A garden is a plot of ground where herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables are cultivated. Most gardens are created to make the environment beautiful with different species of flowers. Well, you create a garden that will be beneficial to the local environment.
Geff Lawton says “you can solve all the world’s problems in a garden”
Permaculture means “Permanent agriculture” it is a word that was first coined in the 1970s by environmental psychology professor Bill Mollison.
Permaculture is a viable system that focuses on forming a compatible relationship between plants, soil, animals, and people. It is the conscious designs and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the stability, diversity, and resilience of natural ecosystems.
Permaculture has been implemented and gained widespread visibility throughout the world as an agricultural and architectural design system and as a guiding life principle or philosophy.
Permaculture is built on some ethics which are:
- Care for the earth: The provision of all life systems to continue and multiply
- Care for the people: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence
- Reinvest the surplus: Setting limits to population and consumption so that people do not take more than what is needed.
Permaculture focuses on the creation of human systems which provide for human needs using natural elements and inspiration from the natural ecosystem. It helps to reduce waste, human labor, energy input and maximize benefit through synergy.
Permaculture gardening focuses on the idea of designing your garden around your environment, it heavily relies on nature and the inner workings of your local environment. It focuses on building up the quality of the soil with nutrients so that you are constantly refreshing the earth as you strengthen the health of your plant. Each plant in a permaculture garden has a sole purpose, some are used for food while some are used for medicine. Nothing in the permaculture garden should ever be wasted.
A permaculture garden provides crafting materials, an attractive appearance, a relaxing atmosphere, food, and medicinal crops, and wildlife. These gardens produce food by using a variety of fruits, herbs, vegetables, etc.
Certain principles guide permaculture gardening; these principles guide people in designing a site for their garden so that the resources of the land are used effectively.
Observe and interact with the land
Observations help to save time and effort. Before making any decision on how your garden will look like, take time to observe the land thoroughly and know what existed on the land. There are various questions you should ask yourself during your course of observation.
- What areas get the most sun during the day
- Which plant species will grow best in that area
- What type of wildlife do you see around?
- Is there any slope in the yard?
Design your garden
Once you’ve gotten familiar with your surroundings and know the suitable plant to grow, you should plan your garden’s design. A good design will save you from a lot of stress while a poorly designed garden will be a thorn in the flesh for years to come. When designing the garden, you should take note of the water sources, light requirement, where you want your plants to grow, and how much space they will contain. Get a piece of paper sketch out the design layout you want and you could always change your design if your goal changes.
Make use of an efficient water system
The water system used can be used to determine if your permaculture garden fails or succeed. Make sure the appropriate amount of water is required for the plant to survive. You could set up a system that will capture and store rainwater from the roof like barrels so that you can use it for watering the plants and also washing the tools.
Build your garden beds
Once you decided on where you want the garden to be, a permaculture garden raised bed is suitable for use. This is because it doesn’t involve tilling up the soil from year to year to add fertilizer and amendments. Gardeners usually maintain their raised beds by adding materials on top. The raised bed should be 6 to 12 inches above the ground. Sheet mulching can also be used; which is called lasagna gardening. It is a passive method of composting and it is done on the site that you wish to enrich. This is called lasagna because it involves stacking alternating layers of materials like cardboard, compost, straw, leaves, etc. In a way, it looks like a slice of lasagna as a cross-section. This is done to build the soil without disturbing the pre-existing tillage.
Apply self-regulation and feedback
Permaculture requires minimal labor, the efforts put into your garden affect what you get in return from the garden. This process educates us on the importance of assessing/inspecting your gardening process. Accessing after every season, taking notes of mistakes you make, correcting them, and constantly improving your techniques.
Choose a plant-based on your surrounding
Before you decided on what to plant, you should do thorough research to know which annual or perennial plant will survive in your surroundings. You should plant crops that attract beneficial insects and naturally fertilize the soil. Plant crops that attract butterflies and herbs that repel harmful insects from fruit trees.
Benefits of permaculture gardening
- It connects humans to nature
- It’s low maintenance
- It helps to boost health
- It’s all-inclusive
- Less work and energy is required
Permaculture garden benefits not only you but the world around you, and it teaches people how to make good use of nature. To start a permaculture garden you should make sure you are near a water source. And choose the right place and also the right plant, and start small.