Many people visit restaurants or friends and one look at their beautiful gardens suddenly awakens a resolve in them to emulate them, or maintain at least three potted plants.

For those who have been wishing to plant something but never got round to doing it; permaculture might just be the thing to get you started. Here are a few tidbits on what permaculture is and how you can get going.

Permaculture is an agricultural system that focuses on the natural way of practising agriculture. How is this done? In a permaculture garden, nothing is ever wasted. Every plant in the garden has a specific purpose.

Some plants are used for food, medicine, to attract beneficial insects or to repel pests. Other plants are grown to improve soil, or to simply boost the garden’s beauty.

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The kind of plants that will go into your garden are important based on what you hope to get from them. Begin by planting on a small piece of land or in pots, and observe and analyse what is available to you.

Compost all garden waste and use as a fertiliser.

Collect rain water and recycle your grey water, too. Water is an important element in a permaculture garden because it’s essential to keep the soil and plants hydrated. It also attracts insects, birds, frogs, and other small creatures, many of which feed on pests in the permaculture garden. Companion planting helps to keep insects and other pest problems to a minimum. There are guides that can help one identify the plants to grow.

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However, always remember that companion farming is not the same for everyone everywhere and might require some experimentation to find out what works best for you. Once established, permaculture gardens require less maintenance.

You do nothing else but water and harvest crops or add occasional mulch.

Some points to note:

Recycle grey water: Grey water: This is any wastewater generated in the home, except water from the toilets. Dish, shower, sink, car and laundry greywater comprise 50%–80% of residential “wastewater.”

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Greywater may be reused for other purposes, especially landscape irrigation. Black water: Toilet-flush water should not be reused as few systems can safely recycle it.

Contaminated grey water: Solidsladen kitchen sink water or water used to wash diapers should not be re-used.

Use water from taps, sinks and washing basins that has been used only once, to water plants and irrigate your lawn.

Though it may look dirty and contain bits of dirt, food, hair and soap, it is a source of safe, nutrientrich water


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