There is no one permaculture method, it is up to everyone to think about and build their own permaculture, because it is intended to protect nature and humans. Each garden and gardener is unique.
1 – Observe your surroundings
What plants grow alone in your garden, what animals and insects live there?
How is your garden oriented , what is exposed to the sun and for how long, where is the wind strongest?
What are the wettest and driest places ?
2 – Select your vegetables and plants
In permaculture, the vegetable garden is not only made up of vegetables, it exists in a global set of plants that complement each other.
List those you want to grow, then group them by needs and sensitivities, and the interactions they may have between them: friendly and companion plants.
Favor plants that reseed themselves, for more perennial plantations and a lower financial and temporal cost.
They are no longer called weeds, and for good reason! Many of them are useful, to the auxiliaries , to the earth which they protect or nourish, to us because they give us many indications on the nature of our soil. And in addition, some are edible! By occupying your spaces all the time, you will limit their spread.
3 – Draw your project
What to plant to protect from the prevailing winds, where to place the plants most used in everyday life: vegetables, herbs , so that they are as accessible as possible, create areas more or less close to the home according to the human activities.
4 – Create plots
The principle is generally to cultivate above the ground, so as not to exhaust its resources. The types of plots are very varied: keyhole, lasagna, permanent flower bed, mounds , straw bales, 3P vegetable garden (non-exhaustive list!!). If you are making plant borders, take a plant that has few needs and a light root system, so as not to compete with the plants planted inside. Unless it also has a use! Your plots must be large enough , but you must be able to easily reach the center, 1m20 is reasonable. You shouldn’t have to walk in your cultivation beds, it compacts the soil, preventing earthworms from doing their job properly! *
In permaculture , the soil is never turned or dug . On the other hand, aerate it is allowed, at a maximum depth of 15 cm, using a claw or a grelinette.
Placing the tallest plants in the center allows, in addition to making access to all of them easier, to shade the smaller plants.
Grow tall : trellises, suspensions, tepees, to save space and provide shade.
The plots must be used all the time, so select to go together plants that follow one another in time. This method of occupation has several advantages:
– do not leave the ground bare, which prevents the proliferation of unwanted plants to the detriment of what you want to see grow.
– allow the young shoots to benefit from the organic elements of the plants at the end of the cycle which will release nutrients .
The planting is rarely in line, it is done according to the companionships .
5 – Always keep the ground covered
Mulch systematically between your plantations: you will avoid the growth of weeds and you will limit the evaporation of water, the gain is serious, about 3 out of 4 waterings , micro-organisms and small insects can work there to decompose the elements that are available, humidity and temperature are more stable, reducing plant stress.
Bois Raméal Fragmenté comes from young branches, less than 2 years old, which have been crushed . This grinding allows fungi to quickly penetrate the wood (they cannot penetrate the bark) and digest it. This BRF spread on the surface of the soil makes the soil fertile and with the good care of the plants, by developing mycelium and humus there.
Very similar to the “mulch” which covers the ground of the forests, ideal ground if it is, you must recover the dead leaves of your garden, or why not at the edge of the roads and use them at the foot of your plants. However, avoid the dead leaves of walnut trees and fruit trees.
Rich in nitrogen , they are particularly suitable for beans , peas, lettuce, potatoes and other gourmands. Dry your mowing for 2 or 3 days in the sun before using it as a 10 cm mulch, to have a durable cover.
Covering bare soil and allowing the soil to be more permeable, thanks to their roots, they also provide, once mowed or covered with mulch, essential nutrients for plants.
6 – Optimize each element
The elements of your garden must be able to interact with each other, to be useful for several functions: chickens feed you, revel in slugs, fertilize the soil and feed on your waste, green manures cover the ground, their roots nourish organisms soil, the nutrients they contain will nourish the soil once they are broken down. Companion plants protect or help each other.
Collecting rainwater in open containers not only provides water for watering, but also attracts birds to drink and get rid of unwanted insects. Reservoirs placed everywhere in the garden will save you effort and travel. Install a drip irrigation system for plants that are doing well.