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Irrigation, Landscaping, Landscape Lighting,

Drainage, Beekeeping & Permaculture Insights

irrigation;drip irrigation; sprinkler;sprinkler repair

Drainage to Save Rainwater

June 13, 2023

Drainage is often understood as a method of removing water from our property by French Drain, Land Drain or Channel.  Permaculture, or Regenerative Landscaping, uses drainage to direct water as swales, berms or Hügelkultur berms to name a few methods.   The goal is to retain as much water as possible for future use instead of allowing it to escape as wasted runoff. 

Permies work with water to Slow it, Spread it, Sink it, Store it and Share it.  We slow the water down enough to spread it around the property to where it will do the most good.  We use swales and berms to spread it around and sink it so it can be stored in pockets in the ground and shared with the existing vegetation.

The concept is that the water will fill up a large area underground among the air pockets within the loamy soil.  Our clay soil here in North Texas holds a large amount of water, too.  It just takes longer to sink slowing the water down gives it more time to percolate into the soil.  The resulting water bubble decreases the amount of clean drinking water we need to water our plants with.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Landscaper, Enthusiastic Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

irrigation;drip irrigation; sprinkler;sprinkler repair

Landscaping in this Heat

June 11, 2023

How can we assist our landscaping during the hottest days of the year?  Are there specific things we can do to help our plants survive and thrive during the intense heat?  The answer to both questions is a resounding YES!

The number of 100-degree days each year seem to be increasing.   There are a number of ways you can help your landscaping during the worst of it.

Native Plants - Consider including native plants in your landscaping.  Choosing plants that have adapted to the weather extremes we experience in Texas will give them a better chance of success.  Reducing the number of water guzzling plants will help your water bill, too.

Lawn - Top-Dressing your lawn with compost.  Apply about a 1/2" of compost to your lawn and rake it in so it works its way towards the roots.  Compost is nutrient packed soil that will feed your lawn.   It will also insulate the roots so they remain cooler, resist evaporation and retain moisture.

Landscaping - Mulch, Mulch, Mulch.  We all know mulching once a year assists with moisture retention.  It also insulates the plant roots from the heat.  Adding a little extra in this heat will add insulation.  Consider rock as mulch...condensation collects on the underside of the rocks keeping the soil cool and moist.

Drip Irrigation - Converting to drip irrigation in your landscape beds will direct the water to the plant roots where it can do the most good.  It also is the best use of your precious water as it isn't evaporating into the hot air from sprinklers but going directly into the ground.  Most municipalities don't mind if you water more frequently with drip.  Remember, drip irrigation pipe goes above the soil and below the mulch to be most effective.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Landscaper, Enthusiastic Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

irrigation;drip irrigation; sprinkler;sprinkler repair

Seed Pelleting

February 22, 2023

I became enchanted with seed pelleting when I read about it in The One-Straw Revolution during my Permaculture Design training.  It is such a simple, yet enduring, concept!  Pictured are the pelleters I built for my own use.   We built multiple of the smaller ones for a children's interactive workshop.

For those who have not yet had the pleasure of reading The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka, he advocates natural planting.  He proved its effectiveness with rice in Japan.  His natural method of planting seeds is broadcasting pellets.  

Pellets are created by mixing seed (Fukuoka planted Rye in the cool season and Rice in the warm season), clay and compost.  Press this mixture through wire to create the pellets.  Then, lay them out in a single layer to dry.  The compost provides nutrients to feed the seedlings.  The clay binds the mixture together and protects your seeds from birds and rodents. 

Broadcasting the pellets is simply throwing them in a spread-out pattern where you want the plants to grow.  Pellets can also be placed in nice, neat rows if that is your design.  As the area receives irrigation naturally or otherwise, the pellets dissolve, releasing the seed into the soil to grow. 

Pellets require a bit of labor to create them but easily make up for it with the time saved broadcasting.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Landscaper, Enthusiastic Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

irrigation;drip irrigation; sprinkler;sprinkler repair

Edible Gardening within an HOA

January 26, 2023

We help a number of people add Edibles to their landscaping.  Many of whom live within the confines of an HOA.  The key is to know what is (and isn't) allowed in your HOA.  

Many of us wish to become more sustainable by growing edibles, using less water and energy to maintain our yards.  While this goal is attainable, it seems insurmountable when facing the rules of a strict HOA.

Check your HOA literature for their rules concerning what you can have in your front yard.  Are you allowed to remove all the grass?  Most of the grass?  Are you allowed to extend your landscaping?  If so, by how much?  What is prohibited from being planted in your front yard?  We've found that list is generally (not always) shorter than what's allowed.

Work around your limitations by being creative.  If vegetables aren't allowed then, plant herbs and fruits.  If you can extend your landscaping some but not all the way then, do it and be creative with what you plant.  Add a mini trellis to a container with some climbers.  Add fruit trees, in lieu of, ornamental trees.  I love mints as groundcover when the micro climate allows!

There are many ways to incorporate edibles into our landscaping, even with rules.  Creativity is key.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Landscaper, Enthusiastic Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

irrigation;drip irrigation; sprinkler;sprinkler repair


January 26, 2023

Compost is amazing!  It begins as table scraps and dead leaves and branches and miraculously becomes compost to add nutrients into your garden or landscape.  It can be created intensely or passively. 

Composting is one of the most affordable ways to add nutrients to your soil.  Buying compost is not usually too expensive.  It can be purchased in bulk or at discount stores that have a gardening area.  It can be created at home, too.

There are a number of kits available to use for compost creation.  Barrel kits that you can add scraps to and turn to mix it up.  Bins that can be setup to add scraps and dirt to.  Or a pile in the back corner of your yard.

I layer kitchen scraps, non-diseased dried leaves, small branches, cut grass, dirt and water to "cook" my compost.  Coffee, egg shells, apple cores, carrot ends or peelings are some of what I add. I dispose of any diseased yard waste so I don't spread any diseases.  

Layering and watering your compost pile helps it to cook faster therefore becoming useful faster.  I've seen compost created within a couple weeks by intensely watering, layering and tarping a compost pile.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Landscaper, Enthusiastic Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

irrigation;drip irrigation; sprinkler;sprinkler repair

What's in Your Soil

January 15, 2023

Soil ecology is as important to your plants as water and sunlight.  The organic matter, soil type, minerals and biology of your soil dictates the condition of your garden regardless of the type of plants you're growing.   

An efficient way of investigating what's in your soil is to have it tested.  Most state universities provide affordable soil testing.  A search for "extension soil testing" should provide your state's testing information.

Composting is one of the most affordable ways to improve your soil ecology.  Creating your own compost is simple and easy using kitchen scraps, clean dried leaves and yard waste (dispose of any diseased yard waste so you don't perpetuate the disease).

Mulching assists your soil's ecosystem, as well.  Mulch protects the soil by insulating it.   Providing additional nutrients over time as it decomposes also helps build up, and maintain, your soil's nutrients.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Avid Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

irrigation;drip irrigation; sprinkler;sprinkler repair

Mulch as a Water Saver

January 27, 2020

Web works on numerous landscapes and gardens each year.   I work in my and other gardens.  One thing they all have in common, as you already know, is the need for water.  We all irrigate in one way or another but, do we always conserve water efficiently?  

An effective method of saving water is by mulching.  Mulch keeps water from evaporating out of your soil.  It does this by acting as a barrier between the air and dirt so wind and heat don't wisk away the moisture.  

There are a variety of mulches to choose from.  They range in size, color and material.  Straw mulch breaks down to feed the soil and is lighter weight.  Wood mulch breaks down a little slower and also provides nutrients to plant root systems.  Rock mulch condenses water on the underside of the rock, collecting additional water.

Regardless of the material used, mulch is a great water saving method for your landscape or garden.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Avid Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

irrigation;drip irrigation; sprinkler;sprinkler repair

Irrigating our gardens

January 10, 2019

Watering by hand is a basic form of irrigation.  While it can be relaxing and therapeutic, it can also be stressful and time-consuming.  Installing an irrigation system can save time and water which will ultimately save you money.  How often have you dreaded having to go and water your garden when it was either too hot outside or you were too busy?  We all know we must water if we wish to enjoy the fruits of our labor and gardens here in North Texas won't last long without water during the warmer months. 

There are varying degrees of "irrigation".  From hand watering to a fully automated system with an online controller and everything in between.  Irrigation systems can be as small as a micro drip system for a container garden to a fully automated agricultural system in a field.  One option a homeowner has is to install a system themselves.  For example, drip irrigation connected to a hose via a quick connect assembly with a small manual timer. have a fine irrigation system  that will regulate the amount water used for a set amount of time.

Irrigation Specialists can help with systems of all complexity levels.  They can give guidance on simple systems or install new ones.   Web Permaculture can help you with your irrigation choices.  We provide free estimates for new installations and repairs.  Consultation is also available for the DIYer.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Avid Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

forest; garden; permaculture; observation

Permaculture property awareness list

March 12, 2018

Web Permaculture can help you apply Permaculture Principles to your property!  A thorough analysis of your plot to get to know the land, organisms that live on it and other things that influence it. Observation is a primary way to analyze your area.

Here is a list of 15 of the main things to be aware of before you begin.


Plants shade requirements differ. Observing shading on your area you can decide which plants to place in which area.


Knowing where the sun shines on your site allows for better placement of your plants.


Do you have views that add or detract from your site? You can cover them or enhance them.


These are land features that create temperature variations. You can use these niches when you know of them.


Does your neighbor’s lifestyle impact your permaculture garden? You can design to exclude or work with them.


By observing the existing plants on your plot, you can determine which species thrive in your area.


How does water coming onto your land move through it? Can you slow it, spread it, sink it, store it or share it?


Plants need moisture. Observing rain, snow and hail patterns on your site will allow you to use them to your benefit.


Local ordinances can impact your plot. Knowing what they are allows you to design around them.


By observing the influential wind patterns on your site you can create wind breaks to assist management of your site.


Temperature affects plants, animals and us. Knowing the variations and affected areas can help you plan for them.


You can determine what wildlife is attracted to your property and plant to attract or deter them.


Noticing and understanding your soil will allow you to know how to use and/or enhance it for your needs.


Structures can affect your views, reflected sunlight, garden shade, and diffused heat.

Local Resources

Local businesses can provide sustainable organic resources for your site.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Avid Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

What is a Permaculture Design?

November 10, 2017

That is a good question...and one many people ask me.  A Permaculture Design is a design of your property, or area, showing the property lines, home, other structures and other elements of the design.  A good design begins with a detailed base-map of the area that includes the property boundary, the house, any structures and other existing features.  This is important to show what currently exists and where it is located so the designer can see where any new elements can be placed/added/changed.

Elements of the Permaculture Design are then able to be accurately placed in relation to the existing property features.

This map is then used to bring the design to life.  The garden here...rain water catch apparatus over there...a privacy hedge at the back...the herb garden nearby.  Those installing the design elements can easily place them using the Permaculture Design.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Avid Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

Food Programmed to Heal?

July 2, 2017

Yes, we can program our food to heal us. I realize this is a strange concept. It’s definitely far removed from anything we have been taught but, it is true. Pesticide companies know this. They have found they can cause pesticides to grow within an entire plant by soaking the seed in the pesticide. While we can rinse off topical pesticides and herbicides, the pesticides grown within the plant cannot be removed. This same technology can be used to help us grow our own DNA-specific food. We can program our plants to our DNA by soaking them in our saliva. How can this be of benefit, you may ask? Plants can know what nutrients we need and include more or less of them based on what we need. I realize this may sound like science fiction but, as already mentioned, pesticide companies have already proven a plant will allow itself to be programmed at the DNA level. In my research, I've found our ancestors used this method very successfully. 

As I have previously mentioned, my Permaculture journey began with the bees. They are dying off at alarming rates due to many factors…not least of which are the pesticide programmed crops grown throughout the world. Non-organic seeds are those that have been soaked in pesticide long enough for the seeds to absorb the fluid…at least 15 minutes. When the seeds grow, the pesticide is included in every part of the plant. This means that regardless of what part of the plant is harvested, it contains the pesticide. We eat the pesticide. Bees eat the pesticide in pollen. Animals eat the pesticide. Our children eat the pesticide.

Organic seeds can be held in the mouth for 15 minutes to program them with our saliva so they can truly be our plants. Ideally, do this while in a quiet, calm setting and thinking positive and loving thoughts. Remember the Japanese experiment with words and water? The water responded positively to positive words and vice versa. Plants, like us, are made mainly of water…so it makes sense this same principle will work well with plants.

Why not program organic seeds ourselves to benefit us and our families? My family has been eating vegetables and herbs that were soaked in our DNA. They are our favorite because they taste great to us! There is only your health to gain. The fact that you used organic seeds is a fantastic first step because poison, in the form of pesticide, is not included in your diet. Hopefully, we will all soon see the benefits, first hand, of truly growing our own food.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Avid Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

Regenerative Elements Included in a Permaculture Design

February 20, 2017

   Applying Permaculture, or Permanent Agriculture to a site to “green” the property and make it more regenerative sounds great but, what is added to the property?  What are some of the elements of a permaculture site?  We throw around the term “Permaculture” but what does it involve? It is the thoughtful and protracted design of an area mimicking nature to make a site more regenerative.  What does that mean?  These are just some of the questions asked when we prepare to make our site more regenerative. 

Permaculture Design begins with evaluating a site by studying it. Designers look for the weather patterns, which direction they come from, severity, if the site needs to be protected from them and how to do that. They check the soil to see what type it is, if it needs fixing, what plants are currently supported by it, how it is contoured and how it is affected by the climate and water. We study the water available on a site. Looking specifically for existing water sources and rainfall.

When these basics have been discovered, we can look at adding elements to a property based upon what the owner’s wishes are for the site. Do they want animals? Do they wish for an annual garden? A perennial garden? Fruits, nuts, an herb spiral? Is water conservation or catchment on the agenda? Do they wish to integrate many elements or just a few? On a large or small scale?

Water catch systems can be as small as a rain barrel catching the rain from a roof to a large dam running off into smaller dams along the hillside. There are numerous techniques available for both large and small scale water catchment. Leach fields are good for running grey water through to clean on the way to watering a vegetable garden, for example.

Perennial Gardening includes many perennial plants that return each year. In a permaculture setting, they are arranged in a more natural way than the standard straight row gardens we are accustomed to. We have tree guilds that have a fruit tree at the center which is surrounded by perennial and annual plants, including herbs. An Herb Spiral is a fantastic element placed near the kitchen so the herbs are handy and therefore more likely to be harvested fresh.

Composting, keeping small animals (such as chickens, rabbits or goats), mulching, keeping bees, attracting beneficial insects, forest gardening and creating microclimates are some additional elements available to use while applying permaculture techniques to your property. So much is available to create a renewable living space that it has become much easier for anyone to green their space. If time is an issue…call your local Permaculture Designer for help.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Avid Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

Pitchforks, Plutocrats and Greening Our World

October 30, 2016

    A couple years ago, there was an article and a TED Talk about the top .01% called “The Pitchforks Are Coming…For Us Plutocrats”. It was from one Plutocrat, Nick Hanauer, to other Plutocrats about increasing the minimum wage to support the middle class. This idea stuck with me, as well as, other remedies. At that time, I was already a hobbyist beekeeper, gardener and new to Permaculture Design.

   Permaculture is the process of greening a space using sustainable components. This could be a water catch system, edible plants either in the ground or in containers or maybe composting. The scale can go from the smallest studio apartment to the largest piece of rural land. Permaculture may sound like a “hippy dippy back-to-nature” concept but it has much to offer to everyone, including the Plutocrats. Make no mistake, I am finding that I like a slower paced lifestyle and get some sideways glances…as if I am “Hippyish”. No matter, I can live with that.

    I just reread the article after coming to the conclusion that Permaculture can, and will, help the Plutocrats…and everyone else. How? By “Greening Our World”. Many of us are waking up to the realization that we cannot sustain our current level of consumerism. The Earth has a finite amount of resources which will run out at our current rate of consumption. Our bodies can no longer handle the constant bombardment of toxins from every direction: Food; Air; Water; Soil. We are dying slow, painful deaths. But, we don’t have to.

    Plutocrats can help us all (including themselves…on so many levels) by beginning the massive process of “Greening Our World”. How? By getting the process started on a grand scale. As many of us know, the Law of Motion states that an object in motion will stay in motion.  Plutocrats can monumentally contribute by greening their businesses, greening our airports and greening their properties.

    An increasing number of people are looking for ways to live a more Earth-Friendly life. What better way than to work at a company who does everything it can to be green? Solar panels, windmills, rainwater catchment are all easily recognizable and commendable. But, what about swales and berms to catch rainwater in the soil for edible landscaping such as fruit tree guilds (a fruit tree surrounded by groupings of edible berries, vegetables and flowers) on the premises? What about a roof garden utilizing the rainwater and pumping the rainwater back up to the roof by using Max Meyer’s Speed Bump Pump? How about solar water heaters or passive solar windows facing the sun side of the buildings?

    Travelling is a necessary task for many of us. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pick an apple from a tree at the airport? Talk about fresh food! There are microbes in soil that make us happy…that is certainly needed at the airport. There could be, in addition to all the already mentioned improvements, a gardeneing area where we could each grab a trowel and put a small plant into the soil…say something started in a pot? It could be a small piece of heaven in a hectic travel atmosphere.

    Apartment buildings, rental houses and other commercial properties could be fitted with green tech adding another competitive edge. Many of us are moving towards the greenest methods possible in our urban, suburban and rural living spaces. Being surrounded by nature, having living organic food available everywhere for everyone, knowing we are contributing to a better world by working for a “Green Company”, living in a “Green Neighborhood” or flying out of a "Green Airport"…in fact living in a “Green City” would give all residents and visitors cause for celebration. The air would be cleaner, the atmospehere would be friendlier (it has to be with so many people with their “hands in the soil”), and we would all be contributing to a better future for us and our progeny.

    Now, many of us are not yet accustomed to a green lifestyle so these improvements to our everyday locations will help many of us “ease into greening”. Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle need not cause us pain. In fact, it could bring us pleasure on many levels. How? The mere presence of more trees is welcoming. Eating fruit right off a tree is insanely utopian. Imagine getting used to that! How could we not improve our outlook if we lived in a space where we were not only used to eating fruit off the tree but also came to expect it in our environment. If there were spaces all over our cities, suburbs and towns, there would be enough for everyone.

    As more and more green tech comes along it could be added. Green jobs are already on the rise and this endeavor would only stimulate that trend. Our health could improve which would help us all work better, with fewer sick days. New technology could be used to clean up all types of pollution. You get the picture, right? We already have so many methods of greening so many places that once we gather momentum…it can snowball and benefit us all now and in the future.


Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Avid Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

It Began With The Bees

October 25, 2016

   My own journey began with my concern with the plight of our honeybees. A friend of mine gave a seminar about the decline of the world bee populations which caught my attention. When we asked what could be done, he mentioned organic beekeeping, organic gardening and discontinuing the use of certain pesticides.  During his presentation, we asked how to become beekeepers and he agreed to teach us.  He began giving beekeeping lessons, which we took, and became Hobbyist Beekeepers (non-commercial beekeepers). 

   Bees are in distress for a number of reasons but neonicotinoids (pesticides) were what caught my attention.  This insecticide is found in some of the popular pesticides currently used in much of the world.  I wanted to be part of the solution and help bees.  Organic gardening was one of my personal solutions.  I created my own organic garden so the bees would have some clean flowers from which to harvest their pollen (it was healthier for my own family, too).  Realizing one organic garden will not the world's bees save, I continued to look for ways to help them.  This journey led me to the regenerative design science known as Permaculture Design.

  Permaculture Design was not only organic gardening, it also included comprehensive regenerative practices that are scalable and applicable to many areas.  It includes elements for an entire system or can be broken down into individual, stand-alone components.  An entirely new world opened up for me!  I could help the bees, feed my family healthy and nutritious food plus, create a healthy and clean ecosystem which would help clean the air and soil.  In addition, I could help others do the same thing thereby gaining an immense amount of personal satisfaction from knowing I am part of several ecological solutions.

   I realize beekeeping isn't for everyone but, we can all contribute to greening the world by doing something with our own space.  It doesn't matter how big or how small...doing anything is better than doing nothing.  At the end of the day, it feels good to know you have contributed to a better world in some way.

Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Avid Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant,

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