For an explanation of the poly-regenerative gardening principles, please see the diagram and text here.
1 of the 5 regenerative agriculture principles is to incorporate animals for the good they do.
fresh water aquatic plants and animals highly threatened
pure carbon remnant of anoxically burned wood is a fabulous soil microbe and fertility enhancer
chop n drop
permaculture method of chopping off weeds at soil line, not pulling up the roots, or chopping biomass plants and dropping them on the ground to create compost.
a thick soil sponge heals hydrology, draws down carbon, saves oceans, and all heal climate
compost is not nutrient as much as biology innoculation for the soil
seeds broadcast to grow plants to create manure or compost on soil and cover soil
diverse soil biology and healthy soil sponge make nutrients available to plants
soil sponge holds water and this heals hydrology of the landscape and cools the atmosphere
ploughing disrupts the strata of the soil and leads to massive microbe and mycorrhizal death
don't pull roots
pulling roots destroys soil life round roots and deprives microbes of organics & plant sugars
don't pull weeds
pulling roots is destructive, many weeds are fertility promoting or edible, add to diversity
gives diverse soil microbes and insects, greater fertility, resilience, less exhaustion of soil
diverse insects, diverse soil biology means less disease and pests, more ecosystem resilience
could be human or animal, contain a rich diversity of soil microbes and nutrients
feed many insects and bees, natives should dominate to keep native insects alive
regenerated soil makes nutrient dense food and healthier, slimmer humans
always have ground covers to keep soil covered and add to photosynthesis on an area
not just fertile meadows, but also wetlands, rocky and sandy areas and more.
low nutrient zones
add to habitat diversity, they can be sandy or rocky, or gravel based
the more diversity, the more resilience, and soil life diversity
mix grass, cereals, chenopods, legumes, brassicas
5 must have seeds in the covercrop mix that cause plant roots to message each other, grow stronger and produce more phytochemicals which prolong human life and boost soil health
plants are better, but if not, at least mulch the soil heavily with a layer of organic matter
no bare soil
never ever leave the soil bare. The microbial life exposed to light dies off within hours.
insect, ffungi and herbi-cides are designed to kill life and make soil sterile.
industrial agriculture chemicals are destroying the soil, the oceans and human health
regenerative gardeners never dig over beds, they use occultation and other no dig tricks
mineral fertilizers are killing our soil and oceans
no single species crop. Lack of diversity in planting brings disease and infertility
native plants sustain native insects and fauna and soil microbes, and are adapted to the area
nutrient dense food
regenerated soil produces more nutrient dense food and healthier people
covering the soil with a layer to keep light out, like cardboard or newspaper
higher CO2, acidification, warming, plastic, heavy metal, petrochemical and agrichemical pollution, over exploitation of sealife, changing ocean dynamics, creating deadzones.
older trees and old growth forest preserve habitat diversity, keep global rainfall patterns stable, and may sink more carbon
using the benefits of grazing animals to regenerate grassland but moving them frequently so that they do not overgraze
the state reached when plants and soil are so healthy that plants reach their maximum potential to produce sugar
perennials' roots stay in the ground and are thus very good for regenerating soil. Many crops are annuals and we need to shift to more perennials to avoid digging and save soil.
Poly-regenerative gardening places a huge emphasis on maintaining insect and pollinator diversity through providing diverse habitat and native plants.
Regenerative agriculture with a twist, adapted for citiy gardens, and more diverse habitats.
The absence of apex predators has caused degradation of savannah due to overgrazing. But we also need the small predators to keep our insect pests in check, and maintaining zoological diversity in the garden with diverse habitat is vital to that.
sand and rock
provide habitat for growing many native wild flowers, and sheltering small predators, reptiles and ground bees, who make up the greater majority of bees.
food security provides social stability. Global warming threatens food security. Food surpluses provided a basis for wealth through the ages, and soil degradation brought the destruction of societies.
The small animals and microscopic life in the soil from moles to worms to microbes. And fungal threads.
The state of the soil when it is cohesive but soft, and has a lot of small pore spaces that hold water and provide surfaces for microbes and chemical exchanges. It is formed with soil aggregates which are created by the soil fauna.
A regenerative garden should have no bare soil, ever, not even for a few hours.
grazing animals trample the grass and dung into the ground where it composts faster. This can be replaced in a city garden by treading on weeds to create a path, or reduce their height so that other plants can get sun.
grazing animals add nitrogen to the soil with their urine. In the city we can substitute with human urine, which is in excess, polluting our waste water.
Many wetlands have been lost so we must build artificial wetland habitat. Wetlands are highly productive for food planting and very effective carbon sinks.
Home to fungi, insects and small animals, especially bumble bees, which do the majority of the
pollinating for some food plants.
worm compost and worm tea are a fantastic dressing for soil and plants. They contain nutrients, but they also have a very rich microbiome, that is so diverse it helps keep pathogens such as molds in check.
Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or stories to share on gardening, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forests, natural gardening, do nothing gardening, observations about pests and diseases, foraging, dealing with and using weeds constructively, composting and going offgrid.
Check out our selection of ecological designs printed on T-shirts, accessories and decor items. The designs are about soil regeneration, indigenous Cape wild flowers, wild African animals and other fauna, as well as bible quotes and geometric patterns.
Oct 21, 21 12:27 PM
Growing against extinction. Some of the many reasons why one should garden for wildlife all around the world using native food plants
Sep 03, 21 06:37 AM
can an established, large, wild plum tree Harpephyllum caffrum be pruned in order to try shape/reduce the width of its canopy? I have a huge wild plum
Aug 31, 21 12:08 PM
Caroline, thanks so much for the valuable information in your blog. I also try to garden in Cape Town in a garden that is battered by the Southeast in