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permaculture garden conversion

 
mike graz
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Hello this is my attempt to convert my yearly tilled garden to a permie design. I live in a suburb of buffalo ny and I have more clay soil in my garden. My garden is 30'x30'. I made a few sheet mulched raised beds but the problem is I will not have enough brown materials to cover my whole garden with 18" tall beds. Is there a different method I can employ besides raised beds or double digging to get the permie design started
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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You really need to get those brown materials. It doesn't have to cost very much, if you can get in touch with a tree service that needs to dump their trimmings, you can get it for free. I got a dump truck load of trimmings back in January and have built hugelkultur mounds on about a 30'x30' area, so I have a good idea of your task. It does require patience though.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Hello Mike welcome to permies.com
You dont have to double till or go all out to get a permie/perennial garden.
In that 30'X30' space you can plant 9 fruit and or nut trees.

You could make 30'X20' (6 dwarf fruit/nut) trees and the 30'X10' vegetables.
So the question then becomes what type of veggies could you grow.
Lovage (celery), Collard Green Tree, mint, thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, savory, seakale. orach.
There is also lot of self seeding veggies too.

You can just plant some daikon/tillage radish to do the tilling for you (3-4 foot carrot looking roots but overall 6ft root structure).
You can also plant fava beans and other to add the nitrogen to your soil. Now when it comes to browns, just add your lawn clippings as the years go by.
Adding compost is even better. winter rye (sept-april) will also give you alot of browns.

Just remember to take it easy you dont have to all out, unless of course you have the time and money.


 
mike graz
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Thanks for the replies. The issue issue is I have peppers,tomatoes,eggplant,zuccini and broccoli that I started indoors in Feb that I really need to get planted. How should I do this for now? should I dig holes for each plant and turn just the soil in those areas? I will plant some cover crops so im much more prepared for next year.
 
Brian Jeffrey
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Location: Connecticut
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I am curious what your neighbors do with all their tree/lawn/garden "waste". I have had great luck walking or driving the alleys and garbage days to find everything from brown material to paving stones, pots, etc. Buffalo is a little more spread out than Denver, but I bet if you take more side roads and alternate routes to and from your work/supermarket, you will start to notice there is mulch everywhere.

If you have a little $$$ to buy mulch and cover seeds, maybe make a little 4x4 garden with the plants you have already going? $20 could probably buy a bit of straw and a few packs of seeds for cover. Even respectfully dig some clover and wildflowers from around roadsides and empty lots in the burbs to save more $$.

OR

Could you plant with bare dirt underneath (maybe like your previous tilled garden?), then cover seed and mulch in patches as you find the material. Over the course of the summer you could convert your garden at a comfortable pace and still get your veggies.


I'm sure you will get it going some way. Permaculture is more addictive than any thing I've ever encountered. That being said; being patient can be the hardest part of the garden.

 
mike graz
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I use my neighbors grass clippings
 
mike graz
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Yes I will probably dig holes then turn the soil and keep adding waste as well as the use of cove crops. Now as far as the cardboard I have shoul I wet and make holes in that then plant in the soil underneath and but mulching materials on that or should I save it for fall and make beds then when the field behind my has goes brown in late fall and the leafs drop. I had tons of leafs last season but put them threw mulcher and made mass piles of compost that I forgot to mention covered my entire garden about 2 inches deep
 
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