Permaculture Zones

A huge goal of permaculture is to create guilds and zones in backyards and communities. Herb gardening fits wonderfully into permaculture design because flowering herbs will attract pollinators and large amounts of herbs can be used as ‘chop & drop’ to build up soil.

Certain herbs can help to attract beneficial insects or repel insects from your crops making them a perfect addition to your veggie patch. Herbs fit really nicely into permaculture zones and guilds.

Permaculture Herb Gardening

Permaculture Zones and Sectors

When you’re creating gardening zones for permaculture design, you’ll have different permaculture zones.

  • Close to home is zone 1 with veggies and herbs that you harvest frequently.
  • For Zone 2 often includes food forests, more plant guilds and beneficial animal systems such as chickens, bees or duck ponds.
  • Zone 3 larger crops and food systems, larger food forest guilds and some wild plants.
  • Last is Zone 4 and upwards can be filled with wild areas for things such as wood from a forest, wild plants left undisturbed to do their thing, and larger food forests.

Permaculture Zone 1: The Kitchen Herb Garden

These herbs are close to your kitchen because they are the ones that you use the most. They are herbs that are used fresh on a frequent basis. Here are some herbs that are great for your kitchen herb garden:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Rosemary
  • Dill
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Growing garlic in your permaculture herb garden

Permaculture Zone 2: Herbs in Your Veggie Garden

Adding herbs to your veggie patch is perfect for companion planting. Some of these herbs are strong smelling so creating a border around your garden with herbs might also deter larger pests like deer or rodents from entering your garden.

Many herbs deter bugs from eating plants with scent deterrence.

Dill is an excellent herb to grow for companion planting

Herbs like chives or garlic can help to deter aphids. Frilly herbs with umbelliferous leaves like dill or fennel also attract ladybugs to eat aphids.

Adding beneficial herbs in your veggie patch
Beneficial borage herbs in the garden

Permaculture Zone 3: Permaculture Herbs

This permaculture zone will be the herbs that you grow large amounts for tea, medicinals or just to create a deer proof border.

Permaculture chop & drop

Once you start growing larger amounts of medicinal herbs in your garden or tea, it helps to have them in the zone 3 area because they are larger patches.

Any unused herbs can be mulched into the ground under your fruit tree guilds or in garden beds as ‘chop & drop’ crops. A comfrey patch is perfect in this location or any herbs that you use plentiful amounts of.

What has been your favorite permaculture zone or guild you grew?


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