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Discover Permaculture Design The Best Life Support System For All Living Things
Welcome to our permaculture design beginners guide. Here you will discover the basics for planning a permaculture garden.
Permaculture design strives to create an agricultural environment that is sustainable and earth friendly.
The proper permaculture design optimizes ecosystems to their full capability. The designers reach this goal by working with nature not against it.
Permaculture ideas help lower monthly bills while suppling everything you need.
Each element of permaculture design provides more than one purpose.
The property contributes to the benefits of humans as well as the environment. All property space should be utilized effectively to benefit all.
Permaculture can and will one day solve the world’s environmental issues once the concept is adopted by the population.
It doesn’t happen overnight so get on board today to do your part.
Listed below are permaculture design ideas to get you started.
Assessment; The First Step In Permaculture Design
The first step in permaculture design is to observe your property. Long term property owners may already know the answers to the questions that need answering. For new homesteaders this can be a long process.
It requires detailed observation of your property over a period of time.
During this observation period you should answer the questions listed below. Write the answers down in a journal because you will need them later.
Here is a list of questions you will need answers to;
- How do the various plants interact with one another?
- What natural elements have developed in response to variables such as seasonal rains, wind and drought?
- Do you have any animals that shelter or nest on your property?
- Are there existing spring plants that wither away by fall?
- What time of year do you have high winds?
- Which direction do the high winds blow?
- How does the sun track across the sky according to the layout of your property?
- What parts of the property are in full shade?
- How much property has full sun in the summer?
All of the answers to these questions need to be noted in your journal. The answers to these questions are essential for growing your permaculture gardens.
The only way to fully observe a property is to do so over the full seasonal course of a year.
Research Weather Patterns
A vital part of the observation stage is to research the historical weather patterns of the region you live in.
If the area is in a flood plain, this is important information for your overall permaculture design.
You have to redirect the water flow for best use when living in a floodplain.
How often do hard winter snows only occur?
Use all this information in your permaculture plan.
Create A Map Of Your Property
Other elements of the property should be mapped out on a base map. This includes your observation details taken earlier during the assessment.
Just sketch out a map on paper to list the details. List your house, outbuildings, trees and all other items currently on your property.
Make note of the elevated slope of your property if any.
Is there an area with a natural creek bed, small ponds, large rocks, or massive trees?
They should appear on a map you make of the property.
What type of soil is on your property?
- Rich Black Soil
- Red Clay
Or any other variant, should be detailed in your notes. Soil types are very important when it comes to permaculture gardening.
Use this information to determine which type of permaculture garden design you will use.
Get more information for checking types of soil and weather patterns by visiting our home gardening beginners guide.
Permaculture Design Elements
What permaculture design elements need to be added to the landscape?
These elements may include;
- Organic Gardening Plots
- Composting Areas
- Raised Garden Beds
- Water Supply Catchment Systems
- Water Features Such As Ponds
- Swales For Moving & Storing Water For Designated Garden Areas
- Wind turbines
- Solar panels
- Seating For Enjoying your Permaculture Gardens
- Locations For Raising Your Animals
- Playgrounds For The Kids.
The design of each element should contribute to the overall design of the large and small ecosystems.
Everything added to the design should help benefit everything else nearby it.
Each element should have as many purposes as possible. Everything should interrelate.
For Instance alternative energy sources such as wind turbines, solar panel arrays are popular additions.
They harness wind and the suns energy to power your home and other devices on your property.
The needs of one element should be supplied by another.
Creating Permaculture Zones And Sectors
Once you know what you have and what you need, you should create a design using zones and sectors.
Each zone has a specific purpose in mind.
Zones that require more daily attention should be easier to reach then those that require less attention.
Zone 1 – This zone would be the closest to the house, The first zone should contain areas that are used or tended to daily.
These areas include kitchen herb gardens, organic vegetable gardens and animal containment areas you care for daily.
Zone 2 – This is the next most area of importance. It would be further away and require less activity than the first zone.
Set up zones in this manner. Design them in accordance to the most important being closest . The areas that need less attention place the further away.
Sectors are based upon your observations.
The sectors with heavy shade will vary from the sectors with full sun. This also applies for the ones with partial sun during the day.
This is taken from your yearly observations at different times of the year.
Fertile sectors with rich soil and lots of direct sunlight would be the best locations for vegetable and herb gardens.
Whereas the sectors with heavy shade or a tendency to accumulate water runoff may be the best areas for woodland streambeds and shade loving plants.
Low areas where water collects are good areas for ponds or water features.
Once your zones and sectors are mapped and your needs listed, it’s time to decide what goes where.
Each item you place should take into account all of the elements of your location.
Make sure each item is sustainable, with a limited number of plants needing to be replanted each year.
Remember the key to permaculture design is for each item you place to have multiple purposes.
Everything in the design needs to provide what something else needs.
Now let’s take a look at permaculture garden design.
Permaculture Garden Design
Permaculture gardens are designed to produce food, sustain life, maintain ecosystems. When set up correctly they are designed to reproduce naturally without intervention.
These permaculture gardens are also known as a permaculture food forest.
Food forests are a permaculture idea that mimics a forest ecosystem.
The twist here is that they use fruit trees and other native fruit bearing plants within the growing area,
They are known for growing abundant food supplies for many years using plants and trees native to your area.
Vegetable and flower gardens are created within these food forest along with native heirloom plants. These heirloom plants are carefully chosen to suit their specific growing zones.
The plants suited to their local environment will reproduce themselves from seed or root each year.
Benefits Of Permaculture Gardens
Permaculture gardening design is a complete system using all natural materials that benefit all life forms.
Organic gardening practices are the only methods used to grow permaculture food forest gardens.
It is a no dig gardening approach unlike conventional gardening. You will never have to dig in it but once in the beginning.
These gardens can be started for pennies on the dollar because you will use all local organic materials.
Permaculture gardens are to be designed to benefit the needs of feeding your family, animals you raise and all natural living things.
They are sometimes referred to as permaculture food forests.
A permaculture food forest can produce from 2 to 8 times more food than a conventional garden of the same size.
This gardening systems allows you to grow a sustainable food supply that is organic as it gets.
They don’t need much watering or maintenance from you when set up correctly.
It all starts with eliminating all harsh chemicals like;
These items are known to damage your soil over time and create health issues for you and all other living species.
Get information about why we should not use chemicals in our gardens. Visit our homestead gardening naturally post.
Eliminate The Use Of Fertilizers In Permaculture Gardens
Chemical fertilizers are replaced by various types of compost to supply nutrients to your soil.
Worm castings derived from worm composting is an excellent organic fertilizer used for gardening.
When used as an additive to compost it creates a super soil mix for growing extremely healthy plants.
Nitrogen is supplied by growing natural nitrogen fixing plants in the garden from the beginning.
These both are necessary to rebuild the soil structure for optimal plant growing health.
Pesticides Are Not Needed In Permaculture Gardens
Pest control is performed by growing fruit trees to allow a home for birds. Happy birds with a home around your garden eat a lot of insects.
Specific companion plants are planted under trees to attract beneficial insects to take care of the pest issues.
Water features such as small ponds can be added to house fish and frogs which eat their weight in insects.
They are also useful for irrigation purposes while being a great watering source for birds.
These small ponds can be maintained with water caught from your rooftops during rain storms.
Set up barrels under the gutter downspouts to catch and store the rainwater for future use.
Piles of rocks added around the pond which will attract lizards to help out with insect control at the same time.
Permaculture Gardens Use No Herbicides
Permaculture garden designs allow for over planting. This is known as bio intensive gardening. The concept is to plant enough plants in your garden to eliminate weed pressure. Use the permaculture garden design techniques below to eliminate weed problems.
Incorporate fruit trees, perennial garden plants, berries and annual vegetable and herb in the same garden bed. The application of weed barriers and heavy mulch will allow time for the plants to take off without weed issues.
The idea here is to plant out small areas before mother nature does. Keep areas to be planted with organic mulch or a good cover crop to hold down weed.
Here is how it works.
Simple & Easy Permaculture Garden Bed Design
Below we have provided a quick to start your permaculture gardens.
Use this for any size garden beds you wish. Just repeat the process below as supplies become available.
Multiple sheets of damp newspaper or cardboard are first laid over the existing growth cutting off sunlight.
This kills the growth turning into a food source for the microbes you are about to create with living composts.
Heavy layers of sheet mulch about a foot thick and compost is added over the top creating a new growing bed.
Plant using the square foot method to grow a bio intensive garden shading out any areas weeds could grow.
Weeds which may come up can be easily removed and placed in a bucket of water along with others till they rot.
Steep the weeds for some time until they smell bad. Use the liquid as an organic fertilizer for your garden.
Take the leftover pulp in the bucket and use it in your compost pile.
Do You Want To Know More About Permaculture Garden Food Forests?
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- How to set u and put into action your survival garden food forest in 3 steps
- How to create nutritious soil for your plants
- Learn step by step how to plant 125 plants into your permaculture garden.
- Discover how to “Marry Your Plants”.
- Get a list of perennial plants to grow that you don’t have to plant every year, Some of these varieties yield for years.
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Design your permaculture landscape as nature suggests by following the suggestions above.
Visit the link below to get the best permaculture ideas from top selling books.
This allows you to create a living environment that will benefit you and all of nature for years to come.
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