Happy New Year! Why not ring it in by turning a new leaf? Forget about self-improvement… We’re talking permaculture gardens. Here are some tips to get your very own started…
Eat Healthier with Permaculture
This is probably the most sure-fire way to stick to your “eat healthier” resolution in the New Year. Let’s face it; if the goodness is in your garden, it’s easier to get the goodness in your belly. It’s only a few metres away, after all!
A New, Permanent Culture of Eating
While it’s hard work in the beginning, the rest is smooth sailing – it’ll all be cool as a cucumber once the seeds have sprouted. Because thereafter your garden will literally take care of itself…this is the nature of a permaculture garden. They emulate the patterns found in natural habitats. Culture your garden once and it will culture itself forever. And this will have a domino effect on your diet, nurturing a new, permanent culture (permaculture) of eating.
Starting a Permaculture Garden
The trick to having a self-sustaining garden is all in the designing and planting. Designing as far as methods and layouts, planting as far as what symbiotic species you plant. Here are your permaculture options:
- use mulches or ground cover plants
- instil a no-dig policy – turing the soil destroys its structure and exposes it to UV light and heat, which kills important microbes. Use earthworms instead
- garden beds – prevents you stepping onto the soil as compressing it will prevent air and water penetration
- Plant Stacking – plant shrubs under canopy forming trees or shade, then herbs under these with ground plants being the lowest, and finally root crops
- Succession Planting – plants replace each other as one dies off. If you plant new plants while existing ones are at the end of their fruiting to have crops throughout the season.
- Edge Effect – the best eco-system, where the environment transitions from one to the other. Small, rectangular, side-by-side beds are the easiest way to achieve this model.
Companion Planting (symbiotic planting)
- stimulate plant growth and productivity,
- increase resilience to pests and diseases,
- mask plants’ scents to make them harder for pests to find
- attract beneficial insects which act as pollinators
- attract beneficial predatory insects that will eat pest insects
And the best part is you don’t even need a garden to start one – a balcony or a wall (for you vertical garden lovers) will do just fine. But that’s an article for another day…