A Permaculture Garden virgin - Help

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Mikey, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    Re: Question about permaculture

    G'day Hugh,

    IMO the main difference with Permaculture is that you deliberately aim to compliment one planting with the next...whether that be as beneficial, complimentary companions planted together, trap crops which disguise vulnerable plants, deter or distract predators, border plants for shelter/mulch source/barriers etc.

    Another reason planting can (arguably) be more intensive is that if you're not growing for commercial profit (not saying Permaculture can't be done this way because obviously it can, just that small scale is more the norm), you can harvest over time rather than needing a crop all at once to send to a mass market. Perhaps better put: thin/harvest and create more room where you need it when you need it...rather than having to leave room for the mature version when it goes in as a seed(ling) as you would in common industrialised agriculture practices. Obviously that doesn't always apply to all crops, but generally there's a way of inter-cropping and getting better yields by using fast growing plants around slower ones.

    IMO a good Permaculture design takes a fair part of its inspiration from nature...nature doesn't grow in straight rows with regulation gaps, as Tezza mentions, seed will self-sow (if you use untreated heritage seeds rather than Yates style treated seeds) and the strongest will find the places it will naturally do best. Let nature do the work for you...observation and appropriate reaction based on this observation saves a lot of hard work and gets better results in the long run IMO.

    I'm mostly speaking of annuals above, obviously bigger perennials and trees (especially windbreaks etc) are a little different...it largely depends on your space and resources. If you have limited space then a closely planted orchard allows for greater diversity as a trade-off for ultimate size of mature trees...alternately, if you have as much room and resources as you need then you're probably better to go more along the lines of a commercial orchard spacing.

    Hope that helps.
     
  2. Sonya

    Sonya Junior Member

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    Course with recommended permaculture

    Hi,

    I have a three day intensive course being run at my place Aug 18, 19 & 20 with permaculture design course teacher (recommended on this site by Geoff Lawton) Jade Woodhouse. It's not a PDC, but will be full of practical info and hands on practice.

    Day one and two - organic vegie growing from garden design to harvest, Day three soil management - composting, worm farming, mulching, green manure crops.

    Contact me if you would like the details and to book in. This course is designed for people new to permaculture and or gardening and will give you the skills and confidence to get started at home.

    Cheers,
    Sonya
     
  3. PennyG

    PennyG Junior Member

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    If you plant things close, each plant will produce less than if it had lots of room but the combined yield will be greater. This suits household production where you want some of lots of things rather than a lot of one thing.
     
  4. turkey

    turkey Junior Member

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    You might also go around and talk to the neighbours and ask them all sorts of questions this will give you some "feel" for the area.
     
  5. Sonya

    Sonya Junior Member

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    Permaculture planting includes support, pioneer and companion plants. So you might have a young fruit tree in the ground, and have a tall quick growing plant on the western side of it to protect it from the strong afternoon sun. Once the fruit tree is established and old enough, the support plant can be pruned back and used as mulch or compost.

    Permaculture replicates nature - a walk through a rain forest shows how plants group together. A vine might use a tree as vertical growing support, understory planting through a food forest protects the soil from erosion, evaporation and heat/cold and keeps maintanence low.

    In a permaculture garden, plants are used for sun and wind protection and removed once their use has been served. Often these plants are nitrogen fixers, feeding the soil while providing shelter.

    Cheers,
    Sonya.
     

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