Discover how making connections between plants can create productive ecosystems

Learn the principles behind companion, guild, and succession planting, and discover how to use them on your property. And explore how plants and animals can create self-sustaining ecosystems in your garden, to produce higher yields and preserve the health of your soil. 

This course explores three planting strategies that make the most of the connections and relationships that different plants have with one another – to benefit your soil, crops and increase the biodiversity of your site.

Companion Guild and Succession PlanTing

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

  • Understand how companion planting helps plants flourish
  • Appreciate that connections between plants can improve soil quality
  • Know how to use planting design to keep animals from eating your crops
  • Find out which plants help fruit species to grow to their potential
  • Appreciate how companion planting can influence the taste of fruit
  • Gain practical knowledge of suitable companions for a wide range of vegetables
  • Know which plants to avoid planting together
  • Understand why herbs make good companions for many different plants
  • Be able to plant companions to ensure robust herb growth
  • Appreciate that companion planting can play a role in helping field crops
  • Learn a number of suitable plant pairings for grain crops
  • Understand what guild planting is and its functioning as an ecosystem
  • Explore the different roles species in a guild can play
  • Learn which species perform which roles in an apple tree guild
  • Be able to create your own apple tree guild on your permaculture property 
  • Understand how succession planting uses connection between plants over time
  • Institute a simple four-bed rotation system on your property

Companion planting is all about planting two species of plant close enough to one another so that they help each other grow to their maximum potential.

You’ll learn about the variety of benefits such relationships can have for the plants, and the soil in which they grow. These include:

• Improving yield
• Balancing soil nutrients
• Enhancing soil structure
• Providing mutual support and protection
• Controlling pests
• Enhancing taste
• Saving energy

Putting the right species of plants in proximity to one can give the permaculture gardener one, two or several of these benefits in their garden beds, while creating a better functioning ecosystem at the same time.

Working through this course will also give you an insight into how connections between plants and animals develop, and how such relationships can also benefit both parties. You will learn how to harness these natural relationships on your permaculture plot to protect your plants, control pest populations, and attract beneficial organisms to your site. You will also be able to use livestock to enhance the benefits, in a controlled way to maintain the integrity of your planting ecosystems.

This course will also give you a detailed breakdown of some of the companions that work best for a wide variety of fruit, vegetable, herb and grain crops. You’ll discover why many vegetables like being planted next to herbs, and why legumes and citrus fruits make for the perfect pairing – and so much more practical guidance on planting strategy.

The course also tells you which pairings to avoid. Do you know, for example, why you shouldn’t place broccoli next to asparagus in your garden beds or why blackberries and raspberries do not make good bedfellows? This course will enlighten you.

Guild planting takes companion planting to another level, using several species to create a harmonious, self-sustaining ecosystem in which all the plants contribute to the greater good. We explain the different roles plants can play in a guild – from those that add valuable nutrients to the soil and those that provide support to climbing species, to those that send down deep roots and access water and nutrients lower down in the soil profile and make them available to their lower lying companions. These arrangements will be made tangible by looking at the specific example of an apple tree guild with advice on which plant species perform the various roles in a guild best in such an arrangement.

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

The course also includes extensive advice on succession planting. This is essentially companion planting through time. You’ll discover four distinct strategies to utilize succession on your property that involve either the same species of plant, different varieties of a single species, or a combination of different types, depending on your site. The course will allow you to know which factors to consider when selecting the most suitable succession planting strategy for your property and your cultivation aims – and then put it into practice.

You will also be able to extend the practice to a multi-year technique of rotation planting that makes the most of plant connections over several growing seasons, while also ensuring that the soil in your garden beds retains that right levels of nutrients to get sustained good growth. We’ll give you a practical example of a vegetable rotational gardening strategy that will see you reaping the harvest for several years in a row. How cool would that be?

Besides all the information about these amazing planting techniques, you’ll also learn how you can put them into practice on your permaculture property, with hints, tips and detailed instruction to ensure success.