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.
A few basic tools will help you get started in your garden. These are what I consider the essentials. However, you might find that a few additional pieces of equipment can be useful and 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 Tools for Permaculture Gardens
First, you will need basic garden tools. Even in a non-digged permaculture garden there will be times when you need a spade. It could be for earthworks to manage the water on your property, digging planting holes for fruit trees or guilds, or moving compost/ manure. From point A to point B.
A garden fork is also useful. Some people recommend using a fork to loosen compacted soil. However, I don’t do this. I do however use a garden fork to turn compost and to manage other organic materials.
A permaculture garden should also include a hoe. In my organic garden, I embrace beneficial and diverse weeds. A hoe can be useful for chopping and dropping dynamic accumulators, and allowing them remain on the soil surface to replenish their nutrients. 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 is an excellent investment if you have a meadow or grassland that is not managed by livestock. This low-tech alternative can be far more eco-friendly than a lawnmower. It is also easy to learn once you are comfortable with the technique.
For moving materials around your space, a wheelbarrow or hand wagon is another important tool. You can also use simple buckets or baskets.
Based on my experience, here are some tips to help you choose the right tools for your permaculture garden.
- Make sure you choose high-quality tools that are durable.
- Choose tools with wooden handles, rather than plastic or composite.
- If possible, source or buy second-hand instead of buying new.
Top Equipment for Permaculture Gardeners
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. It can be extremely useful to be able make your own wood chips. 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. If you have multiple fruit trees, it is worth looking into purchasing a manual crusher, an extendable fruit picker and a fruit press. These pieces of equipment are very useful on our property.
Unless you have a large property, a permaculture grower won’t need much more equipment to get started. You may find that you need other tools or equipment over time. The above should be enough to get you started. 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.
It is important that you choose carefully and consider the many functions of every item you bring to your space. Smaller and slower solutions can be more effective than relying on larger, more powerful 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.