Author: Ben Neusse

Native Trees

Trees can serve many important functions in your home garden. They can provide shelter for birds that naturally control your pest population, they can provide shade for those plants that grow better in partial sun. Trees can also serve as privacy and wind screens. Perhaps most importantly, trees play a large role in bringing minerals and water to the surface to share with the other plants in your garden. Using native trees in your garden design increases your chance of success as these trees are more likely to survive in your soil and climate conditions, be more resilient to...

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Designing an Urban Garden

Geoff Lawton, one of the original Jedi Masters of Permaculture designs an urban garden. In this video you can see the design principles in action.  He pays particular attention to the solar aspect and the distance from the house to locate zones and different plant types in them. Finally, he stacks functions by planning a chicken coop and run using the food...

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Sector Map | Elevation Profile

After installing Google Earth you can create a line and then view the elevation profile along this line. Use the line tool, which is in the red circle below. Left click at the start and then end of the line you are interested in. Give the line a name. Right click on the line name, which is in the red rectangle below. Click Elevation Profile.  ...

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Sector Map | Water Sector

Watersheds are nature’s property boundaries.  Soil, fertilizers and pesticides flow along watersheds. You can use the tool from the EPA below to locate your water shed using your zip code:   From here you can find more detailed maps of how water flows in your area. The Water Watch site from the USGS provide a diverse set of tools to understand and monitor your watershed.    ...

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Sector Map | Wind Sector

Understanding how energy flows across your garden from source to synch helps you design your space to take advantage of energy flows. The Wind History map tool provides an amazing visualization of wind direction and speed and builds your wind sector map for you! You can select any combination of months and even have it play from month to month to see how the wind changes direction and speed through a typical year. Keep in mind the moisture and temperature variations of wind due to the seasons and even directions. Current US Wind Conditions (Click and drag to pan,...

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