Watch a demo of a model of this system on YouTube!
In my previous article, Rethinking keyhole beds and mandala gardens, I demonstrated that the circular horseshoe shape celebrated in permaculture as being mathematically and ergonomically optimal is in fa
In August, 2008, we moved into our house on a 1/10 acre lot, and I began gardening with a single sheet-mulched plot in the front yard. I took a baseline set of soil tests from the front and back yards in January, 2009 and began a regimen of no-till, no-spray (i.e. no chemical amendments), no-manure gardening, using only plant-based mulch to maintain soil fertility while harvesting as many as 75 crops for market each growing season. The soil tests were done by our local university extension agency.
Gardening with Oklahoma Native Plants: Steve Owens, Bustani Plant Farm
Soil preparation is not as important for native plants: they like the soil the way it is! Some even like to be stressed. Try growing them in cracks between landscape elements.
Wildflower meadow gardens are great for pollinator habitat, but study your site first. Consider microclimate and choose plants accordingly. Contrasting white flowers can help break up the uniformity of a meadow garden.
Slides from a class given October 26, 2013 at Flint Hills Technical College:
revised 1/28/2013 for presentation at Butler Community College, El Dorado, KS.
When I teach intro classes on permaculture design, when we're talking about boundary optimization -- that is, when to maximize the edge and when to minimize it -- one of the questions I like to ask students is along the lines of, "How many strawberry plants, spaced 6" apart, can you fit in 16 square feet and still reach them all easily for harvest?" The exact numbers are not important; what I'm looking for is the ideal design of a strawberry planter to maximize production in a minimum of space.