What Is Permaculture Gardening?

Sustainability within our everyday lives is becoming more of a hot topic of discussion. Experts say that the average person can make a big impact by making small changes to their daily routines, whether that’s by recycling, reusing, being conscious of your carbon footprint, or even fine-tuning your gardening techniques.

Within the eco-gardening community prevails a tactic called ‘permaculture gardening’. This practice has been used for hundreds of years by agriculturalists and gardeners alike, concentrating on three main pillars: Caring for the earth, caring for people, and encouraging wildlife.

So, what is permaculture gardening?

Permaculture gardening is essentially creating a garden that co-exists with the environment around it. It focuses on minimal disruption to the soil, but enriching what’s already there, taking only what you need and replacing what you take.

This practice is to mimic nature, producing a sustainable and minimally invasive garden. So, now we know what permaculture gardening is. But how do you start?

There are 8 ways to begin your permaculture journey. These various methods encapsulate the meaning of perma-gardening and sustainability at its core.

  • Plant native. Purchase and grow plants that will thrive in your soil. If there are native plants already in place, leave them be.
  • Build raised beds. To avoid disturbing the ground and the soil, build some raised beds. This means you can till the soil without disrupting what’s already there.
  • Avoid chemicals and non-organic fertilisers. This one speaks for itself. Chemicals and harmful fertilisers do more harm than good, and it’s encouraged to find organic alternatives.
  • Develop a no-dig garden. If you’re working in an allotment and don’t have the space for a raised bed, then a no-dig approach might work for you. Sheet mulching is an easy way to achieve a no-dig garden. Simply lay compostable items on the tops of grass such as cardboard, leaves, and straw to create a layer between your crops or plants and the existing soil below.
Permaculture gardening isn’t a quick fix – It’s a lifestyle change
  • Practice companion planting. Companion planting is an old-age method of gardening. Planting two or more plants together encourages wildlife and will deter pests. Research your plants to discover which will partner perfectly in your area.
  • Consider creating a swale to collect rainwater where it gathers naturally. A swale, in short, is a way to catch rainwater. These can be made anywhere rainwater naturally pools, allowing you to reuse it on your plants. This could be as simple as putting out a bucket to catch rainwater to creating a thought-out ditch form. A perfect way to limit the amount of water you use in your gardening routine.
  • Concentrate on planting low-maintenance crops and plants. Permaculture gardening relies on the natural state of your land. If you struggle to keep up with your plants, then a low-maintenance approach is best. Buy plants that need very little pruning, or pick perfect naturalisers that reappear without encouragement.
  • Let some zones run wild. Wild gardens are a perfect way to preserve the natural state of your land. Let your garden grow freely, enticing wildlife to return to the garden (which will, in turn, improves the yield of crops).

Ready to Start Your Sustainable Garden?

Permaculture gardening is not about jumping headfirst into the unknown. It’s about sustainability. That goes for both the garden, and your consistency.

Small steps make a big impact. Implementing these methods to your daily gardening routine will help you achieve a more sustainable garden, helping the environment to repair itself naturally.

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What Is Sustainable Gardening?

Garden sustainability in its rawest form is simply being mindful of what we put into the ground. Sustainability aims to scrap the use of harmful products like pesticides and chemicals, replacing them with organic counterparts.

The practice of sustainable gardening can be as simple and as small as you can manage! All moves towards sustainability can positively impact our environment. Here are just a few easy ways to help you get started on your journey to sustainability.

Get Composting

Kitchen scraps, garden waste, leaves from the tree, you name it – it’s going in the compost! Making your own compost is an easy enough process (albeit slower than buying a bag from the shop) allowing you to rid yourself of stuff you’d normally just throw in the bin. It also helps add nutrients back into the ground, completing the circle of plant life. If you’ve ever wondered about composting, why not start today?

Be Anti-Plastic

Plastics and micro-plastics are an issue for the environment. As they don’t decompose, if they’re not reused they’ll be chucked away. These single-use plastics then find their way to landfills or even the ocean, affecting wildlife.

Using biodegradable products in place of plastics can make a bigger impact when practising sustainable gardening than you may think. For example, swapping plastic plant labels for wooden lolly sticks. These small steps come together to make a huge difference.

Use Peat Free Products

According to the RHS, peat filled compost causes severe harm to the environment. Switching to peat-free products protects your environment and is an easy switch to make.

Many people who have made the switch have noted that their soil seems to retain more water and produces more seedlings!

Go Organic

Pesticides and chemicals are harmful to wildlife, so it’s advised to avoid the use of them where possible. For example, you can use ground coffee to repel slugs from produce. The coffee then is absorbed into the soil, providing further nutrients! It’s a win-win.

Overall, any small change is a step in the right direction!

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Parker’s Book Club: ‘Eat What You Grow’ by Alys Fowler

This month in our book club, we’re thinking about sustainability. What could be better than growing your very own produce in your garden that you can bring to your plate? Discover this new release by Alys Folwer, who teaches you just how grow fresh, wholesome, chemical-free food with flavour, so you’ll never need to hit up the supermarket for your produce again.

In Eat What You Grow, Alys shows you how to create a beautiful, biodiverse garden that can feed yourself, your family, as well as local wildlife and pollinators.

From perennial vegetables that come back year after year, to easy-to-grow delights, she has selected plants that are perfect for harvesting in the garden. She also guides you through the process of feeding your soil and taking cuttings to increase your harvest. 

Do you have a book you’d like us to mention? Send in your suggestions on Instagram using the hashtag #parkersbookclub.

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