Plants for Permaculture (Permaculture II)

Course CodeVSS105
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
  • Learn about Plants that can be grown in a Permaculture Garden
  • How they relate to each other and to the surrounding environment;
  • Learn the selection and placement of different varieties within a permaculture design.
Permaculture II complements our other permaculture courses and expands your knowledge and the possibilities for what you might achieve.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Permaculture Gardens –Different Garden Systems
    • Function
    • Aesthetics
    • Ways of growing plants
    • Environmental conditions
    • Plant establishment
    • Growing in spirals
    • No Dig Beds or Composting Mounds
    • Organic Growing
    • Helping Plant Establishment
    • Trickle or Drip Irrigation
    • Mulching
    • Common types of organic mulch
    • Rules for How to mulch
    • Problems with mulching
    • Living mulch
    • Tree guards
    • Reduced cultivation
    • Crop rotation
    • Establishing plants on slopes –pocket planting, slope serration, wattling
    • Planting on arid sites
    • Direct seeding
    • Spray seeding
    • No till planting in lawns
    • Raised beds
    • Growing in pots
    • Biodynamics introduction
    • Biodynamic principles
    • Developing a biodynamic property
    • Biodynamic preparations and sprays
    • Soil degradation
    • Understanding and managing erosion
    • Salinity
    • Soil acidification
    • Soil compaction
    • Chemical residues in soils
    • Improving damaged soils
  2. Design –Planning Techniques and Skills
    • The design process
    • Gathering information and pre planning
    • Planning and design
    • Drawing the permaculture plan
    • Design Procedure – thirteen steps
    • How to represent different components on a drawn plan
    • Criteria for choosing the plants
    • Maintaining biodiversity in permaculture
    • Designing for low maintenance
    • Plants for small places
    • Lime loving plants
    • Useful conifers
    • Nut producing conifers
    • Other edible parts of conifers
    • Conifers as a source of oils, resins, building timber
    • Cypress and Pines
  3. Sector Planning
    • Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    • Sectors
    • Designing and Planting a firebreak
    • Fire prone areas
    • How to arrange a firebreak
    • Considerations
    • Fire resistant plants
    • Windbreaks, hedges and screens
    • Hedges for different conditions
    • Plants for windbreaks
    • Long narrow spaces
    • Growing plants in shade
    • Plants suited to full shade
    • Frost hardy plants
    • Coastal planting
    • Strategies for dealing with salt and wind
    • Hardy plants for inner city gardens
    • Pollution resistant plants
    • Nuts to grow in Permaculture -Aleurites, Argan, Athertonia, Barringtonia, Fagus, Brabejum, Castenospermum, Gevuina, Coconut, Couepia, Quercus and many others
  4. Design for Natural Pest, Disease and Weed Control
    • Understanding natural pest control
    • Bio control
    • Advantages and disadvantages of bio control
    • Natural pest controls with herb extracts
    • Other techniques for natural insect control
    • Understanding insecticidal properties of different plants
    • Natural weed control
    • Weed control with cultivation, mulch biological controls, grazing, etc.
    • Growing grain crops on a small scale
    • Hull less oats
    • Amaranth and Quinoa
    • Corn
    • Flours
  5. Complimentary Planting -Companion Planting
    • How reliable is companion planting
    • Repellent plants
    • Attractant plants
    • Plants that impact on the soil conditions
    • Planting combinations that may be mutually beneficial
    • Combinations sometimes considered undesirable
    • Plants that can improve soil –alfalfa, borage, caraway and others explained.
    • Green manure crops
    • Decoy plants
    • Nitrogen fixation
    • Legumes in permaculture
    • Cover crops
    • Grain crops
    • Plants for pets –dogs, cats, poultry
  6. Appropriate Technology in Permaculture Design
    • Energy conservation technology
    • Building biology
    • Environmental impact on buildings
    • Climate
    • Building location
    • Radon
    • Air quality and allergies
    • Temperature and humidity
    • Light
    • EMR and creation of electric fields
    • Solar energy
    • Greenhouses: design and function
    • Passive solar energy collection and active systems
    • Conservation and recycling
    • Kitchen waste management
    • Water saving measures
    • Environmentally friendly gardening
    • Growing Berries
    • Strawberry growing
    • Raspberry cultivation
    • Bramble Berry growing
    • Other berries –gooseberries, mulberry, etc
  7. Water Gardens
    • Planting in wet places
    • Understanding wet areas
    • Overcoming problems
    • Plants suited to bog gardens
    • Why have water in a permaculture garden
    • Designing for wet places
    • Managing water in sun or shade
    • Water life
    • Construction
    • Waterproofing
    • Managing a healthy pond
    • Plants that can damage ponds
    • Plants suitable for water –submerged, floating and bog plants
    • Growing water chestnut
    • Establishing a water garden
    • Creating a pond with a liner
    • Constructing a small dam or pond
    • Waste water treatment with reed beds
  8. Knowing Plants –Tree Crops
    • What zone to grow in
    • Orchard species suited to permaculture
    • Understory plants
    • Leguminous companions
    • Actinorhizal companions
    • Orchards
    • Planning for intercrop species
    • Tropical orchards
    • Dry land orchards
    • Fukuoka System
    • Nut trees
    • Almond
    • Cashew
    • Chestnut
    • Filbert
    • American hazelnut
    • Macadamia
    • Peanut
    • Pecan
    • Pistachio
    • Walnut
    • Harvest, storage and processing of nuts
    • Nut toxins
    • Fruit trees
    • Apples
    • Apricots
    • Peaches and nectarines
    • Citrus
    • Feijoa
    • Pomegranate
    • Olive
    • Plum
  9. Knowing Plants – Vegetables and Herbs
    • Introduction
    • Choosing the right spot
    • Considering the soil
    • Feeding plants
    • Plant when conditions are favourable
    • Cultivation necessities – Mulching, Rotating crops, watering, Pest control
    • Planting to maximize harvest
    • Planting vegetables
    • Disease resistance in vegetables –beans, corn, peas, lettuce, tomatoes.
    • Vegetables to grow in a permaculture system
    • Artichokes
    • Asparagus
    • Beans
    • Beetroot
    • Broccoli
    • Brussel Sprouts
    • Capsicum Eggplant
    • Onions
    • Rhubarb
    • Silver beet Sweet potato
    • Tomato
    • Zucchini
    • Herbs
    • Allium –chives, garlic, shallots etc
    • Angelica
    • Artemisia
    • Balm
    • Basil
    • Calendula
    • Cardamom
    • Chamomile
    • Coriander
    • Lavender
    • Mint
    • Parsley
    • Rosemary
    • Sage
    • Thyme
    • Other herbs
  10. Giving the Garden a Central Focus
    • The mandala garden concept
    • Surfaces
    • Keyhole beds
    • Herb spirals
    • Step by step construction of a mandala garden
    • Centre pond
    • Weed barrier
    • Outside the Mandala
    • Planting out
    • Organic materials – ashes, feathers, hay, leaves, sawdust, prunings, etc.
    • Mulching vegetables and herbs

Throughout this course, you will explore ways to grow plants that can be harvested to use in various ways; as food, but also for crafts, fuel, fodder, building materials and other purposes.
In the context of permaculture, you will explore more sustainable ways of growing plants, where the amount of maintenance required to keep the plants growing is minimised as much as possible.
Many people would like the chance to grow their own fruit and vegetables but are turned off by the fact that time and chemicals are usually essential. With proper planning and variety selection, you can reduce the effort necessary to obtain home grown produce and reduce chemical use at the same time.

What you grow can effect maintenance requirements. There are varieties more disease resistant which means there will be less need to spray chemicals. This saves both time and the use of expensive chemicals.

Before any vegetables can be grown, you must first construct your garden suitable for culture in a way that is labour saving, hygienic and efficient.



  • People who have completed our Permaculture I.
  • Anyone who has studied our Permaculture Systems, or a PDC course with another school
  • Anyone who are wants to learn a lot more about plants that can be incorporated into a permaculture landscape.
  • Anyone who wants to expand their knowledge and awareness of useful plants to grow on their own property as a move toward greater self sufficiency. 

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