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Building a Resilient Garden to Survive Drought — The Grow Network Community
Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

-Jack Canfield

Building a Resilient Garden to Survive Drought

AlisonAlison Posts: 156 ✭✭✭
edited September 2018 in Growing Food
Sounds close to the Hidden Forest method I'm using.  We started by building berms around and then planted our trees.  I put garden around several of these trees nearest the house this year.  Next year I am going to add grapes and berries and then garden further out.  I know now after our severe drought which berms were working right and which ones need work.  I'm hoping we get enough snow this year to fill up all these berms so I don't need to worry about watering stuff next year because that was not an option this year.  The only watering I was able to do was with grey water that I was able to save and haul out.  Not something I ever want to do again.  As I move closer to 70 I really want a system that takes care of itself.



  • sherryosherryo Posts: 58
    edited September 2018
    Hi Alison

    Sounds like you are off to a great start!

    You might want to look at some of Brad Lancaster's work.  He has great ideas on harvesting rainwater in drylands.  I've used a number of his ideas in our Texas landscape and have made great progress in keeping what rain we receive in our soil.  We've healed ravines, redirected water to soak in (instead of running off) and are growing things we never could before.
  • peppypoblanopeppypoblano Posts: 92
    edited September 2018
    You've done quite a bit of work.  Sounds like it's really paying off.  Lots of good ideas.
  • AlisonAlison Posts: 156 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Thanks Sherryo, I've looked him up on youtube and have watched a little of what he's done already and will seek ways to incorporate his ideas. I believe I've watched something of his before.

    Cherlynn, I agree that as we get older it's necessary to find ways to streamline some of the heavier work. I'm looking to do that myself by adding some long hoses that go from the water tanks attached to the house that lead to the garden so I can water or fill a watering can much closer instead of carrying watering cans back and forth. I'm also considering drip irrigation I can attach a hose from a water tank as well...not sure if the pressure would be adequate.

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,410 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Allison, I can sure relate :) to your last sentence in your Op. You said: "As I move closer to 70 I really want a system that takes care of itself."

    I'm looking in this food-Growing section, re Developing a food FOREST, but do not see any discussions on such. Maybe I can start a new discussion? - Am new in Marjory's group, so still finding my way around.

    How much progress have you made since last year?

  • AlisonAlison Posts: 156 ✭✭✭


    Hmm, I think the '70' comment was by someone else. I am a smidge younger...not too much, but a little bit (:

    My food forest is developingnicely. I guess it also depends on what people classify as a 'food forest'. I recently saw a short interview of a couple in England somewhere that transformed their property of a few acres into a literal food forest. There are almost no defined pathways as we'd generally define them. Just areas they've worn down from walking over ground cover. It is very productive and delightful, but very different to the food forest I am developing.

    My food forest section has many - guessing around 55-60 trees in it of varying fruits and nuts. That includes things like grape vines being established on a trellis above an area where a raised vegie bed is. One such bed is for various kinds of asparagus. Below each section of the food forest [The center part is in 3 sections as my local council required me to build 3 separate enclosures based on zoning - the rest is outside of netting and thus I 'share' with the birds {birds don't share}] are rows of strawberries. I have around 1,000-2,000 plants in the back section alone.

    I've added around 12-15 new fruit/ nut trees/ vines etc this year in that area. So it is developing nicely.

    As I am trying to get as much produce from the netted areas as possible, I am planting dwarf apples/ pixie fruit trees/ fruiting bushes etc in close proximity to the mature and pruned full sized fruit trees. I then inter-dispersed things like sweet corn and cherry tomatoes in the rows of strawberries this year, and grew herbs such as coriander [cilantro] in spots as well. All the while I am still trying to have pathways for practicality sake.

    Outside of the netted area I also have a few raised garden beds between fruit/ nut trees for annual veggies. These are positioned for sun and convenience of watering/ planting/ picking etc.

    I also have a food forest/ potager garden in my front yard...but that's another story.

    As we move into winter, I am aware many others here are in spring. How are you all transforming your area into a productive place?


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