To all of you who own already some land, rent it or have somehow else access to earth. Here are some easy steps that will help you increase soil health and therefore grow wonderful plants and delicious food! You can change course to a sustainable way of treating your soil to lift your garden to another level. We as people have the responsibility of our footprint. Let’s start to create a positive footprint, that is healing and thriving instead of just doing less bad.
So, let’s get started:
I am sure, that you will find some ways of using your water between tapping and flushi￼ng down the sewage! Think about it! What happens with your laundry water, the water of your shower or the rainwater on your land? The list can continue. As long as you don’t use chemical soap in your water it is perfectly usable for your garden and can reduce water costs in your house!
Take a close look at the rainwater on your land. Where does it go? Do you guide it into the street from your roof ? Change that! You can collect rainwater in a rainton or even create a pond. In Permaculture we make sure, resources stay on the land and get used to the maximum.
A pond in a garden is wonderful! If the size of your garden allows, you should consider this. Ponds have a great impact on the climate of your plot, attract wildlife and you could even have fish in it if you wish.
Before watering your garden consider a few things. Choose the right time of the day. Early in the morning would be best. If you have already slugs on your land, don’t water in the evenings. This can be in their favour. Also don’t water with heavy sunshine, since water on leaves can damage them when sun shines on them. Anyways the water will evaporate really quick.
Mulching your ground provides essential nutrients to your soil and therefore serves your plants. Think about the ground in a forest. There is no bare soil! You can mulch your garden with any bio degradable matter from your garden. Such as straw, leaves, cuttings or even old clothes or cardboards.
By mulching your soil, water can be stored and the process of decomposing feeds your topsoil to become super rich. Water does not evaporate in the sun and you give shelter to wildlife in your garden. beneficial insects can find a home here to help you do your pest control. It will also save you a lot of watering if that is needed at the moment in your garden. The soil underneath a good layer of mulch will stay moist for much longer.
Mulching will also give you a great hand when it comes to weeds. A thick layer of mulch feeds your main plants and keeps weeds down since the ground is already covered.
You can also go with living mulch, which would be a cover crop that, as the name says, covers the ground and stays low so it does not take all the sun light from other plants. Here you have the advantage, that you don’t need to put another and another layer of mulch once it is decomposed. Anyway, in my garden there seems to always be enough organic matter to mulch.
Start composting your kitchen rests in your garden! Don’t think of it as waste, since organic “trash” is always fertility for other species. By feeding your kitchen waste to the ground you fertilize it by adding nutrients to create healthy humus. Adopt another closed circle of food production in your household. Again you have several possibilities.
You can make use of the usual compost pile in your garden. This should be turned from time to time and also needs quite some time to decompose. Worms for composts are a great way to process your organic matter into fertile soil in really short time. We have a round hillculture raised bed in our garden that is formed like a crater. In the crater we put our kitchen waste and this spring we will get a few thousand worms to help decomposing this matter. By this process they feed our raised bed around to produce great veggies.
If you have enough space for them, chicken are a great possibility to take care of the ground. The fertilize the ground with their poo and keep ticks and other bugs away from your plants.
Make sure your chicken will have enough space available! If they don’t have access to fresh green you will have to protect young plants from them! They are so funny animals to observe. Like little dinosaurs they are going on insect hunt. Our chicken even eat root vole.
plant in guilds
When planning a garden bed you have to consider several things. After getting to know the outer circumstances such as sunlight, wind, water and quality of earth, you search for a good companion planting list on the internet so you have an easy oversight about what grows good together. Then you decide according to your outer circumstances which main crops you want to grow there. Search your list for good companions for those ones to help each other out. Pay attention not to shade smaller plants out.
Be aware, that a bed full of annual vegetables can easily be attacked by insects. Pay attention to the right mixture of annuals, trees, bushes and beneficial flowers! That will help you a lot. Beneficial insects find a proper home in your bed and keep the balance.
Raised beds can be a great possibility in your garden. I wrote an article about our Hugelkultur beds in our garden. Here you find out why they serve you and your plants a whole lot!
Orientate your way of gardening on the forest. They serve us, insects, plants and wildlife. With the different layers of a forest you can create an abundance of yield. Think about the footprint you leave on our earth by creating a forest garden!
Get in touch! Connect yourself to other people who can help you create a paradise to create a new we! We love to get in touch to help you with your dream project!