Growing in the Garden

Plant More, Sweat Less

Learning to Cook with All that Food in the Garden

Learning to Grow in Long, Hot Summers!

Experiencing Permaculture

Learning to Design Shade Gardens

Dear Mr. Repairman

Learning About Permaculture

School Garden Project

Pretty Poinsettias for the Holidays

Holiday Shopping for Gardeners

Garden Therapy

Fly Away with the Butterflies

Meet Aya the Papaya

Control Mosquitoes Naturally-Plant Repelling Garden

Composting Conscious Consumer

Don’t Throw that Away! Compost it!

Let’s Get Dirty and Talk Soil

Learning about Permaculture

As I learn to garden in Florida, I am constantly being pulled toward this concept of permaculture. This is a new term for me and an exciting idea. By definition, permaculture means: the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.  It centers around replicating patterns in the natural ecosystems.

Understanding the natural ecosystems in Florida helps to understand how things survive. Because it takes a determined plant to survive drastic dry seasons, flooding, numerous pests and a scorching heat. Florida’s landscape and weather is so unique that it’s best to scrap anything you’ve ever known about gardening and stick to what works in Florida. And I guarantee, if you’re new to Florida gardening, it’s like nothing you have previously learned.

What makes up permaculture:

  • Edible gardening: this could be raised beds, vertical gardening, or placed throughout your yard.
  • Companion planting: this helps attract beneficial bugs or can deter insects from neighboring plants.
  • Sheet mulching: this is newspapers, cardboard, straw, mulch, compost, soil all working together as a weed barrier; to hold in moisture; and to add nutrients to the soil.
  • Composting: using food scraps, yard waste to add nutrients to the soil. Vermiculture can also be an added element to compositing.
  • Water feature: rainbarrels, drip irrigation, etc.

The benefits of permaculture:

  • Diversity: medicinal plants, wildlife habitat, food crops, herbs, flowers, fruits.
  • Sustainability: the initial prepping and planting may be time consuming, but with the right tools and plants, your garden will thrive with less maintenance.
  • No need for pesticides: companion planting creates an environment that brings in beneficial bugs. Permaculture creates a diversity that mimics nature and creates a more balance environment for the insects and plants.

How to begin:

  • Research your gardening zone.
  • Evaluate your soil.
  • Evaluate your sunlight.
  • Visit local nurseries for ideas and advise.
  • Consult a permaculture designer.
  • Plant your choice of fruit trees, then shrubs, then edible raised beds.

I believe permaculture has a place in any Florida garden. It’s a way to maximize vegetable and fruit output, and a way to take advantage of nature’s guiding hand to create success in edible gardening. Permaculture is a way to experiment and grow as a gardener.

A personal relationship of mindful care for the Earth ecology is the foundation of the health of all species, all lives. ~ Tig-le House