Category: Plants

A Mere 20 of the Roles Trees Can Play in Permaculture Design

While permaculture certainly pays mind to annual crops, by and large it is a system rooted in perennial plants and, in particular, trees. Permaculture, as the “perma” name suggests, is a movement towards permanent agricultural arrangements, ones which culturally value nutrition, systemic health, and sustainability over monetary wealth and materialism. Permaculture designs can be quite complex cycles for avoiding waste creation and maximizing productive efficiency, but they are fairly simple […]

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A Time-Sequencing Plan for Straw Bale Gardens

Something has never sat quite right with me about straw bale gardens in a place where soil is available. Like hydroponics, I can envision it for places that lack soil and ground space: rooftops, driveways, parking lots, and the like. Then, I’m not sure if it’s the purist in me, but the generally movement towards focusing on soil repair and permanence (my interpretation of what permaculture ideally does) rings much […]

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The Growing of Trees and Plants for Climate Change Mitigation

Plants and trees have been grown for human consumption for generations. Vegetables and fruits obtained from plants and trees are used to sustain lives on earth. As a result, trees and plants are important resources for our day-to-day survival. Apart from the fact that humans consume vegetables and fruits from plants and trees, they all have other health benefits. For example, plants such as Catnip and Blackberries have been used […]

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Using Weeds to Read the Soil: Some Basic Concepts to Get Started

Weeds are becoming a more and more appreciated component of gardening. We have been reintroduced to eating the weeds, with things like dandelion leaves becoming a niche crop. Also, we are encouraging plants that, up until recently, were viewed as weeds (dynamic accumulators like comfrey and pioneering legumes) to revitalize our soils. And, many gardeners are once again celebrating weeds as a means of reading the soil. Geoff Lawton says […]

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3 Simple But Sustainable Ways to Build Tomato Cages

The fact of the matter is that tomatoes are, indeed, perennial plants when in their native tropics, but that is also beside the point because some foods, perennial or not, are just too damned tasty to fully wave goodbye to. There is a time and a place to play with tomatoes in the greenhouse, see how many years they might last. But, ultimately, when spring rolls around and temperatures start […]

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Tropical Lettuce

The first time I encountered tropical lettuce, or Indian lettuce (Lactuca indica), was when I was exploring a rooftop garden in Fujian province of rural southern China. It was the middle of the day in the middle of the summer, and here was this beautiful lettuce exposed to full sun in a raised bed with less than six inches deep of relatively poor soil. I was amazed that this plant […]

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Quick and Simple Tips for Germinating Seeds Yourself

Growing crops, or any plant really, often begins with germinating seeds. Occasionally, we get a head start with plants that can be reproduced with cuttings or other propagation techniques, but by and large, it’s seed to soil that starts the garden. This can sometimes be a little frustrating, as seeds can be finicky and unwilling to cooperate. In other words, any advantage we can grab for germinating seeds is an […]

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Soil Temperature and Seed Germination

A few days ago we sowed the tomato seeds for this season’s market and home garden. It never ceases to amaze me what little indoor space you need to rear thousands of seedlings. We use two 50 cm x 30 cm x 15 cm trays to germinate approx 150 seedlings from 10 cultivars. When they get bigger we move them into two 1.3 x 8 m beds covered with polythene to rear them before they take their permanent positions in the gardens in early – mid April.

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Why Your Garden Needs A Herb Spiral Design Solution

What is a herb spiral It is a vertical garden that makes use of limited garden space by horizontally accommodating plants along its spiral design. It has a base diameter of around 1.5-2m while its height is 1-1.3 m. It is built on level ground, preferably layered at the bottom to keep weeds at bay, and the walls are built using bricks or stones. The herb spiral not only offers […]

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The Importance of Trees in the Garden

In permaculture, forest gardening is high on our list of priorities. While the production value of certain trees, specifically fruit and nut species, is an obvious positive, there are many more reasons trees should be featured often and prominently in our designs. When considering them carefully, we can find a bounty of benefits to enjoy. Trees play a vital role in eco-systems, in the planet’s atmosphere, in our water systems, […]

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Seed Banking and its Benefits

With climate change on the increase, many crops are in danger of going extinct, and this will undoubtedly cause a global food crisis. The worldwide population explosion has also led to increased consumption of food that exceeds production. Seed banking and conservation is a technique that can avert such unforeseen emergencies. Seeds are stored in secured seed banks and can be retrieved when crops disappear. How do Seed Banks Work? […]

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Stop and Smell the Roses… And Don’t Forget To Eat The Fruit!

The only limit to your garden is your imagination. You can cultivate both beauty and function all in one space. A plant that can be grown in most gardens or flowerbeds, that adds stunning beauty and bears beneficial fruit, is the rose. While we don’t typically think of this as a fruit bearing plant, it indeed is. The beautiful rose produces the rose hip fruits, aka rose haw or rose […]

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