Permaculture Gardening: A Guide to No-Dig Garden

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Permaculture gardening

Permaculture gardening is a great option for you if you are interested in growing your own fruits and vegetables.

Bill Mollison is the one who started this gardening in 1978.

It is particularly beneficial if you want a garden without using chemicals to deter pests and weeds.

This garden is a design that mimics nature so that you can grow different vegetables, fruits trees, and herbs organically on the raised beds.

And is a low-maintenance yard as well.

Moreover, it is an interesting way of gardening that encompasses recycling, regenerating, and reusing.

Thus using the 3Rs principle.

There are 12 guiding principles of Permaculture gardening that many of us utilize.

These are using food waste to create compost, using dead plants for home-grown mulch, green manure, using companion planting techniques to replace fertilizers, and deter pests.

Moreover, it uses diverse plants, building nutrient-rich soil, preserving water and electricity.

Let’s move forward and learn more about the ways to design a permaculture garden a no-dig garden structure, gardening techniques, what you can grow, soil, mulch, and composting i.e. organic matter for your garden.

How to design a Permaculture Garden

It is important to understand the fact, that you do not need to have every single element in your permaculture gardening design like water source, working with the natural environment, etc.

Although you can update your garden as you learn more about it

However, the key is to copy nature by planting with the following principles in mind:

Start at the right time of the year: The key to starting your garden is, to begin with, the growing season.

Landscaping practicalities: You can put in water barrels to collect rainwater for rainwater harvesting

Permaculture gardening

Or you can make ditches or bog plants to collect water where it collects water naturally.

Begin with Larger Plants: Start by planting large plants, i.e. tress, and working through plant sizes to ground cover.

Make sure that there is enough space and resources to support them all naturally.

Choosing Plants: The easier you allow your plants to grow naturally.

The more nature will take its course in your permaculture garden.

Local Environment: If you are living in a hot and humid environment, then look for Mediterranean garden ideas.

Consider the light, wind, and even rainfall.

Consider the Other Elements as Well

Low-Maintenance: While living in a dry area, look for plants that can survive in harsh environments.

Plant what you can Manage: For such gardens, you will have to harvest vegetables and fruits, while some of them will need heading.

If you cannot handle this type of maintenance, then you should scale back.

Wildlife Zone: Planting a wildlife zone is a part of a permaculture garden, and you will have to leave well alone.

Shades and Sun: Consider the shade in your garden the sunlight and plant accordingly.

Reconsider Shade, Sun, Climate, and Environment: Consider each and every element of your garden at least twice as there might be areas that are sunny, or hot, while others as shaded parts.

Moreover, consider the planting season throughout the year and whether the harsh environment will let your plants survive or not.

Plants you can Grow in your Permaculture Garden

You can grow almost any type of plant in your garden. You can easily grow fruits, vegetables, and pollinator-attracting flowers in your garden.

The following are the different plants you can grow in your garden, however, these are the basics:

Native Plants: These are perennials that enjoy good soil and the conditions of your garden will be most successful and will need the least maintenance.

Plants you can grow

If you are not sure, you can visit your neighborhood and observe the plants that are flourishing.

This will help you decide the plants you would like to grow, or you can ask your gardener.

Companion Plants: Companion plants look after each other. It is a beneficial way to maximize the efficiency of your garden.

Moreover, they help to stimulate plant growth and make them more resistant to pests and diseases

This also attracts beneficial insects like pollinators or predator insects that eat the pests.

Other Plants

Other plants you can grow are:

Stacking Plants: Planting with the sizes like planting trees at the back, dwarf varieties in the front, and smaller shrubs in the front

This ensures less watering, soil erosion, and fewer weeds.

It is important to remember that balance at the start is key and helps avoid overcrowding.

Succession Plants: As the plants die off, nature replaces them and it helps to protect the soil and gives an unending supply of produce.

Moreover, organizing your garden in such a way that you are planting new plants when the existing ones are at the end of the production cycle.

Permaculture gardening

This will keep the plants growing, protecting your soil, and you will have to wait for less for the next plants to come in.

Perennials and Annuals: Annual and Perennial are the backbones of any garden many of which also includes annuals like tomato plants.

Moreover, these are beneficial for your garden as they not only add color but also provide a bulk of the compost heap.

Soil for your Garden

Good soil is crucial for your garden thus approaching good soil health, composting, and mulching together is beneficial as it is ideal for a no-dig gardening approach.

You can improve your soil with the help of compost and protect it with the help of mulch.

Let’s look first at the soil conditions you will need for your garden:

You can protect your soil health with the help of the following simple approaches:

No Digging: This allows the earthworms to do their job and do not be tempted to turn over your garden soil.

This protects the plant nutrients in the soil and creatures.

Avoid Stepping: Do not walk on the garden beds you create or at least avoid as much as you can.

This lets your soil compact.

Compost: It helps to build up nutrients before you start planting your plants.

Plant borders fully: This will help cut down on water and weather erosion.

Allow your Plants to Die-Off: Doing so will initiate the process of decomposition which makes your soil rich in important nutrients.

Composting and Mulching

Composting for your permaculture garden is crucial.

You can add dedicated heaps of compost onto or into which you can pile food and yard waste continuously.


Moreover, mulching is important. Sheet Mulching helps to cover the borders with layers of different materials like cardboard or newspaper.

You can even add torn fibrous sacks, dead leaves, straw, and compost.

Organic mulch can be added over the soil and grass and is also a soil-friendly way to prepare for planting in the next season.

Avoiding Pests

To kill or deter the pests you can create wildlife-friendly companion planting techniques.

This means that you might want to consider garden pond ideas full of frogs or toads to eat slugs and snails.

Protection from garden pests

Another option is adding an onion companion planting to create a bumper, healthy garden, plenty of ground cover, and much to deter weeds.

Or planting pollinator-friendly flowers and building a compost heap to get rid of rodents.

Benefits of Permaculture Gardening

Permaculture gardening is a great way to involve everyone in the family.

It helps to keep everyone active, and encourages interactions as well as creates a beautiful habitat for bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies in your own backyard.

Moreover, it helps to improve the soil and provides a productive space for recycling kitchen waste like scraps, gray water, or paper products.

Gardens like these will help revive the collective understanding of what it takes to produce fruits or vegetables.


Where they come from, and why organic food is more than just a label.

Permaculture gardens utilize a zero-waste approach and can help you reduce your carbon footprint.

Instead of heading for a dumpster, the waste food enriches the soil with nitrogen and carbon while eggshells help to strengthen the calcium content.

It also emphasizes the native perennial plants that are not only beneficial for the bees but you will also get vibrant, native plant flowers that come from local insect pollinators.

Growing your own food means buying less and there is nothing more satisfying than adding your herbs, or fruits to your meals.

Adding organic fertilizers promotes soil health and healthy soil means healthy food.

Avoid Analysis Paralysis

A good way to avoid analysis paralysis is to break down your project into single or simple steps.

Keep in mind the following things when planting a garden:

Design your overall garden however, when it comes to building it, complete one step at a time.

Planform the beginning and make an idea of how you want your garden to look like.

A benefit of such a garden is that it takes much less maintenance than traditional gardens as you are letting nature take its course of action.

Consider the sunlight and shade requirements for your plants before planting them, also access to water and wind your garden needs is crucial.

Always start your garden in the fall and spring, avoid starting in the middle of a growing season.

Construct the largest pieces of your garden first and plant them progressively.

Final Thoughts

Permaculture gardening focuses on natural organic materials and minimizes the use of energy resources. To start your own garden, you can follow the above steps that are easy to follow.

Summer is a good time to plan your garden for starting it in the fall. Uses these principles to make a successful and environment friendly garden that is easy to maintain.

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