Want to know how you can improve your soil and learn to build garden beds?

Discover how soil is made, what it is made from, and how you can improve the soil on your property to make for healthier plants and higher yields. See how compost and mulch can make a big difference to your soil, and how to utilize your soil in a variety of types of garden beds.

Soil and Garden Beds

Soil is often overlooked, but the ground beneath our feet is incredibly important not only to the success of our permaculture designs, but also to the health of the planet. Without healthy soil, we simply cannot survive, so it makes sense that we get to know soil and understand how we can preserve, rehabilitate and improve it wherever we may be. This course provides you with everything you need to know about this amazing material, and looks at the practical ways it can be used in your permaculture design to grow crops.​

The skills you will gain in this self-paced online course:

  • Discover the primary causes of global soil degradation
  • Understand how different industrial practices impact upon the soil
  • Appreciate how natural processes and lead to the development of soil
  • Understand the stages of development that healthy soil goes through
  • Discover how good soil helps plants and animals survive and thrive
  • Recognize the soil’s contribution to water and oxygen levels on the planet
  • Gain knowledge about how three types of particle interact to determine soil properties
  • Find out how to test the make-up of your soil
  • Learn the importance of a range of soil chemicals to plant and animal health
  • Know how plants access soil nutrients
  • Know how different pH levels affect a soil’s health
  • Understand the variety of factors that influence a soil’s pH level
  • Uncover the different types of organism that make their home in soil
  • Analyze the best way of improving the soil on your permaculture plot
  • Differentiate between types of garden bed and understand their roles
  • Recognize which types of plants suit different types of bed
  • Know how to create your own raised beds 
  • Determine when raised beds are good design choices
  • Be able to construct a no-dig bed on your plot
  • Understand the reasons why circular garden beds are particularly useful
  • Discover how keyhole beds maximize growing space
  • Learn all about combining keyhole beds into a mandala design
  • Appreciate how an herb spiral allows cultivation of a wide range of plants
  • Be able to build your own herb spiral
  • Understand how a wicking bed works to provide plants with water
  • Be able to build your own wicking bed

As you work through the course, you will see how all these aspects of soil combine and interact to modify growing conditions and the overall health of the soil.

You’ll also discover how different proportions of three different types of particle – clay, sand and silt – make up certain types of soil, and the knock-on effects a majority of each particle will have on the behavior of your garden soil and the plants that grow in it. You’ll also discover an easy test that you can carry out determine the properties of the soil in your individual location.

Furthermore, the course looks at the web of animal life that is present in soil. From the smallest bacteria, to the burrowing creatures like worms and millipedes that call it home, you’ll gain an insight into the complex ecosystem that exists in every cubic foot of healthy soil.

Regardless of the natural make-up of your soil, this course will also give you the practical strategies you need to be able to modify it so that your plants have the best growing medium in which to prosper. You’ll discover ways to improve the soil’s structure, how to enhance moisture flow, how to prevent erosion, and how to promote microorganism activity. 

Some of the methods of soil amelioration that we’ll look out include:

  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Potash
  • Seaweed
  • Cover crops

Build your self-sufficiency skills with a self-paced online learning experience

You’ll also gain insight into some of the more pressing problems that face the health of the planet’s soils – from deforestation and industrial agriculture to the use of inorganic pesticides – and discover some of the alternatives that can be used to stop the degradation of this important resource.

But that’s not all. This course also gives you a through understanding of the various types of garden beds that you can use on your property, and in which the soil will be able to work its magic.

We’ll go through many different options, for all sizes of property, and look at their individual characteristics. You’ll learn how to analyze your site to determine the most suitable forms of bed, and will then be given the instructions, hints and tips you need to create each type, and to maintain it so that it remains a productive space giving you lots of yield. You’ll learn why circular beds make for more productive spaces than square ones, and discover how to put together some of the most recognizable garden bed designs in permaculture – the herb spiral and the keyhole bed.