Poly-regenerative word list

For an explanation of the poly-regenerative gardening principles, please see the diagram and text here.

explanation for the use of words in the poly-regenerative



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.

climate health

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

cover crops

seeds broadcast to grow plants to create manure or compost on soil and cover soil

creating fertility

diverse soil biology and healthy soil sponge make nutrients available to plants

creating water

soil sponge holds water and this heals hydrology of the landscape and cools the atmosphere


don't plough

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

diverse planting

gives diverse soil microbes and insects, greater fertility, resilience, less exhaustion of soil

diverse zoology

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


ground covers

always have ground covers to keep soil covered and add to photosynthesis on an area


habitat diversity

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


mixed covercrops

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.

no biocides

insect, ffungi and herbi-cides are designed to kill life and make soil sterile.

no chemicals

industrial agriculture chemicals are destroying the soil, the oceans and human health

no dig

regenerative gardeners never dig over beds, they use occultation and other no dig tricks

no fertilizers

mineral fertilizers are killing our soil and oceans

no monoculture

no single species crop. Lack of diversity in planting brings disease and infertility

native plants

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

ocean health

higher CO2, acidification, warming, plastic, heavy metal, petrochemical and agrichemical pollution, over exploitation of sealife, changing ocean dynamics, creating deadzones.

old trees

older trees and old growth forest preserve habitat diversity, keep global rainfall patterns stable, and may sink more carbon


paced grazing

using the benefits of grazing animals to regenerate grassland but moving them frequently so that they do not overgraze

peak photosynthesis

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.

poly-regenerative gardening

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.

social stability

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.

soil fauna

The small animals and microscopic life in the soil from moles to worms to microbes. And fungal threads.

soil sponge

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.


total cover

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.

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I've been writing for four years now and I would love to hear from you

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.

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