Permaculture – a modern approach to agriculture
The cultivation of vegetables, fruits and flowers on the site brings true pleasure to our compatriots. Particularly impressive is the unique idea of dacha farming – permaculture. Although the system has been known for a long time, modern farmers are actively implementing it. The main goal is to save time, maximize the use of natural resources and update the surrounding landscape.
Unfortunately, only a few people understand what this is about. Indeed, many words of foreign origin have appeared in the Russian language, the meaning of which is understood only by specialists of a narrow profile. Let’s try to figure out what permaculture is from the point of view of experienced farmers. What are the main principles of maintaining a backyard territory in this way. How to put into practice the unique idea of farming on your site. Is it possible to create a system on 6 acres of land? Answers to questions will help you to look at the idea from the outside and evaluate its merits.
Permaculture: definition and basic principles of work
The name of the idea includes two words: permanent (permanent) and culture. This implies self-sufficiency and consistency associated with growing plants. It is based on meticulous planning as well as thoughtful design.
To get the system up and running, you need to follow the basic principles:
- creation of a permdesign project, taking into account the characteristics of the selected cultures;
- harmony of the interaction of the summer resident with nature;
- variety of plants and animals in the selected area;
- natural interaction of all parts of the system;
- self-regulation of the territory with minimal human participation.
In addition, permaculture allows the use of various types of waste only for good. She independently processes them, which significantly saves the efforts of gardeners. An important factor in the agricultural idea is the saving of energy resources. All buildings, plot and vegetation are placed taking into account the lowest costs of different types of energy. Thanks to the closed agricultural system, active human intervention is not required. Of course, it is more expedient to use the idea over a wide area, where each element takes up enough space. However, modern farmers have adapted the system for relatively small summer cottages..
Permaculture is designed for a long time to obtain bountiful yields at minimal cost..
A unique system on the territory of a country house
Creating a permaculture on 6 acres may seem like a pipe dream. However, it’s still worth trying.
Experienced professionals first analyze their territory. They take into account:
- climatic conditions;
- types of soil;
- Direction of the wind;
- water supply.
Next, an analysis is carried out of plants and representatives of the local fauna, which will interact with each other. Then they start the project. After all, it is the basis for the creation of an original permaculture.
For example, an open-air cage with ducks can be placed under a mulberry tree and a stream flowed through it. They will feed on the falling fruits, and the runoff water will fertilize the vegetable beds..
The plantings are arranged so as to spend the minimum amount of energy on their cultivation, care and harvesting. As a rule, moisture-loving crops are planted next to a reservoir. Those that successfully tolerate drought are placed in the hills. Unpretentious plants are grown in the shade, and those who are afraid of drafts are protected by buildings or a fence. Of course, on 6 acres it will be possible to create only a few miniature zones..
For example, a maximum of 5 fruit crops will fit in such an area. They will occupy half of the proposed site. The space between them is allowed under garden plants. The beds are not made too wide, but long enough. Positioned from south to north to give crops access to sunlight.
In the center of the site, artificial reservoirs made of car tires are being built. Such reservoirs attract amphibians and also increase the level of humidity in the air. Some gardeners carry out drip irrigation of crops, especially during dry months. With the help of mulch, they retain soil moisture throughout the season..
To seal the bottom of the reservoir, it is advisable to use a layer of clay (25 cm).
Even on a plot of 6 acres, it is possible to grow various birds. The chicken coop and the walking area are being built under the canopy of fruit trees. On the outskirts of the territory, a place is allocated for creating a compost mass. As you can see, even on a relatively small plot of land, it is realistic to use the original idea of farming..
Mutually beneficial fruit guilds
Farmers pay special attention to permaculture in the garden. It helps to increase the productivity of plants and makes it easier for gardeners..
Fruit guilds are a collection of plants that actively “cooperate” with each other:
- scare off natural pests;
- attract essential insects;
- suppress weeds;
- create mulch;
- fertilize the soil.
For example, garlic, onions and daffodils keep rodents away. Borage is an excellent fertilizer. Oregano protects trees from various kinds of pests. Creeping clover nourishes the soil with nitrogen.
Of course, first select suitable fruit trees common in the region. Then they are planted on the site. With the help of sticks, mark the proposed crown of the plant and fertilize the near-stem area of the soil. Planned crops are grown between them and bountiful harvests are collected..
Creation of a piece of paradise in the suburban area
The original permaculture garden is obtained through various plantings. Spiral beds are arranged against the background of fruit trees and berry bushes. They are laid out from natural stone, gravel and soil. From the outside, they look like a shell. The maximum height of the spiral is about 1 m, the width is about 2 m. There is a rainwater reservoir at the foot of each strip. Spiral planting configuration facilitates the cultivation of various herbaceous varieties.
Spiral beds can be used to plant rosemary, lemon balm, calendula, lavender, purslane, chamomile.
Since a changeable climate prevails in the middle latitudes, cozy zones are equipped in the garden. Trees or spreading shrubs are planted on the site so that beds for whimsical vegetable crops are obtained. For example, in a shape that resembles a crescent moon. Tall plants are located in the northern zone of the site. This is followed by lower crops, forming multi-layered plantings. Thanks to this, vegetables receive effective protection from strong winds and sunburn..
To arrange a permaculture design on the site, gardeners recommend digging an artificial reservoir. It improves the overall microclimate by reflecting bright sunlight. It is advisable to plant heat-loving edible plants near the “lake” that love moisture.
In the central part of the site, a flower bed is arranged in the form of a mound. To do this, pull out a funnel 30 cm deep. Throw in small branches so that you get a slide in which light, air and moisture circulate freely. Then it is covered with turf, compost, a layer of soil. Perennial crops are planted on top.
For complete happiness, a gazebo is arranged next to the reservoir. Its floor is made with a slight slope towards the pond so that rainwater gets there. The bench is placed in the direction of the artificial lake so that it can be clearly seen. After all, the water surface and the night sky have a beneficial effect on the emotional state of a person. Thus, with the help of permaculture, they create a cozy harbor not only for plants, but also for farmers..