October 9, 2016

Easy to Grow Perennial Herb and Fruit Guild

Weekend homesteading requires good time management.  The more perennials you grow, the more time you have to expand the homestead.  Normally we think of perennials as flowers, but I'm starting to think of them as perennial herbs, perennial fruits and perennial vegetables.  Perennials are an important part of a permaculture garden.

Plant Guild

Perennial Fruit and Herb Guild

Fruit/Vegetable/Herb guilds and companion planting are the key to success with organic gardening.  The mix of different plants helps deter bugs, feeds each other nutrients, crowd weeds out and shades the soil.  This avoids using pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and watering every day.  This perennial guild that is successful for me in Zone 4.

Perennial Guild:  Tall dill with thyme at base
 and ground cherries starting behind.

Perennial Guild with Ground cherries, chamomile, dill, thyme, sage

These grow very well together in a garden bed that I established by laying cardboard over the lawn, hay and then some topsoil (no tilling required).  The thyme and sage start early in the summer, the dill sprouts up tall but is very airy and let's the sunlight through to allow the chamomile to sprout up.  Lastly the ground cherries start to get going and bush out after the dill and chamomile are finished.  The sage and thyme continue to grown each spring and the ground cherries, chamomile and dill self sow from dropped seeds/fruit in the spring.

Perennial guild in late summer:  bushy sage, fruiting ground cherries,
dried dill seed tops (sunflower in center).