Permaculture Natural Gardening
“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.” Bill Mollison1)http://www.permaculture.net/about/definitions.htmlFollowing Mother Nature’s lead using the principles of permaculture natural gardening just make sense for the best longterm sustainable growing plan.
We were inspired to establish more natural gardening areas, without soil preparation, after viewing this Back to Eden documentary. Reminiscent of Ruth Stout and also concepts in hugelkultur, Paul Gautschi, takes us on a tour of his garden using principles from nature.
These are lessons they don’t teach in school… and possibly not even in master gardener classes. The results? A bountiful garden of live fresh food each season, growing things he’s been told won’t grow where he is and in ways that go totally against what most of us have been told.
Permaculture and Natural Gardening with Back to Eden
Meanwhile, for similar footage, also for free, tune into this version on YouTube, a Back to Eden tour of Paul Gatschi’s property in Washington state.
Paul has a spiritual and religious approach to gardening, and likes to quote scripture. His enthusiasm for using common sense and natural gardening is inspiring and invocative of what’s possible, even in less than ideal soil and water circumstances.
You’re sure to be inspired toward a more natural gardening approach after watching this! I mean what’s not to love? You get more and better results with less work by following Mother Nature’s blueprint. We list the links to our hugelkultur again at the end of this article in case you’d like to explore more.
Meanwhile, next, a Florida Garden with exotic fruits and a “Back to Eden” natural wood chip mulch garden to mitigate the sandy soil situation there.
A Florida Yard Garden with Exotic Bitter Melon, Moringa Tree and More
John Kohler, the cool gardener of GrowingYourGreens, dives into this Florida yardscape of edible plants. He also touches on the Back to Eden gardening method that models the natural gardening approach of layers of deep mulch layering for retaining moisture and keeping ground temperatures from getting too hot or too cold.
Hope you enjoy!
Pros and Cons
So far, our hugelkultur plants are thriving. So yes, it takes some work up front, but the low maintenance, high yield makes up for it for years to come. Hugelkultur works best if you live in or near woods.
If you have woods nearby, hugelkultur is the way to go.
If you have a field, try the Eden Garden method.
If you don’t have woods nearby, hugelkultur may not be the best things because you won’t have ready access to naturally fallen logs or trees to cut into long hugelkultur logs.
In that case, the Eden Garden method or that of Ruth Stout’s no-till, no work method, which is also permaculture gardening might suit you best.
The main drawback some folks have about these natural garden methods is that they’re not as beautiful as say raised bed gardens, or even neat, well-weeded garden rows.
Natural Gardening – Pros
- Low maintenance
- Less water
- Less / no weeding
- No tilling
- Follows the principles of nature
- Less work over time
Natural Gardening – Cons
- Less attractive – looks wild and unkempt, not tamed neat rows
- Organic gardening is always harder when it comes to pest control
- Hugelkultur takes more to set up (logs, soil & mulch)
- Requires more space than raised beds or straw bales
Best Raised Bed Options for You
If you live in a neighborhood, you should probably go for raised bed gardens for a more attractive landscape, especially if it’s a front yard garden, or if you have a strict Homeowners Association (HOA). Raised beds definitely have their advantages, especially in accessibility and aesthetics. Of course you can make hugelkultur beds to be fairly tall for better accessibility as well. But if accessibility and being able to squat or bend down is an issue, you’d need to have someone else build your beds for you anyway.
So if you’re liking this topic, you will definitely also enjoy reading and watching about Ruth Stout, mother of deep mulch gardening, as well as reading more about Hugelkultur. Our Hugelkultur beds appear to be thriving and they’re just in their first year, so we’ll definitely be incorporating more of those as well as more of the Back to Eden natural gardening approach.
Let’s keep on growing!
References [ + ]