You may be wondering what tools and equipment are needed if you’re new to permaculture gardening. My professional opinion is that you may not need as many tools and equipment as you think. You will need less to create a permaculture garden. If you have the right tools and equipment you won’t need to purchase or source many.
You will need a few garden tools to get you started. These are what I consider the essentials. You might also consider purchasing some additional equipment to make your life easier.
Here are some tips from my own experience in permaculture gardening to help you make the right choice for your garden.
Simple Garden Tools to Create a Permaculture Garden
First, you will need basic garden tools. Even in a simple permaculture garden, you will need a spade at times. It doesn’t matter if you need to do earthworks to manage water, dig planting holes for trees for a forest or fruit tree garden, or move compost/manure, it doesn’t matter. From point A to point B.
A garden fork may also be useful. Although some recommend using a fork in order to break up compacted dirt, I do not use one. To turn compost and manage other organic materials, I do use a garden knife.
A hoe is a great tool for a permaculture gardening garden. In my organic garden, I embrace beneficial and diverse weeds. A hoe is useful for cutting and dropping weeds, as well as dynamic accumulators. It allows them to remain on the soil surface and return their nutrients to the system. The right hoe can be used for cultivation.
Other key tools for managing and pruning a forest garden or other permaculture area are the secateurs and lopper. Once a system is established, a pruning saw may be necessary.
A scythe can be a great investment in meadows or grasslands that are not managed by livestock. This low-tech alternative can be far more eco-friendly than a lawnmower. Once you get used to the technique, it doesn’t take much longer.
A wheelbarrow, or hand cart, is another essential tool for moving materials around your space. You can also use simple buckets or baskets.
These are my tips for choosing simple tools for a permaculture gardening garden.
- High-quality tools that are built to last.
- Choose wooden handles over plastic or composite.
- Source or buy secondhand rather than buying new whenever possible.
Top Equipment for Permaculture Gardens
If I had to choose one piece of equipment that I would recommend, it would be a shredder or garden chipper to help manage woody material and break down biomass in the garden. Making your own woodchip can be very useful. It can help you set up your permaculture garden and ensure that it remains closed-loop over time.
In my own experience with my forest garden, I highly recommend equipment to make harvesting more efficient. Consider investing in a fruit picker, manual crusher, or fruit press if you have several fruit trees. These pieces are extremely useful for our own property.
Unless you have a large property, a permaculture grower won’t need much more equipment to get started. There may be other tools and equipment that are more useful over time. It is a good idea to start with the above. It is important to remember that less is more. Many of the things you require can be found in nature, or can be made with reclaimed materials.
The key is to carefully choose your items and to think about how each item will perform in your space. Smaller, slower solutions are more efficient than larger, more powerful pieces of equipment. In a smaller permaculture garden, creating a resilient and abundant space should involve small and slow solutions, and does not need—either literally or metaphorically—to cost the Earth.