4 Keys to Maximizing Your Food Forest or Permaculture Garden’s Productivity

With fall here, I’m working on two goals for our little Amazon food forest:

  • Growing our cool weather crops to finish up this year’s harvest
  • Prepping the food forest (along with some new areas in the yard) for springtime

Looking forward to having more broccoli, carrots, and cabbage, so we’re making sure that we stay on top of things.

I’m not an expert by any means, but I’m proud of the progress we’ve seen so far and I want to continue it.

4 Keys to a Productive Permaculture Garden or Food Forest

Over the years, I’ve been learning and I want to highlight some key steps that have made a huge difference with making sure the garden produces well.

Prepare Your Soil

Your soil is the backbone of your garden or food forest. If it’s poor, you’re not going to get the results you want with your plants.

Ideally, you’d prepare your soil before planting, but if you notice your vegetables and fruits not growing as well as you hope for, you may want to go ahead and get your soil tested.

You can go a local garden store and pick up a kit. They are inexpensive and they usually have suggested remedies for the most common problems.

I’d also look at your state’s department of agriculture to see what programs they offer.

Properly Water Your Plants

I have been guilty of overwatering my plants when I first started gardening. I had a hard time gauging how much was enough. Overwatering can rot the roots which in turn, ruin your harvest.

One route you can take is using a plant like lettuce to be your guide for when it’s time to water. If you’re up for some messy fun, you can check the soil itself. if it is hard and very compact, then it’s time to water.

If you’re up for some messy fun, you can check the soil itself. If it is hard and very compact, then it’s time to water.

Protect Your Food Forest from Hungry Pests

I discovered the hard way that squirrels, rabbits, and deers love to nibble on your plants. I actually had some watermelons that I was looking forward to enjoying and when I went to pick, I noticed the back half had been chewed on.

A few years ago, I had some watermelons that I was looking forward to enjoying all summer and when I went to pick, I noticed the back half had been chewed on.

Want to avoid my pain and anguish?  You can protect your plants by making your own pest deterrent with homemade hot pepper sprays.

I also plan and plant just a bit extra for my ‘neighbors’ so we can both enjoy the veggies and fruits.

Manage Weeds Wisely

Nobody wants to see invasive weeds take over their garden. You can go with a low-tech and easy solution by mixing 50 and 50 hot water and vinegar.

Spray the weeds for the next few days. The vinegar will help you be able to pull it up by the roots.

It also pays to know your plants. You may find that keeping some ‘weeds’ is beneficial for you.

Thoughts on Gardening

If you’re growing a garden or food forest, what have been key steps in making sure you’re seeing a good harvest?

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