Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture Design Course
Madeira Island - Portugal
Permaculture is to live in harmony with nature providing for human needs and the needs of everything around us

Urban permaculture (What do you want?)

Basically, the garden type comes down to what kind of product you want, and how much work you want to put into it. If you're looking for no product with no work, go with a flower garden. If you want lots of delicious product, but you are willing to spend hours in your garden each day, then go for a fruit garden. Just make sure you don't get into something you can't handle! If you're just looking for something to look nice in your yard, you'll want a flower garden. These are usually filled with perennial flower. Perennial flowers are flowers which stay healthy year-round. I heard from a friend that the use of perennial flowers could be a great way to liven up my garden without adding any extra work for me. you need to make sure that your soil has proper drainage. If the water stays saturated for long periods of time, you should build a raised bed. To test, dig a hole and fill it with water. Wait a day, and then fill it with water again. All traces of water should be gone within 10 hours. If the hole isn’t completely dry, you will need to build a raised bed. You should definitely use mulch when planting perennials. This will reduce the overall amount of work you have to do, by reducing the amount of weeds and increasing the water retention. Bark or pine needles work great, In order to test how much water your designated patch of soil will retain, dig a hole approximately ten inches deep. Fill it with water, and come back in a day when all the water had disappeared. Fill it back up again. If the 2nd hole full of water isn’t gone in 10 hours, your soil has a low saturation point. The usual method for improving drainage in your garden is to create a raised bed. This involves creating a border for a small bed, and adding enough soil and compost to it to raise it above the rest of the yard by at least 5 inches. You’ll be amazed at how much your water drainage will be improved by this small modification. Select varieties with the best disease and insect resistance. Select early maturing cultivars. The earlier plants mature the less time insects and diseases have to compete for the vegetables. Late maturing vegetables are more prone to disease and insect problems. Rotating Vegetables Some vegetable rotations that have been used in the Northeastern United States by organic growers are the following: Potatoes after sweet corn, sweet corn after the cabbage family, peas after tomatoes, tomatoes after beans, root crops after cucurbits and potatoes before root crops. When picking a rotation, remember that vegetables from the same plant family usually have the same problems. Here are some vegetables that do well when they are planted together: beans-potatoes; peas-carrots; peas-turnips; cabbage-beets; kohlrabi-beets; spinach-cauliflower; spinach-eggplant; corn-cucumbers and corn-beans. Attractants Dill attracts the tomato hornworm, so plant it on the opposite side of the garden from tomatoes. Sage repels cabbage moths and black flea beetles. Don't count on sage working under heavy pressure from these insects, but it might be worth while to plant a little sage with cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Chives have some repellant properties for aphids. Marigolds will repel a variety of insects. Too much nitrogen can harm the garden Nutrient Content Manure Actual Actual Actual Source Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium Beef 14 lbs. 9 lbs. 11 lbs. Hog 10 lbs. 7 lbs. 8 lbs. Poultry 20 lbs. 7 lbs. 8 lbs. Sheep 18 lbs. 11 lbs. 20 lbs. Organic Insect Control Rotations are the first and best way to preventi insect problems. The next best option is hand removal of old plant residue if working in a small garden. Organic growers tend to use organic insecticides as a last resort. Note: Check with your certifier to see if they are acceptable. Sabadilla is certified acceptable under OCIA as a restricted use organic product, which means it is to be used only if no other alternatives are feasible. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is an acceptable product but cannot contain petroleum distillates in the formulation, according to OCIA. Insecticidal soaps (not household) can control a wide range of plant destructive insects, especially aphids. CABBAGE WORMS - For control use Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Read and follow label directions. Hand picking is also an alternative. COLORADO POTATO BEETLES - Hand pick insects or use an application of Bt. Bt should be applied when first instar larvae are present in the field. Bt takes time to work and is best on larvae control. CUCUMBER BEETLES - Rotation ... Rotation ... Rotation!! Rotate the garden plants and sites. FLEA BEETLES will most likely be one of the most difficult insects to control. Early maturing varieties may help lessen the time plants have to tolerate them. Properly acclimated (hardened) transplants are not as attractive to flea beetles as emerging seedlings. SLUGS, ROOT MAGGOT AND CUTWORMS - Diatomaceous earth APHIDS can be controlled by high populations of lacewings and lady bugs. Surrounding the vegetable production area with a mix of wildflowers helps maintain a population of predatory insects. Diseases * Keep plants healthy. * Rotate vegetable plants and sites. * Space vegetables further apart to allow more air flow. * Plant to take advantage of the prevailing winds so air flow is increased down the row. * Don't go into the garden when plants are still wet. * Sanitation is important. Remove and destroy all parts of dead plants. They are a source of disease. Do it immediately after they are no longer useful! When thinning, remove thinned plants immediately. * Don't harvest vegetables when plants are wet. * Avoid overhead watering. Drip irrigation can efficiently deliver water and keep foliage dry. Crucifer Disease * Aerate the soil. * Leave adequate space between plants and rows. Organic Controls Copper, sulfur and Bordeux mixes have been used with limited success on vegetables in eastern United States. Some organic producers will not use these as they feel the products leave a chemical residue. However, such residues are easily washed off. Marketing Organic Vegetables Price premiums have historically been 10 to 50 percent above conventional prices in northeastern United States. The northeast and California have the biggest markets for organic vegetables. Selecting Vegetables to Market Organic vegetable producers take great pains to sell only high quality products. Detractors regularly say the quality of organic vegetables is not as high as that of conventional vegetables, but organic producers generally cull harder and market less of their produce to keep the quality high. Organic vegetables are traditionally sold on the perception that they are healthier than the traditionally grown vegetables. Marketing would be very difficult if low quality vegetables were offered for sale. Perception is everything in the organic food markets! Summary Organic food production is as much a state of mind as it is a production system. The biggest barrier most people face when switching to organic production is the change in thinking that must occur to make it successful. We have long been taught to treat individual insects and diseases separately instead of looking at things as a whole. The organic gardener must understand how everything is inter-related and how one set of circumstances will influence other factors in how the plant grows. Prevention is the first and best defense against pests in organic vegetable production.

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