I am designing a backyard market herb and vegetable garden and have many questions about how to make it as sustainable as possible. The beds are laid out following permaculture guidelines, but I am having trouble understanding how to best intermix plants to create guilds.
I struggle to come up with vegetable attributes in order to understand their needs and benefits; e.g. what does a green pepper need and how can it help other plants? So far I have followed this simple strategy:
Â Plant as many perennial varieties as possible
Â Place frequently-accessed plants close to the house
Â Intermix plants and herbs and flowers paying attention to their pH requirements
And here are a few specific questions:
Â Do other common vegetable guilds exist outside of the corn/bean/squash guild?
Â Should I introduce white clover around the base of tomatoes and peppers since clover provides nitrogen and regulates soil moisture? Or would the clover compete with the vegetables? (I donÂt quite understand where benefits end and competition begins).
Â I planted blueberry bushes a couple years ago before understanding that they require acidic soil Â they are doing terribly. Is there any natural way to acidify the soil and how could they contribute to a vegetable garden?
Â What would help reduce slugs in the garden?
I live in Iowa in zone 5. My backyard is about 50 x 50 feet and fenced in. Most of the yard gets excellent sun except for the south side which is shaded by small maple trees, cranberry shrubs, and a tall dogwood.