by piece taking shape...
Just waiting on hearing back from our wall guy when he wants to meet with us and the neighbors to solidify wall plans, and to see where we are in the permitting process with Maricopa County.

Currently I hurt all over - I need to get back into shape!
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-Amanda
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Phishisgroovin

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2014, 03:03:27 PM »

Nice!
That Mesquite will come in handy for future barbecues! :blob1:
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Enchantra

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2014, 03:56:05 PM »

Yes it will.  :D
But for now it grows out.  If I need to do any formative pruning I'll give the pieces to my Hubby for the BBQ.   :icon_sunny:
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-Amanda
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Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways, it can change someone else's life forever. - Comedian Margaret Cho.

A man wearing a helmet defending his country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football!!!  (From an email message I received - so true!)

Itsandbits

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2014, 05:21:05 PM »

looking good Amanda, next tree you should get is a "moringa"; native to Africa but can be found in the states now, you can eat every part of it and is very healthy/nutricious and hardly needs any water.
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Enchantra

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2014, 07:37:11 PM »

My dream is to get Frankincense and Myrrh trees for a garden in the back yard.  They won't take freezing temps however so if I were to get these trees I would have to find a way to keep them protected in the winter if the temperatures were going to fall below a certain point at night.  So until I have a good plan in place I won't be buying them.

I do have a dwarf persimmon and a Negronne dwarf fig for the eastern side yard along with a Gogi berry and a seaberry Male (The female never survived shipment, will be ordering a new one).  Seaberries are used in China and in African countries to help reclaim desert/arid land as they tolerate alkaline and salty soils and extreme drought/heat.    That said they also produce tart berries good for preserves and supposedly fresh eating. 

The rest of my landscaping outside of edibles is going to be all cactus and succulents and the random Mesquite tree.  My goal is to turn the entire back yard bit by bit into a desert garden oasis minus the palm trees and water hogging plants.
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-Amanda
http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/EnchantedRegalia
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Coincidence is G-d's way of staying anonymous.  -Rabbi David Abrahams

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways, it can change someone else's life forever. - Comedian Margaret Cho.

A man wearing a helmet defending his country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football!!!  (From an email message I received - so true!)

hummingbirdstones

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2014, 06:48:29 PM »

Amanda,

The guy we had come out to spray our trees this spring (they had borers and other little nasties), said to string Christmas lights in the trees (obviously not the LED ones that don't throw heat) to keep them from freezing.  We were commiserating about how all the blooms on the fruit trees got killed after a really cold night.  Sounded like it might be feasible, but who knows?
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Robin

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2014, 07:07:06 PM »

Robin,
Interesting.  They would definitely have to be the old time variety, just not sure where I'd be able to get those massive bulbs anymore.  Even the tiny non-LED ones aren't hot enough to keep the surrounding air warm.  When I was a kid my folks had these massive lights for the tree, those things would BURN if you touched them.  As those strands started burning out they replaced them with much friendlier tiny bulbed lights.
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-Amanda
http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/EnchantedRegalia
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Coincidence is G-d's way of staying anonymous.  -Rabbi David Abrahams

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways, it can change someone else's life forever. - Comedian Margaret Cho.

A man wearing a helmet defending his country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football!!!  (From an email message I received - so true!)

hummingbirdstones

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2014, 05:39:49 AM »

Pretty sure he was talking about the small lights, not the big bulbs.  I think he said he used them on his trees.  They still give off enough heat to keep things from forming frost, which is what really kills things.  I might do my apricot trees and see if it works.  Can't hurt and it would be really nice to have apricots next year.   :dontknow:
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Robin

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2014, 05:43:31 AM »

Having apricots would be a really good thing.  Apricot preserves are delicious.  Oh and Apricots boiled with rum make excellent preserves in jars.   :toothy12: :toothy10: :toothy10:
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-Amanda
http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/EnchantedRegalia
http://www.pinterest.com/amandabielski/
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Coincidence is G-d's way of staying anonymous.  -Rabbi David Abrahams

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways, it can change someone else's life forever. - Comedian Margaret Cho.

A man wearing a helmet defending his country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football!!!  (From an email message I received - so true!)

Itsandbits

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2014, 07:08:56 AM »

where do you live that the apricots get frosted out Hummingbird? Here in Kamloops they are like weeds, but seem to take a break every so often and there is no crop. Our first frost is late Oct. and last is late April normally but winters get down to -30C occasionally.
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iceopals

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2014, 07:54:38 AM »

Apricot trees?  That sounds like Heaven!
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Enchantra

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2014, 08:02:22 AM »

Hummingbirdstones is about two hours North of where I am down here in the AZ Desert.  However she is living in a region that gets colder than me.  However she has some great mountain views and is closer to the Grand Canyon.   :thumbsup:
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-Amanda
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Coincidence is G-d's way of staying anonymous.  -Rabbi David Abrahams

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways, it can change someone else's life forever. - Comedian Margaret Cho.

A man wearing a helmet defending his country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football!!!  (From an email message I received - so true!)

Itsandbits

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2014, 08:38:14 AM »

Apricot trees?  That sounds like Heaven!
when I bought my property it was infested with them; there are about three different varieties but they are like maple and just spring up everywhere, seven years later and the pits in the ground are still sprouting where there used to be trees.
I just wish my cherry trees were as prolific, I get good crops but had to take one; three ft. diameter at the base, down because it got rotten inside. I keep threatening to plant a peach tree but my neighbour has one and I get all I want from it.
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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2014, 08:52:15 AM »

Lucky.
I have a bush cherry experiment I'm trying.  Not sure it will work.  Cherries are one of those things folks say you cannot grow down here because our winters aren't cold enough.  For $10 I thought I would give it a shot and got three bare root plants.  All thrived, end of summer I lost one but the other two are still ticking.  I'm just going to wait and see what happens.  If I lose them all or never get a single Cherry I'm only out $10 and some time.  I'm on the hunt for fruit varieties that have been bred to like out lack of winter down here.  Hubby wants an Apple and a Mandarin Orange tree.  I want a plum and Apricot tree if I can find suitable varieties.
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-Amanda
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Coincidence is G-d's way of staying anonymous.  -Rabbi David Abrahams

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways, it can change someone else's life forever. - Comedian Margaret Cho.

A man wearing a helmet defending his country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football!!!  (From an email message I received - so true!)

hummingbirdstones

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Re: Landscaping
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2014, 06:03:54 PM »

We're in North Central Arizona - just north of Prescott.  Pretty much 2 hours or less from everywhere, except far south AZ.  We're technically "High Desert" -- being about a mile high in altitude.

We have apricot, pear, peach, plum and apple trees.  They were all on the sickly side when we bought this place last spring, having been neglected for I don't know how long.  Last year we had plums and pears.  The apricot trees only produced a few fruit, but they were absolutely delicious!  This year the apple trees did well, but the rest of the trees bloomed too early because we had a really mild winter and got nailed by a late spring cold spell.  :(  We also have Chinese Mulberry which is a really weird tree that we are clueless about how to care for.

We've been slowly pruning and nursing everything back to hopefully healthy trees.  There were cherry trees here, but the couple in the back were dead when we got here as well as the three on the north part of the property that got toasted in a fire that happened a couple of years ago.

Oh yeah, we also have what we think is a lemon tree growing in the green house.  The guy who owned this place before the losers who bought it from him was an ardent gardener and had 3 citrus trees growing in the green house (lemon, orange and grapefruit, we believe).  The only one in there was dead, we thought.  It had no growth last year at all, and then all of the sudden one day we noticed new growth coming from the bottom of the trunk.  Now there's a few branches, almost to the roof of the greenhouse.  Unfortunately, it probably won't survive the winter, since I refuse to heat the greenhouse.  There is a heater hooked up in there, but I'd be terrified of even turning it on without having it totally checked out first.  It'll be interesting to see how long it will last, though.
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