Garden Ecosystems – Design

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Dig into Designing Polycultures for a Garden Setting

Garden design is critical for setting the stage for garden success and environmental stewardship. There are many approaches to garden design. The polycultures concept embraces growing multiple crops in the same space, in imitation of the diversity of natural ecosystems.

Design Activity: Team up with family and friends to design garden polycultures for your backyards or bring together a community or school group to create a design for a place in your community.

Instructions: This video provides instruction for your polyculture design activity.

Materials: Large sheets of paper; pencils and/or markers for drawing; tape; and…

Ecology for Garden Design

View this presentation and handouts to learn about how abiotic (non-living) factors, producers, consumers, and decomposers are all important parts of a garden ecosystem. Discover methods to improve the ecological health of your garden. Handouts 1) Ecology session notes with resource links and 2) Ecology images of PowerPoint slides

Designing Polycultures for the Garden

View this presentation and handouts to learn more about polyculture as a community of multifunctional plants, animals, and fungi that is designed for interconnection. Handouts 1) Polycultures session notes with resource links and 2) images of Polycultures PowerPoint slides


A Cornell Citizen Science Project to check out:



Consider online learning with the Department of Horticulture. Courses included: Introduction to Garden Design and Permaculture Design. These professional development/adult education courses do not carry academic credit, there is no financial assistance and AmeriCorps Education Awards or similar can not be applied. Upon satisfactory completion, participants receive a Certificate of Completion from Cornell Continuing Education.

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