Diane Kistner wrote:I acquire a perennial plant. Or five. Or fifty. I have to plant the plant(s) somewhere. I plug them into my in-process forest garden. I tell myself I'm focusing on building up soil, so it doesn't really matter right now where I plant because I can always move it later. The important thing is that I'm building up biomass, establishing plants I can take cuttings or divisions from, etc. And then, of course, later, I have to move it/them. Or think I have to move it/them.
And I'm old/getting older and painfully arthritic.
Is this a feature of permaculture, not a bug? Any advice for me on how to stay sane and productive?
Heather Olivia wrote:You are definitely not the only one. This is something I struggle with too. It seems to me it might just be part of the process. After all, you can't always know how a plant will behave, what it will or won't like, especially if it's one you've not seen before.
Why do you find yourself needing or thinking you need to move the plants?
I've had a lot of perennial plants volunteer in places that I wouldn't have chosen. At first, I had the idea I needed to move them, but then I decided that it was okay and sometimes even better to let the plants have their say in my design. They obviously know where they like to be and can tell me a lot about the soil and other conditions. It has really made the flow and feel of the garden much cooler, I think. And it definitely reduced the amount of stress and work. That said, I've also spent tons of time with a notebook scheming on where to put new plants. It seems worthwhile to spend some amount of time trying to plan an "ideal" spot, but don't expect yourself to be able to know everything. Be gentle with yourself.
Jamin Grey wrote:
What sometimes helps is thinking about your property in a "this year, next year, sometime in next 10 years" kind of way. Not just your plants, but your property as a whole. Things like home extensions, building sheds, or etc may force you to move plants if you didn't think ahead.
Nicole Alderman wrote:
I honestly don't see anything wrong with this! Growing up, I watched my mom buy plant after plant at nurseries. She often would have no idea where to plant them, but found a place when she got it home. She always found a place! Her garden is a work of art. And, it's very rare that she has to move plants. Sometimes they get shaded out and have to be moved, but that's pretty rare.
So, I don't worry when I do the same thing. Most of the time, the plant will be okay. It might even surprise you and be in the perfect spot. Often, when I get multiples of perennial plants, I put them in all sorts of different places. This year I got 5 nodding onion plants. I'm pretty sure three of them didn't make it, but one is doing fantastic, and I'll be able to divide from it and make even more plants.
I made a garden bed to grow corn for my son. It turned out to be too shady for corn. And it's too damp for potatoes (they got blight). But, the soil has benefited from the plants being grown there, and maybe it'll be the perfect place for some Sepp Holzer rye seeds I have. Sometimes my ducks' feed sprouts in there, so I'm thinking the perennial rye might work out.
Maybe one day I'll know enough to always plant something in the perfect spot. I always try to apply what I know to where I plant things. But, well, sometimes it doesn't work out. But, at least I'm learning and more things are growing than if I waited until I knew the perfect spot for everything!