I just started reading a book entitled Paradise Lot ( which I highly recommend). While burning through the chapters I learned that there are some principles they were practicing which I too am practicing and didnt think anything of it.
For instance- i planted peanuts in nearly all of my garden beds. Mainly just because if there was a space i would fill it with something. I had no idea at the time that peanuts were nitrogen fixing plants, a member of the legume family, and would benefit my other plants!
I did the same thing with sunflowers. I just through them in whereever. I noticed the sunflowers shading the lettuce planted underneath them. After noticing the results i decided to look up companion planting with sunflowers. The only thing i could fine that was a "yes" was corn. And there were a few things that were mentioned that i shouldnt plant with sunflowers. But-with that being said- ice actually applied my sunflower companion gardening and plant on continuing to do so.
Cucumbers was one if the plants there were suggesting not planting with. I do have a single sunflower growing with my japanese cucumber ( as well as spearmint) which has struggled since day one. I wonder if thats why?
Another key point to "forest gardening permaculture" mentioned in Paradise Lot was how the authors Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates mapped ot their land by watching for patterns with the light/shade.
Im a garden gazer. I stare out at my land all day long. I watch for the changing patterns in light and shadow. I watch for wind and birds. Then i start my research as to what plants will do well with the light alloted in that spot and what can be planted with it.
Gardening has become my main passion in life. Applying permaculture principles as been a welcomed challenge.Somestimes its so hard i just want to give up.
But I cant. I love it. Im bringing something positive to my family and the world around me. Im making a difference in my kids lives and health.
Whats that saying? Anything worth doing is going to be hard.... Or something like that.
Happy Gardening Garden Gazers