a fuzzy bumblebee sitting on a pink and yellow dahlia flower

I first tried my hand at growing some fruit and veg in 2014. We moved into a house with already (mostly) cleared, ready to use, garden beds. With my first successful harvest that year, I was hooked.

Each year I learn from my previous years mistakes, and each year my garden becomes more abundant and sustainable. This helps to keep the garden as low-maintenance as possible.

We moved into a house on only 0.2 of an acre, in other words I have a front yard and a backyard to work with. At first it didn’t seem like there was much space for more than 2 or 3 garden beds. But as I began to learn about permaculture, and how much you can grow on a small plot of land, our garden and yearly harvest only continue to grow.

tomatoes on the vine

Permaculture is a sustainable design system that works with nature to create productive and resilient ecosystems. It emphasizes the use of resources, biodiversity, and ecological principles to create self-sustaining and regenerative landscapes. 

Now, let’s talk about how you can apply permaculture practices to grow produce in your backyard, regardless of its size. Permaculture encourages the use of organic and natural methods to create a productive and low-maintenance garden. 

habanero plant

Some of the practices that I am using, and you can too, to turn our backyard into a permaculture haven are: 

Companion planting – planting crops together that compliment each other and  enhance growth while protecting against pests.

Mulching – covering the soil with organic mulch, like straw, leaves, or bark mulch, helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and improve soil fertility. It also creates the perfect habitat for beneficial microorganisms.

Composting – turn kitchen scraps and garden waste into nutrient-rich compost. This natural fertilizer improves soil structure, and reduces the need for using chemical products.

Polyculture – intermixing different plants. It mimics natural ecosystems, encourages biodiversity, and helps control pests and diseases.

Perennial Plants – integrating perennial crops like fruit trees, berries, and herbs. They require less maintenance an provide a long-lasting source of produce.

Functional Design – serves multiple functions. Climbing plants can be used to provide shade and different flowers will bring in different pollinators, while enhancing overall productivity.

Rainwater Harvesting – collecting rainwater in barrels or larger containers helps conserve water and reduces reliance on external water sources.

By embracing some of these permaculture principles, you can create a backyard garden that is not only abundant, but also sustainable and resilient in the long run. Start small, observe, change things if you need to, and gradually incorporate these practices enjoy the benefits of a thriving, low-maintenance, eco-friendly garden.