Growing your own herbs and vegetables at home is one of the simple joys of life. The fresh taste of herbs and vegetables in your home cooked meals cannot compare to anything else. If you have bought the Herbivore Herb and Veggies kit, then this guide will help you to plan out the planting beds.
Start by choosing a garden site that drains well, gets ample sunlight, and is close to your kitchen as that is where most of the produce will end up. In Permaculture Designs, we create zones and Zone 1 if where the daily kitchen garden should be ideally placed which is the immediate area outside your house/kitchen.
The simplest way to set up your herb and vegetable garden is to mark up the ground with beds being 2m by 1m and 50cm to 1m wide footpath in between. A 1m wide bed is the most practical as you can easily harvest from both sided of the footpath without stepping on the bed and compacting the soil. If your garden is a rectangular patch then 4 beds of 2m by 1m may be sufficient for a 6m by 3m area. Once this is done, the planting area can now be worked on to make the soil “become alive”. This involves adding lots of dried organic matter and decomposed compost into the soil. Easy way to do this is to remove the first 4 inches of soil and keep it on the left of the bed (this will be replaced back). Then remove the next 6 inches of soil which can be used on the footpaths as it will not be needed. Fill the hole initially with a small level (1 to 2 cms) of dried sticks and twigs followed with dried organic matter (brown leaves or grass) and compost (15L per m2) mixed the top soil which was initially removed. The final layer to complete your Regenerative garden bed is a nice layer of mulch up to 1 inch thick. Mulch is very crucial and important as it plays many functions to assist the growth of your plants. It helps in ensuring moisture is retained in the soil, while at the same time protecting the roots and the plant from heavy rainfall, which providing nutrients for the plants when is slowly decomposes into compost.
The environment you have created is favourable for all the underground economy critters to thrive on. From fungi to bacteria to protozoa, they will all thrive and make the soil alive and full of nutrients for your plants to uptake and in return feed us. This is the start of building your rich soil, and to keep the soil healthy and alive follow the 5 steps below:
(1) ALWAYS ADD MULCH
(2) NEVER DIG THE SOIL APART FROM INITIAL SETTING UP, (Even when removing old plants, cut at soil level and leave the roots to rot in the ground)
(3) NEVER ADD FERTILISER OR PESTICIDES INTO THE GROUND (They kill the underground soil economy which your plants depend on)
(4) NEVER WALK ON THE PLANTING BEDS
(5) ENJOY GARDENING
This is very enlightening. If you don’t dig the soil, how do you plant afresh?