Hello everyone, and welcome to this article, in which I discuss how to learn permaculture for organic gardening.
One of the most liberating feelings in the world is being able to grow our own food. It’s definitely a game-changer and puts us in the driver’s seat of your life.
Have you ever looked at the fruits, vegetables, or grains at the market or supermarket, wondering how you can grow them?
Well, it’s possible for you to do so as well if you understand the principles of permaculture.
What is permaculture?
It is a way of life that meets our needs, through eco-friendly, and developmental design. By providing us with the tools and processes needed to live sustainably, while
- It empowers us to take control of our lives by teaching us the skills needed to take care of ourselves.
- It enables us to meet our basic needs, especially in times of economic unrest.
- It’s easy to start and implement.
- Permaculture makes us more connected with nature.
Inspecting the location
Before you begin designing your organic garden, it’s recommended that you spend some time to inspect the location.
This step in the process is very important because you’re able to observations existing plants at the location can give an indication of soil conditions, and also see if there are material resources like rocks, timber, or clay, that could be used in your design.
Even if you’re creating a small container garden, balcony garden, or urban garden. This step is still important.
Designing the garden
There are different types of gardens that can be created using permaculture. Such as kitchen gardens, vegetable gardens, terraces, balcony gardens, and urban gardens.
In smaller spaces like urban gardens, more space can be gained by creating raised beds and terraces.
Using the principles of permaculture to design a garden, minimizes the effort you exert while maximizing your results.
When planning the design, you may strategically place and think about each element, and the relationship they will have with each other.
Permaculture design is based on simple ethical guidelines, which are; care for the earth, care for people.
It takes into consideration elements such as access, water sources, elevation, annual and perennial plants, and potential for expansion.
The garden design can be very detailed, taking into account each of the elements. On the other hand, they can be casual with basic sketches.
There are books, as well as online permaculture courses available, for you to learn organic gardening.
Improving soil fertility
The fertility of the soil is the foundation of a flourishing organic garden. Therefore, managing soil nutrients and organisms is an important part of improving your landscape.
The present state of your soil doesn’t matter, because you can use the principles of permaculture to improve its fertility and tilth.
The first step in improving the quality of the soil is to asses what you already have. By testing your soil, you’re able to obtain information such as the soil pH, available macronutrients, micronutrients, and soil life.
This allows you to come up with a plan that you can use to manage and improve its fertility.
One of the most important things to think about when developing your garden design is fertility management. The necessary nutrients for soil fertility have to be cycled and recycled within the garden.
Two ways to cycle organic material back into your garden are; composting, and soil building plants.
Water conservation techniques
Water is a very precious commodity, and it is the most important natural resource. There are many people throughout the world that are affected by water scarcity.
Conserving water is definitely a great thing to consider in your home, and also your garden. This mindset is an excellent one to adopt because water conservation acts as a cushion in times of uncertainty.
Here are some ways to conserve water that range from a change in behavior, upgrading your existing systems, or building new and efficient systems.
- Change your toilet flushing habits by only flushing it after you’ve posted a letter, or if the urine is yellow, let it mellow.
- You could also take shorter showers.
- Hand wash dishes and laundry using as little water as practicable.
- Grow plants with water requirements that match your climate
- By adding compost to the soil, it boosts water retention. Therefore using less water to irrigate the garden.
Upgrading your existing system
- Use high-efficiency showerheads
- Get a dual flush toilet
- Use high-efficiency washing machines, and dishwashers
- Consider using drip irrigation to water your garden
Building new systems
- Try installing a greywater system, to capture runoff.
Growing your own food
One of the main reasons to practice permaculture is so that you can grow your own food. An understanding of permaculture will help you to grow high-quality food, and it also ensures food security.
The disruption of the supply chain can severely impact the availability of food in the marketplace. Therefore it is very important to produce a part of or most of your food supply.
Although annual crops account for most of the world’s food supply, they are often produced in a way that misuses resources and causes environmental damage. Annual crops only live for one season and must be replanted each time.
Therefore it is encouraged that some of our food crops be obtained from perennial crops. Because they require fewer resources, and they also live and consistently produce for many years.
Things to consider
There are some things that you should consider when designing your garden, and growing your crops. Things such as; companion planting, designing with guilds, selecting species that match site conditions, and using an appropriate blend of natives and exotic crops.
There are many aspects of permaculture that contribute massively to the success and resilience of an organic garden.
By understanding the fundamental concepts of permaculture you’ll be able to design beautiful gardens, improve soil fertility, conserve water, and grow your own high-quality organic food.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the content. Please leave your comments, questions or suggestions below.
Have an awesome day.