Starting a permaculture garden is not as difficult as you might think. All it requires is some creativity, time, and the right information. The following guide will help you avoid pitfalls and create an amazing garden that can produce healthy food for your family all year round!
The key to creating an amazing permaculture garden is working with nature.
Instead of fighting against the elements, it’s better to use what already exists in your area and focus on that.
Things you should consider before planting:
When to Plant?
The best time to start a permaculture garden is in the spring. Soil that has been exposed all winter warms more quickly than cooler soil and plants will be able to get established before summer heat hits.
Make sure your soil pH levels are optimal for growing vegetables – this can take some testing depending on what type of food you want to grow. If applicable, amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or manure at least one month prior to planting so it has enough time to break down into nutrients that feed the roots of your new veggies.
To prevent soil compaction, do not drive on the planting area with machinery or walk across it without first adding a layer of organic matter such as compost. Use mulch to suppress weeds and keep moisture in the soil – you can use straw, leaves, grass clippings, or even newspaper (black & white pages only).
Planning your Permaculture Garden:
Create a garden plan to help you plant in straight rows and avoid wasting space. You can also add trellises for vines like cucumber, beans, or peas – this will save room and provide support for your plants at the same time!
Permaculture gardens are divided into zones, each of which has its own function. A good way to think about this is in terms of how far it takes to walk from one side of the garden to another (or use a measuring tape).
- Zone 0 will be closest to your house and usually includes areas like fruit trees or berry bushes
- Zone One is where you plant annuals that require full sun exposure all day long – these include things like tomatoes, corn, beans, etc.
- The second zone is for perennials like asparagus or rhubarb… These plants can survive for many years so they don’t need replanting every year. Some veggies fall under this category too!
- Zone Three will have vegetables that need partial sun exposure during the day. This includes lettuce, carrots, peas, etc.
- Zone Four is dedicated to shade-loving plants like asparagus or tomatoes – these are usually planted underneath larger trees or bushes so they can get some protection from harsh conditions!
Most vegetables need full sun all day, so make sure you place them in the area that gets the most sunlight.
On the other hand, some plants can grow just fine with less than an hour of exposure to bright light – these are known as shade-tolerant plants and they include things like potatoes, peas, beans, spinach…
The most important step of all is making sure everything has good drainage by adding organic matter such as compost or manure into the soil prior to planting. This way when it rains (which should always be followed up by a day without rain) nutrients from these products won’t leach away before they can get absorbed.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
It can be both exciting and daunting planting your own food, especially if you are doing it for the first time. Don’t worry about making mistakes or not knowing exactly how everything should look – even experienced gardeners make these types of errors sometimes (I know I do). The most important thing is to get out there and start working with nature rather than against her.
How Long Does It Take?
It takes about two years before your first harvest (even faster if using proper planting techniques). However, once you have the system up and running, you will be able to enjoy food produced from your garden for many years after.
What Plants Should Be Included?
It’s important that you know what plants are good for different areas of your yard before starting out. For example, some plants can grow in the shade while others need full sun exposure all day long! Try using a planting map on paper or online to see how much sunlight each area gets throughout the year… this way it’s easy to plan around which plants should go where!
Problems People Face:
One of the biggest issues people face when growing their own food is pests. Pests love eating fresh produce just as much as we do so they will stop at nothing to get it! Luckily, there are some great ways around this problem. One of the most efficient methods is creating a pest barrier by using natural substances like peppermint oil or garlic.
When it comes down to it, permaculture gardens are all about forming relationships with the life around you! The more time you spend observing nature, the easier it will be to see exactly where each plant should go in order to produce healthy fruit & vegetables that nurture both body and soul… Now, What Are You Waiting For? Get Started Today!
James, the D.I.Y Expert, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Colorado State University. Love writing blog posts and guides to help others learn how to garden!