Permaculture Zones- Everything you need to know

Property planning and design can be scary and stressful if you plan to practice an eco-friendly, sustainable farming system on your land. Where do you begin? It’s all too tempting to take on too much at once or to get bogged down in the technicalities and take no action at all—one of the most holistic approaches in permaculture farming. Importantly, in permaculture farming, you require a method to divide your property into manageable pieces or zones so that you may create abundance for people, plants, and wildlife. Permaculture zones are one approach to accomplish this indeed.


permaculture zones

Zones are an essential component of permaculture design. Permaculture is a design system that focuses on producing abundant harvests by collaborating with nature and maximizing efficiency. It is one of the inspirations behind growing with nature. Let’s learn more about each permaculture zones in this article.

Number of Permaculture Zones

Permaculture zones are divided into five categories. Zone 1 is the area just outside your house, whereas Zone 5 is the unmanaged wild lands. The exact limits of the zones are variable, but the general notion is that zone 1 is the place you visit daily, with each higher zone being visited less and less frequently.

Furthermore, things such as crops in zone 1 permaculture zones require frequent upkeep, whereas elements in zone 5 may not require any maintenance at all. Besides, you’ll save time and frustration in the long run if you design your property today, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it to bring the living world around you to life.

So, are you ready to start creating permaculture zones?
When designing your permaculture zones, consider how much time you have available regularly. Apart from this, you’re limited on time; concentrating on the higher zones can assist in influencing your design to meet the realities of your specific situation.


List of Permaculture Zones

Zoning is a method of designing to maximize energy efficiency. Activities are classified into zones based on their frequency of use, maintenance, and visitation, among other factors.

Activities and structures are generally organized as the following list of permaculture zones.

1. Zone 0: Activity hub – the residence. This is a high-maintenance, high-use item that necessitates a significant expenditure of time and energy.
2. Zone 1: Annual plants, herbs, compost, plant propagation, building and maintenance, bike store and other high-use activities, greenhouse . Frequently irrigated
3. Zone 2 consists of dense planting, poultry and small cattle, an orchard, and polytunnels.
4. Zone 3: Significant water storage, primary crops, sheep, cows, and field shelters.
5.Zone 4: Forestry, wood-pasture, dams, and forage are all part of this zone.
6. Zone 5: Wild zone, where nature rules and humans go to study and harvest only what is plenty.

Now let’s learn about each zone in detail.

Permaculture Zones

Permaculture Zone 1

You visit the region immediately outside your front and rear doors daily. This may be the path you take on your way to the mailbox or your automobile.

  • It could also be the location of your backyard lawn.
  • However, it might also be where you go for nocturnal walks alone or with your family and children.
  • The goal is to find sites you visit frequently or might easily visit with little effort. This area should not be overly large. Every day, you cannot visit so much space.
  • It is one of the crucial permaculture zones, as you can say it lays a foundation of permaculture design.

permaculture zones 1


Following are the few components that you can use in these permaculture zones.
1. Eco-Lawn (an environmentally-friendly lawn for kids without fertilizer or watering).
2. Children’s play area
3. Area for socializing outside.
4. Garden in the kitchen (vegetables you often use in your cooking).
5. Garden of herbs (herbs you often use in your cooking).
6. Berries for regular consumption.
7. Fruit trees are in short supply (dwarf or semi-dwarf trees).
8. Small sheds contain tools that are used regularly.
9. Flowers and other plants that we like seeing every day.
10. Wildlife-friendly plants (you include these in every permaculture zones).

Things to consider for zone 1

Your zone 1 may contain different items; it is the area where you come to play, relax, and harvest food.This permaculture zone 1 also has the tools and equipment required for these operations.

People frequently make the error of locating their kitchen garden in the distant corner of their backyard and storing their tools in the garage or a shed away from the garden. This means that visiting your garden will require more time.

You have to make an extra effort to visit your garden. On the other hand, if this area is in the vicinity, you will naturally visit all of these elements without even thinking about it. That implies you’re more likely to harvest your vegetables and detect problems.

Using permaculture zones in your design makes your life simpler, not harder.

Permaculture Zone 2

It is the portion of your property that you may still visit daily, but it is a little further out.

  • Unlike zone 1, you must generally choose to visit permaculture zones two regions rather than simply passing through them.
  • Additionally, This may be an excellent location for additional fruit trees, berries, and perennial veggies. Chickens and rabbits are other viable options for this permaculture zone.
  • While you may visit these elements daily, you are not required to be there at all times.

permaculture zones 2

So, what factors are common in permaculture zone 2? Here is a list of some starter elements you can include in your permaculture zone 2.


1. Chickens and rabbits are examples of small animals.
2. Vegetable gardens centred on crops that aren’t harvested daily, such as onions and many perennial vegetables.
3. Fruit trees and berry bushes—a food forest is an excellent addition to a zone 2 garden (like the one in the video).
4. Farms for worms.
5. Leaf mould stacks and compost bins
6. Mulch heaps
7. Flowers that attract pollinators.
8. The primary shed or shop.
9. Wildlife-friendly flora.

Things to consider for zone 2

Zone 2 is where you do your daily horticulture chores, in our opinion. You set out to complete these chores each day before returning to zone 1.

Make sure you have easy access to Zone 2. This entails considering not only distance but also the convenience of travel. A steep slope, for example, may make a location near the home zone 3 or even 4 rather than zone 2.

If getting there is difficult, you won’t spend much time there—at least not regularly.

Permaculture Zone 3

This is the design system’s final routinely managed permaculture zone. Zone 3 is the portion of your property that you only visit semi-regularly.

  • You are unlikely to visit this location every day. It is an excellent location for staple crops such as Wheat, corn, and potatoes.
  • You can also plant nut trees and fruits that You may harvest in large quantities, such as pie cherry, apples, and pears.
  • Animals that do not require daily care can also be maintained.

permaculture zones 3


Here is a list of elements you could use in these permaculture zones.

1. Food forest (mostly perennials—no ordinary garden veggies are expected, but perennial vegetables, berries, and fruit and nut trees are viable options).
2. The coppice grove.
3. Meat cattle are examples of large animals.
4. Mushroom farming.
5. Hives of bees.
6. Staple crops like Wheat and corn
7. Wildlife-friendly flora.

Things to consider for zone 3

While managed, this area is not used or maintained daily.

Make certain that no elements in permaculture zone 3 require your attention more than a couple of times each week.

Permaculture Zone 4

This permaculture zone is primarily wild, but you can manage it on occasion. Zone 4 is where you harvest wood from larger trees (most likely not coppiced) and wild food.

  • Nature, through the behaviours of birds and seeds blowing in the wind, is most likely performing the majority of the planting.
  • However, you can still choose which plants to grore zones.
  • Moreover, this permaculture zone has less going on regarding your endeavours to grow abundance, but there is much more going on in terms of wild activity.

permaculture zones 4


Here are some elements or activities that are appropriate for these permaculture zones.

1. Harvesting wild plants and mushrooms.
2. Large-scale wood harvesting.
3. Hunting and fishing
4. Wildlife-friendly flora.

Things to consider for zone 4

Zone 4 will most likely feel crazy, but you’ll visit there frequently enough to have an impact.

Even so, this zone provides an important habitat for wildlife, benefiting the remainder of your land.

Permaculture Zone 5


This is the area that is supposed to be wild and undisturbed by human activities. It is one area where most people disagree with the traditional permaculture zone division.

  • The vast majority will not be fortunate enough to own land with a truly natural area that humans have not badly touched in the recent past.If you simply walk away from this zone, you may ignore previous human activity’s negative effects.
  •  Similarly, you may be able to assist nature in transforming a wild-looking degraded region into a fully functional and diverse wild area that supports more animals than it would otherwise.

permaculture zones 5

Which method you adopt is mostly determined by your ideals, but below are some elements/activities that fall under zone 5.

1. Nature observation.
2. Repairing minor damage from the past.
3. Harvests are extremely scarce (i.e. the occasional snack on berries and potentially taking plant cuttings for propagation).
4. But, at its core, permaculture zone 5 is a place to observe and learn from nature. There will not be a zone 5 on every property. Most of the permaculture farmers are confined to zone 4 on their own (though one day, part of zone 4 may transition to zone 5).

Things to consider for zone 5

Perhaps the ideal technique in this scenario is to consider a region to be zone 4 at first, then move it to zone 5 as you scale back your interventions.

Furthermore, Permaculture zones 5 is also meant to be a place for observation and learning.

Moreover, observing how nature restores degraded wild land may teach you valuable insights into other zones.

(Also read- A basic introduction to permaculture farming)



If your property is modest, don’t stress about having all five zones. A city property may only have permaculture zones 1 and 2. Even on a few acres, you may only have enough for permaculture zones 1, 2, 3, and possibly a little zone 4.

This is fine; it’s just the reality many of us face. Some people include natural flora and wildlife structures in all permaculture zones. Many farmers even incorporate modest amounts of permaculture zones 4 and 5 into the first three zones.

In addition to this, It’s also fine if your zones shift over time. When your design is finished, and you begin applying it, you will almost certainly want to make some adjustments in almost all of your permaculture zones.

So, Your permaculture zone map should be a living entity that evolves together with your life and the reality you encounter on the ground. Nobody can create a flawless design that will never change. The trick is to simply begin—to get a design on paper and then begin implementing it.

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