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Permaculture in the garden: theoretical principles and practical tips on how to start a permaculture project in your own vegetable garden or home garden.
While we arm ourselves with pruning shears and weeding tools to try to keep weeds and parasites at bay, nature shows us how everything could work without sprays or scissors but only by seeking balance. Therepermaculture(introduced by the Austrian peasantSepp Holzerand subsequently perfected by Australians Bill Mollin and David Holmgren) is a holistic approach toagriculture.
There permacultureit is long-term, ecologically oriented and requires basic knowledge regarding the balance of the planet and how the animal kingdom relates to the plant one. The termpermaculturecomes from the phrasepermanent agriculture, in fact, many of the techniques used inpermaculturethey are long-term and can bear fruit for years.
Farmers and gardeners promoters of thepermculture, they are showing us how it is possible to have a good yield even from a very small plot of land and above all without any dependence on mechanical machinery or chemicals, the only measures to be taken are those suggested by nature. Natural cycles are observed and the same model is applied in oursgarden.
Who intends to start a project ofpermaculture in the garden will have to consider several factors, from the importance of biodiversityup to the associations.
Permaculture in the garden
Good insects, association and balance
Thetechniquespoly-cultural are best for thepermaculture. In the garden it will be necessary to grow herbs, flowers, vegetables and greens. Nothing should be missing from the appeal, following the right associations.
Therepermaculture employs alayered system, the fruit trees, at their feet, can welcome onions, garlic and chives very well. Plants of the genusalliumthey do not compete with fruit trees, on the contrary, they nourish the ground below. This is the key concept of associations: putting together the right crops to bring mutual benefit.
Planting flowers between crops for food is another valid strategy: flowers attract insects! With thepermaculture in the gardenyou have to repress every impulse: insects should not be killed! They participate in the balance and the concept of mutual benefit explained above. Even if at first the insects may feed on your crop, you have to wait, later other predatory insects will arrive (which will feed on the greedy insects of the plants) and your crops will be safe.
If an aphid infestation occurs, plant aambrosia at the edge ofgarden. Ambrosia attracts aphids which will thus abandon the main crops. Another option is always given by the species of the genusallium(garlic, onion, shallot ...) which works as a natural repellent. Furthermore, against the aphids, the presence of the ladybird can be preserved: the ladybirds feed on the aphids. Again it is a matter of patience.
You can plantbidens albaor other species that can attract bees to your garden. Bees are great pollinators, then if you experience thepermaculture in the gardenyou want to try your hand at the role of beekeeper, you can adopt a hive and bring a jar of sweetness to the table with a small production of honey).
Weeds also play a role. Comfrey, borage, and dandelion are some of the plants considered weeds. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) attracts a large number of good insects and dandelions come in handy in the kitchen just as borage is a good medicinal plant.
Therepermaculture in the gardendoes not neglect plants capable of fixing nitrogen: ferns, nettles, achilles, parsley ... Before weeding, ask yourself what role it plays in nature!
With thepermaculture in the garden, even poultry can play a useful role. For example, ducks aremulti-tasker: they do not eat most of the garden cultivars and leave an excellent natural fertilizer. Ducks, unlike chickens (which feed on precious seeds) feed on snails. With thepermaculture in the garden, an artificial pond for ducks wouldn't hurt! Microorganisms also play their part, mycelium is a fungus that feeds on vegetable waste and helps us keep the garden clean.
THE gardens based on the method ofpermaculturethey are beautiful to look at and rich in vegetation: it is possible to accommodate a hundred plants in justten square feet. Therepermacultureoffers a great opportunity to those with limited space.
Permaculture in the garden - Recommended reading
Other useful tips for those who want to start a project permaculture in the gardenare contained in the article dedicated tosynergistic garden.
- Practical guide to permaculture. How to grow gardens, vegetable gardens and orchards
Creative manual, very practical but recommended only for those who have a company or agardenlarge. The author is a celebrity in the industry of permaculture. The book costs € 9.99 in Kindle format (to be read on the computer) or € 16.58 for the classic paper book.
- Permaculture for the vegetable garden and the garden. Experiences and practical tips to achieve self-sufficiency in a small piece of land
More practical, from the price € 11.90. Perfect for those with a small plot of land with paragraphs dedicated to water saving topics.
- Introduction to permaculture
It covers more topics, more complete, permaculture at 360 °, suitable both for those who have a large garden, and for those who approach permaculture with a small garden. Price: € 17.00.
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