What edible landscaping can be grown in Arizona?

thisisme(az9b)February 20, 2010

I have fruit trees and nut trees and a garden already. I have blueberries and I know blackberries and raspberries can grow here in the low desert.

I'm looking for edible plants/bushes and shrubs with tasty leaves, flowers or fruit. They must be easy to grow and care for and produce enough edibles to be worth growing. Of course they will also need to be able to handle the extreme heat and low humidity of the low desert.

Any suggestions?

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I'd say prickly pear cactus would be a good one for the desert but you can go collect the fruit in the wild! I made a nice batch of wine from the fruit last year when I visited socal.

Good luck,
Little John

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 6:26PM
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lol wildforager you are so right they are all over the place and I have thought about growing them. No worries about whether or not they will grow well here thats for sure.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 11:07PM
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I've met people who've collected other cactus fruits as well. Seguaro is one I can remember for sure. Cactus fruit leather is pretty good! Make your own fruit roll ups.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 6:15PM
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You can try www.nativeseedsearch.org they carry seeds for the dry climate in arizona. There are chives that are good to grow in Arizona but only if you use them. They are a perrenial. Pineapple guava bush.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 11:33PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Citrus and Olives and Pomegranates and Figs! Those all thrive in heat, and they don't mind wind. They have Mediterranean heritage. I have 2 or 9 of each of those.

You can also grow heat loving grapevines! Mine are all wine grapes, and I am in your climate, four hours from Phoenix across the border.

Red flame and Thompson seedless grow well here in the Coachella Valley. Those are table grapes and we have miles of vineyards here. They sell to Costco.

If you want wine grapes, then you need to choose varieties of vinifera that thrive in Greece, parts of Italy, Portugal, Australia, Chili, Egypt... HOT ARID countries. I grow Touriga Nacional, Tempranillo, Cabernet Savignon Clone 08, Malbec, Zinfandel, Primitivo, Mourvedre, Perlette, Assirtico, Charbono, Alicante Bouschet, Cinsaut, Syrah, Mandilaria, Lagorthi, Liatico, Daphnata, and Kotzifali.

Hope those help!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 11:20AM
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Try Baker's nursery on 40th street and Osborne Rd. I have bought several plants from them over the past few years. I have been very satisfied with their plants, including a peach with 5 different varieties grafted. 4 come in at the same time and the 5th is coming in now. Great quality. I also bought a pineapple guava which has become a bush. No fruit yet but great edible flowers. I have a 3 year old plum tree with some delicious fruit. My neighbour has several different varieties of quince, pomegranate, fig and various citrus. He also has almonds, 2 varieties of early summer apples, apricots, chinese pears and nectarines. He gets huge crops, we have tons of pomegranates etc hanging over our wall as a result! He has a strawberry guava that has yet to produce fruit though! So there are plenty of fruit to grow. Passion fruit do well here too but they are not always available to buy. I have grown rhubarb as an annual because it perished in the severe heat of the summer. It did grow very well until the 100's arrived. Melons, marrows, zucchini and egg plants do very well, as do the desert variety tomatoes. The toms stop fruiting in the severe 110F heat but resume again in the 90's and over-wintered! Peppers and Chillis do well also. Bush cucumbers and gherkins are okay too but avoid F1 greenhouse varieties or English cucumbers (as they are often sold as in the States), they do not do well in the heat. Nasturtians (spelling?) grow well in the cooler times of the year and their leaves are edible. Lettuce and Cabbages do okay in winter but bolt quickly when the temp starts to climb in late Feb - March. Bananas are also possible here. There is a gardener in Tempe with abundant crops, although most people seem to have just the plants without fruit. I have tried growing them but have over-watered, hence they died through root rot. Mary Irish does a good guide for gardening in the low desert. Anyway, hope that helps.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 9:08PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I grew a pineapple guava from seed, and I understand it takes two to pollinate for fruit. I will probably go over to Ebay and see if I can purchase some more seeds. My seeds almost all sprouted, and then, life happened, I got busy and forgot about them. One is growing well, and there are two small ones attached to it. Not sure if those are branches or other seedlings that just got too close, but I am not going to count on them for pollination.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 3:20PM
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You can also have a nice herb garden in Arizona if you plant them in the right spots--basil, chives, cilantro, mint--you might want to keep mint in a container because otherwise it does REALLY well and will take over your yard--lavender, and dill are all possible. Chives do particularly well when planted with rose bushes because they make the roses smell more strongly (and rose petals also can be added to your salads).

In fall through spring you can add pansies to your garden--those flowers are also edible and make a nice colorful addition to salads.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 9:10PM
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