Planting Justice specializes in maximizing your yard's productive capacity. To that end, we are experienced with the design and installation of the following garden elements - each supporting multiple functions towards the greater health of your garden.
During a consultation, Planting Justice will help you assess what elements will be most functional for your space and needs.
Raised beds ensure rich soil for productive plant communities. Beds can be constructed directly on top of concrete, lawns or just about any surface and shaped to fit tight corners. Because your veggies will be grown in organic compost, the quality of the soil (or lack of it) beneath the beds will not harm your plants. In an effort to conserve resources, we build custom raised beds from salvaged redwood unless new redwood is specifically desired.
By companion planting and using other organic gardening strategies you can minimize the need to supplement your soil with fertilizers. Beds may be installed with or without a supporting irrigation system, but will need regular watering. As you visit your veggies to harvest, you'll notice their daily growth and ensure they are not being eaten by anyone but you.
Fruit trees are a crucial element in any urban garden. You might think you don't have space, but we think you do! We suggest planting dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties with low chill needs to make the most of your space. In the Bay Area, we've had success growing: Apples, Pears, Plums, Apricots, Peaches, Pluots, Cherries, Figs, Avocado, Kiwi, Persimmon, Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Mulberries, Pomegranate, Pineapple Guava (Fajoa), Paw Paw, and more. The sky is the limit!
We plant fruit trees with appropriate companion perennials that will maximize your yield by fixing nitrogen and mining important minerals. Consider diverting your shower or laundry water to irrigate your fruit orchard! If you plant fruit trees on your property, future generations will be awfully grateful.
Grow your own culinary herbs! An herb spiral is a space efficient, beautiful and productive method of growing culinary herbs. This design works great in the backyard near the kitchen door, so you can walk outside, harvest what you need for a recipe and walk right back in. The spiral's design conserves water and takes advantage of vertical space in your garden. Herbs are low maintenance maintenance and extremely useful! This is one of our most common suggestions for backyard food gardeners.
Millions of pounds of reusable food scraps are transported each year to landfills around the world. Installing a compost system is a great way to halt the massive inefficiencies of the waste industry and create incredibly rich, nutritious soil for your garden. No longer will you stare disparagingly at at a pile of vegetable scraps, when you know that in several months you will be able to harvest your own soil. Adding compost to your garden is an excellent way to encourage growth without buying expensive fertilizers. You will be surprised how much "waste" you can transform into rich, beautiful soil!
Moss Rock Vegetable Beds
Build a beautiful garden with a moss rock perimeter. Moss rock beds are beautiful and act as solar banks during the winter to keep your vegetable starts warm. This is a nice way to distinguish between your planting beds and the rest of your garden when you are planting directly into the earth.
Hens are easy to care for and wildy productive. Healthy hens will each give you one egg a day for 3-4 years. We build our chicken coops out of redwood so they'll last for many years and with extremely sturdy wire so your hens will be safe from critters at night.
Protect your garden from deer that will eat all of your delicious veggies. We have built many different fences and will work with you to figure out one that suits your needs.
Laundry Machine Grey Water System
Installing a greywater system from your laundry machine is the easiest and least expensive way to reuse your laundry water. Laundry machines are equipped with an internal pump that enables an easy install without gravity reliant plumbing design. Laundry water is delivered into mulch basins below the soil surface where nearby fruit trees can easily access the water. A three way ball-valve enables you to send laundry water to the sewer if you need to wash with bleach or another non-biodegradable soap. Installing a laundry-to-landscape greywater system, will lower your utility bills and enable you to control where your waste water is directed!
Keeping bees is a fascinating, rewarding exploration into a highly intelligent and organized insect world. Within a year, harvest pounds of delicious local honey! Your bees will work in tandem with other elements in the garden, pollinating many flowering plants for you and your neighbors! A single bee hive can take up as little as 5 square feet in your garden, and can placed in a shady, low traffic area that may otherwise be unproductive.
Humans have been collecting wild honey for roughly 15,000 years and first began domesticating bees in 2000 BC in Egypt.
Keeping bees is a legal pastime in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco! In urban areas, concerns about safety and allergies should be addressed with neighbors prior to installation. At the height of the honey season, expect to spend at least an hour a week managing your hive. Planting Justice will help you install either a Langstroth or top bar hive and, if desired, can provide longterm mentoring in the proper stewardship of a healthy hive.
Transform your food waste into black gold! Worms are extremely useful for urban gardeners. A well built worm bin can be stored underneath a sink or in a kitchen pantry and produces no smell! Just dump your food waste into the bin and in a month or two you will have extremely nutritious worm castings. Worm castings are typically more nutrient balanced than compost, making them a great choice for container gardening and soil amendments. In addition you can expect to harvest worm juice to make compost teas and have excess worms to feed to your chickens or give away to friends! Compost piles can attract rats and other unwanted critters in an urban area, so install a worm farm to minimize you waste and maximize your soil productivity!
Potato towers are an time and space saving way to grow your own delicious potatoes. Rather than digging in the ground looking for the elusive tubers, a raised tower enables you to harvest above ground when your potato plants start to die back. Just release the support system and the potatoes will fall to the ground for easy collection. Growing potatoes vertically is also great solution for lead contaminated soil. After using a potato tower, you probably won't want go back.
Ducks make great garden companions! Unlike chickens who notoriously scratch vegetable gardens to pieces, Ducks are much more delicate. They meander through your tall kale and bean plants, hunting slugs and snails that would otherwise wreak havoc. A well known permaculture saying: "You don't too many slugs in your garden..., you have too few ducks." Planting Justice will build a shelter for the ducks to protect them from raccoons. In addition, to maintaining pest problems in the garden you will be able to harvest large, delicious duck eggs.
Catch and store your own rainwater! As California faces serious water shortages the importance of storing and reusing residential water supplies is ever growing. Take a stand now to reduce your dependence on Municipal water supply. Whether diverting roof water into large cisterns for storage, backyard ponds or into mulch basins around fruit trees, you will be impressed how much water you can harvest from your roof.
In our experience, this is one of the most effective and enjoyable ways to build community in your backyard. Gathering around a fire-pit to play music, roast some marshmollows or simply enjoy the night, is an ancient human tradition.