What is Urban Garden Permaculture?

Urban garden permaculture is a sustainable gardening practice that aims to create self-sufficient and resilient urban ecosystems. It combines the principles of permaculture, which is a design system that mimics natural patterns and processes, with urban gardening techniques. The goal is to create productive and diverse gardens that require minimal inputs and have a positive impact on the environment.

The Principles of Urban Garden Permaculture

Urban garden permaculture is guided by several key principles that help create a sustainable and regenerative system. These principles include:

1. Observation and Interaction

Observation and interaction are essential in urban garden permaculture. By observing the natural patterns and processes in the garden, gardeners can better understand how to work with nature rather than against it. This allows for more effective and efficient gardening practices.

2. Catch and Store Energy

In urban garden permaculture, it is important to catch and store energy in various forms. This can include capturing rainwater, using solar panels to generate electricity, and composting organic waste to create nutrient-rich soil. By harnessing and storing energy, gardeners can reduce their reliance on external resources.

3. Obtain a Yield

Urban garden permaculture aims to create productive gardens that provide a yield of food, herbs, and other useful resources. By carefully selecting and cultivating a diverse range of plants, gardeners can ensure a continuous harvest throughout the year. This not only provides food security but also reduces the need to rely on store-bought produce.

4. Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback

Self-regulation and feedback are important in urban garden permaculture. By closely monitoring the garden and its ecosystem, gardeners can make adjustments and improvements as needed. This allows for a more resilient and balanced system that can adapt to changing conditions.

5. Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services

Urban garden permaculture emphasizes the use of renewable resources and services. This includes using organic materials for mulching and composting, utilizing natural pest control methods, and promoting biodiversity. By valuing and utilizing renewable resources, gardeners can reduce their environmental impact and create a more sustainable garden.

6. Produce No Waste

In urban garden permaculture, the goal is to produce no waste. This is achieved by implementing recycling and composting systems, reusing materials whenever possible, and minimizing the use of non-biodegradable products. By reducing waste, gardeners can contribute to a more circular and sustainable economy.

7. Design from Patterns to Details

Designing from patterns to details is a fundamental principle of urban garden permaculture. By understanding the larger patterns and processes in the garden, gardeners can create more effective and harmonious designs. This includes considering factors such as sun exposure, water flow, and plant interactions.

8. Integrate Rather than Segregate

Integration is key in urban garden permaculture. By integrating different elements of the garden, such as plants, animals, and structures, gardeners can create a more balanced and resilient ecosystem. This can include companion planting, creating wildlife habitats, and incorporating edible landscaping.

9. Use Small and Slow Solutions

Urban garden permaculture favors small and slow solutions over large-scale interventions. By starting small and gradually expanding, gardeners can better understand the needs and dynamics of the garden. This allows for more thoughtful and sustainable decision-making.

10. Use and Value Diversity

Diversity is essential in urban garden permaculture. By cultivating a wide range of plant species, gardeners can promote biodiversity and create a more resilient ecosystem. This includes growing heirloom varieties, supporting native plants, and encouraging beneficial insects.

11. Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Edges and marginal spaces are valuable in urban garden permaculture. These areas, such as the borders between different garden beds or the spaces along fences, can be utilized for additional planting or for creating microclimates. By maximizing the use of edges, gardeners can increase the productivity and diversity of their gardens.

12. Creatively Use and Respond to Change

Change is inevitable in urban garden permaculture. By embracing change and being flexible in their approach, gardeners can adapt to new conditions and challenges. This includes experimenting with different techniques, adjusting planting schedules, and finding creative solutions to problems.

13. Value the Transition

Transition is an important part of urban garden permaculture. As gardens evolve and mature, they go through different stages and transitions. By valuing and understanding these transitions, gardeners can better manage and guide the growth of their gardens. This includes planning for succession planting, allowing for natural regeneration, and considering long-term sustainability.


Urban garden permaculture is a holistic and sustainable approach to urban gardening. By applying the principles of permaculture, gardeners can create productive and resilient gardens that have a positive impact on the environment. Whether you have a small balcony or a larger backyard, urban garden permaculture can be adapted to any space, allowing you to grow your own food and contribute to a more sustainable future.