Where's my gardener mufos, and who should I meet? I'm a total newbie and starting to garden. And by starting to garden I mean both researching what to plant for my first ever kitchen herb containers in a couple weeks and also recently hired some professional advice on how to progressively turn my yard into a permaculture food forest in upcoming years. I'd love to see more posts from other n00bz and from experienced gardners who like helping us learn. Bonus if southeast US (7b/8a boundary).

@epilanthanomai I'm also in the southeast US and learning to garden.

What advice did you get from the professional? Where I'm at, Upstate SC, the soil is mostly hard packed clay. The general advice is aeration and green manure, so I'm trying that. I'm planting a cover crop mix that I'll mow down and let decompose in place. Apparently, it'll take a few years so I hope I have the patience to see it through

@0x1C3B00DA My big problems right now are that a) I've just cleared a lot of kudzu, so not much good soil and b) I have steep grades on some of the land. Together that means we focused mostly on stopping erosion and building soil. She recommended boomerang-shaped erosion control barriers for my steep front, supporting holly for street noise abatement.

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@0x1C3B00DA And in my larger (~.3ac?) sloped (~12% grade) backyard she recommended swales and berms on contour, starting with a focus on raw biomass for the first couple years. For that she suggested a mix of nitrogen fixers (clover, cowpea, hairy vetch), fast-growing biomass (oat, buckwheat), and deep-rooting brassicas (daikon, mustard).

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@0x1C3B00DA I expressed to her that I need the long-term focus to prioritize lower labor (due to health issues, old age) more than bulk food production. Atlanta is basically a forest, so after the soil is healthier from a couple years of the above, she recommended aiming for forest understory growth, planting some overstory trees (persimmon, pawpaw), understory shrubs (blueberry, elderberry), and various herbs and wildflowers for the ground, with the swales converting to wood chip paths.

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