This post is also available in: Slovenian
The thing with gardening is, the work there never stops. There’s the constant digging, sowing, watering, pruning, harvesting etc. What if I’d tell you that you can cut down the work substantially, while getting more out of your garden?
Lazy gardening 101
I give you The 5 Principles of Lazy Gardening:
Let’s look at each one in more detail.
Nature can survive on it’s own. It’s been doing it for 4,5 billion years. Modern agriculture cannot survive on it’s own. It’s dependent on man’s labour. All this energy is put in, just to prevent nature from having it’s way. Leave a field untended for a couple of years and it’ll go from this to this.
Keep your eyes open. Draw your inspiration from nature. It’s the only thing that works.
Why the the nature’s examples work so well? Why is the rainforest the most productive ecosystem on the planet? Who’s doing all the work there? These are the kind of the questions you should be asking yourself. By finding the answers to them you can learn many useful golden nuggets that you can use later.
Take what you learned and apply it. The number one reason conventional gardening requires that much work is poor design. If you take a bit more time at the beginning of your gardening journey, you’ll see how much it’ll pay off in the future.
Nature’s way of doing things has been proven to work for millions of years. Agriculture is here for some 10.000. Modern agriculture (the kind you probably know) is here for less that 50. Compare 50 years to 4,5 billion. It’s so small, it’s not even worth mentioning. Nature simply doesn’t want to do modern agriculture. WE have sustain it. By all means necessary.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take what’s been working for millions of years than some artificial system that’s still in its infancy. Call me lazy but if I have a choice between some work and a lot of work, I’ll choose the former.
There are two parts in ‘improve’. First is, you don’t create an exact copy of what you learn from nature. I’m sure you don’t want a rainforest in your garden. You modify it a bit to better suit your needs. You organize it (don’t go overboard!), you take what you need. You create your own rainforest, a forest garden.
The second is, once you’ve got your permaculture garden up and running, you have to constantly look for ways you can do even less work. What works best, what doesn’t work so well? What can you do to make it work better? Be always on the lookout to further optimize your system. Yes, it’s a system now.
This one’s a biggie. It’s absolutely necessary for you to adhere to this principle. The beauty of these principles is that if you do the first four right, the last one emerges as a consequence. As it happens you’ll be, over time, doing much more of enjoying than any of the other four principles.
It pays to be lazy
As you can see, with lazy gardening most of the time is spent designing. Less is spent actually working. That’s quite the opposite to what I’m seeing with other gardeners. Remember: less work – more enjoying. It often happens that people are so preoccupied with working on their gardens, they don’t have time to actually enjoy them.
Your permaculture garden has to give you joy and satisfaction, but most of all, it has to give you delicious food. You have to create a system that’s not going to last for a month or a season or until the oil supplies dry out. It has to last until nature decided to run things differently. And that’s a long time.
What are your tricks that enable you to work less and enjoy more? Maybe you combined both and you actually enjoy working (if there is such a thing )? Tell us all about it in the comments.
Subscribe to Permablogger to get all the future updates delivered to you.