Permaculture

Definition - What does Permaculture mean?

Permaculture is the design and creation of gardening ecosystems that are both self-sufficient and sustainable. The point of permaculture is to design a whole system that mimics natural scenarios in which a garden can sustain itself and the gardener. This process of gardening is organic, but it goes beyond simple organic gardening with a set of principles and a focus on working with nature instead of against it.

MaximumYield explains Permaculture

The main principle of permaculture is to mimic nature as much as possible. This means making an effort to use as many native plants as possible. While you can certainly pick and choose plants that you think are more beautiful and those that produce the foods you like best, it’s important to select plants that are either indigenous to your area or that can easily survive there.

When creating a permaculture ecosystem, avoid very delicate plants that require a great deal of care and feeding or a lot of water to thrive. At the same time, you don’t want to choose invasive plants that will take over the ecosystem and choke out other plants, either.

When designing a permaculture garden, it’s a good idea to use nature as a blueprint. Structure the garden so that taller plants give way to smaller ones. Edging your habitats with larger plants and then working your way in is a good option, as well.

As you decide which plants to place next to one another, you’ll want to do some research on their root systems. Some plants have compatible root systems that will grow alongside one another without a problem, while others will strangle out weaker root systems. In permaculture, groupings of compatible plants are called guilds. The garden should be divided into zones based on how you use it and which plants you grow together. Then you can subdivide those zones into guilds.

For an outdoor permaculture garden, you’ll want to identify any places that you have microclimates (creeks, low areas, rocky areas, etc.) and use these accordingly. For an indoor permaculture garden, you can actually create these microclimates to fit with the vision for your garden.

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