• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Newbie trying to plan my gardens

 
                    
Posts: 3
Location: Phoenixville, PA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey everyone, I have been reading the forums for a couple months now off and on.  I found Permies from the survival podcast.  I am just really starting to get into the whole permaculture/homesteading thing.  I have .2 acre in Southeast PA and though I have done gardens before I never really knew much about what I was doing. 

So I was hoping to get some garden suggestions/tips from you very knowledgeable people here.

Here is what I have:
2 small areas for Beds in my backyard that face south and get sun all day, one along my fence and one in front of my garage.  I can't convert the whole yard, because of the wife and dogs.
I also have 3 beds that run North/South 2 along the sides of the house and 1 along side of the garage.  1 side of the house and 1 side of garage get sun in the morning until about 2-3pm during the summer, the other gets the afternoon sun, but not much full exposure.
I also plan on putting some big potted plants on the front porch, which faces South all day.

I also just built this beautiful cold frame for starting seeds and then Paul says on the survival podcast don't start seeds, just plant them right in beds 

I ordered a couple blueberry and raspberry plants (i was thinking along the back fence 4 ft) I also have 2 Hop Rhizomes coming for along side the front porch (Avid Homebrewer)
Tomatoes, peppers, carrots, peas, beans, zucchini, cucumber, lettuce, broccoli, spinach (all heirloom)

Any thoughts, help, suggestions would be appreciated!
 
 
Shawn Bell
Posts: 156
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you won the land you could invest in some dwarf fruit trees and train them to run on
the fence (espelier (sp)).  Grapes on the fence, as many perennial plantings as possible.  Plant once, eat a lifetime.

Have you checked out square foot gardening by mel bartholomew?  It has a lot of ideas for intensive gardening.

Just a few ideas.
 
danelle grower
Posts: 83
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have done square foot gardening for many years. Have had great success. However that has mostly been in smaller yards in town. Now on 5 acres and It is way different.  I want to plant more and have basically a blank canvas. I too would be interested in where to start and how to plan and map things out.  I like the idea of fruit trees dwarf because I am short too.  Do you plant an orchard / all in one place or spread trees out over your property?  Is that where you start is with trees? Start with larger plants then smaller?  PS putting things in vertically really increase your growing space.  I have 3 dogs and they love the garden over time they have learned to stay on the straw pathways.  Often times will take naps there for the heat and it's soft. 
 
danelle grower
Posts: 83
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
another note did you see my homescale permaculture experiment maybe that could give you some ideas?
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
before planning the area you might want to read a good book or two, might I suggest Gaia's gardens..i think food forests are the best way to go myself..but that is my opinion
 
            
Posts: 177
Location: California
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Koed wrote:
I also just built this beautiful cold frame for starting seeds and then Paul says on the Survival Podcast don't start seeds, just plant them right in beds 


There's more than one way of doing things. I'm not personally acquainted with Paul but I'm fairly certain he's just a mortal.. same as the rest of us.
 
                                        
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am in the same boat as KOED. I found out about all of this through TSP. I just bought five acres of land and I want to build it as permaculture. Unfortunately, I already started with raised beds before listening to Mr. Weaton's advice on all of these ideas.

Does anybody have any other suggestions for a first timer? I am completely new to all of this.
 
            
Posts: 177
Location: California
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
outdoorfury wrote:
I am in the same boat as KOED. I found out about all of this through TSP. I just bought five acres of land and I want to build it as permaculture. Unfortunately, I already started with raised beds before listening to Mr. Weaton's advice on all of these ideas.

Does anybody have any other suggestions for a first timer? I am completely new to all of this.


I feel perhaps I didn't sufficiently express what I was trying to get across in my last reply to this topic, five minutes ago.

There are a million different ways to arrive at the same end; this is especially true in farming. To follow another's practices/precepts blindly is a disservice to oneself. If you've got your garden cut into beds already, find a way to make it work for you. If you've got a beautiful cold-frame you built for starts, by all means use it. Limiting yourself to one way of doing things just because someone else does it that way will get you nowhere; you've got to do what works for you - on your land, in your unique region/microclimate, and with the resources at your disposal. Dynamic thinking, adaptability, and ingenuity.. these are the qualities of a successful farmer/homesteader.
 
duane hennon
gardener
Posts: 706
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
36
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


1. there's nothing wrong with raised beds, but they may not be needed. same goes for hugelbeds

.2. start small, use what you have
3. plant what will grow in your area and that you will eat
4. an area for regular garden plants is ok
5. think perrenials for the long term
6. edible forest garden beds are the rage
7. incorporate existing trees, bushes into efg beds. these may be eliminated later but their root systems will help start bed for new plants
8 relax and enjoy
9 the reason nature produces so many seeds is that she assumes your going to kill a few before you get the hang of it

 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't forget the designer recliner - ideally, you should just observe for a full year, before you plant or build anything anywhere. Just about impossible, I know. So start with some small projects that could be relocated, and start planting your property lines. And observe - which places are in and out of the wind? where does the frost pool? which areas dry out first in the spring, and which areas dry out last? what are the sun patterns? can you see any "natural" guilds occurring on your land? what animals are sharing their land with you? and many more things can be observed if you just notice. Make a map and/or keep notes.

One nice thing about raised beds - if you need to change their location, you won't "lose" the effort you've put into soil-building.

 
                    
Posts: 3
Location: Phoenixville, PA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I very much appreciate the help everyone, keep it coming
 
danelle grower
Posts: 83
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great advice, I'd like to ad figure out also what you want off your land. Livestock, profit, food production for preserving or seasonal.  If you get a picture from the air enlarge it.  Then using tracing paper laid over the top you can easily draw maps of what you want where. I laminated my picture so it would hold up to all my ideas and constant use. I also traced over in black felt marker all of the things that would never be changed stream property boundaries buildings wells drainfields drive way or roads. Not sure if you have any of those yet.  If you are starting with bare land as we did years ago I would like to suggest calling in some pros to help you lay out locations and give suggestions on 1 yr plan 5 yr plan 15yr plan. I didn't want to spend the money back then and now find things more difficult to work with and way to expensive to redo. Also biggest mistake I made leaving the trees. 18 years ago I left most of them around the house against my better judgement.  Now just 4 years ago we logged 37 of them that were surrounding the house.  What a job we had to put up all new fences had tons of slash mud rocks and ended up having to take out some of my favorite part of the forest to get the equipment in.  Not to mention the wear and tear on our gravel road for all the log trucks coming in and out & most important loosing all that good soil.   I love trees but at 3-8' diameter they can be very damaging in 60 mph winds (found that out the hard way) lack of light and all the moss on the house was not good.  Now I am starting over it changed the entire lay of the land.   In my haste to get a garden in I bought soil and compost didn't research that enough. I just didn't know any better.  Now am fighting what ever was in there it hardly grows weeds.  Am researching mushrooms (per someones advice here) looks like they can do remarkable things.   Also I would say start building compost piles ASAP! soil the most important thing. But maybe you already knew that.  so in short
1 build compost
2 map it & survey
3 make decisions on what you want and where (my veggie garden has to be by the house  out of side out of mind north of the house gets more sun for more of the year than the south side of the house go figure but true,)
4have your soil tested so you know what you are working with starting out
5 plant small at first (learning about each plant as you go. I wish I had started with trees another duh thing I learned the hard way)
6 if it works for you then it's right
7 learn the native edibles you already have growing
8 take every thing I say with a grain of salt I am fairly new too and don't have a lot of success  but boy you can sure learn from my mistakes ouch!

 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!