A Guide To Permaculture Gardening

 

 

Most people cultivate their gardens for functional or aesthetic reasons, but have you ever considered growing a garden that gives back to the local environment? This is the fundamental idea of Permaculture gardening. Learn more about this sustainable approach to gardening…

 

 

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THE PRINCIPLES OF PERMACULTURE

Permaculture first emerged in the 1960s as a field of agriculture that emphasized the importance of preserving natural patterns within the landscape, as well as natural species in area. It states that imitations of these natural patterns are more effective when it comes to gardening as these natural patterns have emerged through evolution over thousands of years. The implementation of permaculture will vary depending on the region of the Earth it is located in.

Permaculture design has three core ethics influencing every aspect of its design, intended to create systems that are not only sustainable but also regenerative.

The first of these ethics is Earth Care. This principle entails that cultivators or gardeners place special importance on taking care of the planet by maintaining and replenishing natural systems.  To put this principle into practice, one must implement solutions that promote biodiversity, soil health, and water conservation. This includes using renewable energy sources, recycling waste, and avoiding pollution.

The second principle is People Care which calls for support and nurture individuals and communities. Designers must curate systems that provide for human needs in a way that does not exploit people or resources. This involves creating inclusive, equitable communities, promoting health and education, and ensuring access to basic needs like food, shelter, and clean water.

The third of the principles is Fair Share or the return of Surplus. In this principle one must strive to redistribute surplus. This can be done by sharing excess resources to ensure that all can thrive without overexploiting the Earth. This ethic encourages practices like composting, seed sharing, community support systems, and reinvesting surplus energy back into the system to support the other two ethics.

 
 
 
 
 
 

HOW TO DESIGN A PERMACULTURE GARDEN

The first step of permaculture gardening is to observe and interact with the natural landscape of the region you live in. Once you have identified plants that are native to your area, you can start thinking about how where you would grow them. Plan out your garden, making sure that plants thriving in sun are planted in sunny areas and others in the shade.

When it comes to laying out a design for your garden, its important to think about the space you already have. You can decide on a shape such as a square, circle or triangle to designate for a certain type of plant. You can also conserve space by practicing vertical gardening, this would include the cultivation of vines such as grapes or other plants that will grow on walls and fences.

In the next step, decide the physical type of garden you want to grow. There are three major types you can consider: First off is container gardens. A container garden is perfect for a balcony or a mini permaculture experiment. They are easy to relocate and require less maintenance. However, if you decide that you want an in-ground garden, you will also have the advantage of using soil native to the ecosystem and therefore sure to provide a bountiful harvest. Raised bed gardens are a good option if you are working with poor soil, because you can get soil amendments to improve soil quality. This method also involves use of building materials like bricks, branches and logs, thereby giving an aesthetic appeal to your garden.

Once you have the foundation for your garden laid out, you can plant things that naturally thrive in your area. This will depend on the research you do at the start. If you live in a drier area, your garden would thrive well with succulent plants, and if you like in a colder area, you could grow an array of herbs and vegetables.

After you have set up your garden, it important to take into consideration the maintenance it will require. Do research on pest management and get the necessary equipment and the companion crops that assist in discouraging pests.

 
 
 
 
 
 
When starting a garden, its important to start small and learn along the way. Permaculture gardening especially is suited for new gardeners as it is a low-maintenance technique that benefits both you and your community. They are intended to create systems that are not only sustainable but also regenerative, promoting a harmonious relationship between people and the environment.
 
 
 

+ Highlight Image: © Vincent Erhart  via Unsplash

+ Words

Liza Silva
Luxiders Magazine