How to Start a New Garden the Permaculture Way

This past weekend I helped my neighbor install his new permaculture garden. Granted it’s not finished yet, but I wanted to share how we set up the garden beds, and the hugelkultur berm.


Installing the Garden Beds (These will be keyhole beds)

1. Let your chickens prep the area. They will lightly till, eat insects, grass and weeds, and fertilize.


2. Scalp down any remaining vegetation with a mower or trimmer.


3. Add a layer of cardboard for weed suppression. We found a great source of free cardboard that was already broken down.

Cardboard or Newspaper for Weed Suppression


Yes, we pulled cardboard out of a dumpster.


4. Add a thick layer of organic material, at least 6 inches thick.

Sheet Mulch Done


5. Add a couple inches of wood mulch.


6. When you plant the first year, you may need to make some holes in the cardboard for deep rooted plants.


Installing the Hugelkultur Berm


6 foot high hugel berm ready to plant


There is really not much to hugelkultur. Get some wood of varying sizes and decomposition. Make sure you don’t have too much from allelopathic trees. Then place a thick layer of topsoil, then some compost.

More details on hugelkultur can be found in this article.

Be Sociable, Share!


Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!