Backyard Permaculture Zones: How To Succeed With The Best Homestead Layout

Backyard permaculture zones are key to a successful homestead layout. Understanding and using zones is critical for a sustainable lasting design.

Backyard permaculture zones are key to a successful homestead layout, and understanding zones is critical for a sustainable, lasting design. 

Permaculture zones have to do with the over-all design and set-up of your land. This bit of foresight can save you a lot of trouble and problems in the future and is essential to know before you finalize your homestead's layout.

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Backyard Permaculture Zones...What Are They?

Permaculture zones are sections or areas in your land. There are five zones total, however this is a flexible number and you may find you do not need all five. 

All five zones center around the first zone.

Home Base: Zone 1

Zone 1 is your home and the area immediately surrounding it. This is your home base and where you will start your homesteading projects. 

This is also where you will want to keep those high-intensity homestead projects. Things that need your attention most often go right here. Examples include (but are not limited to):

The Farthest Zone: Zone 5

The animals, plants, etc. that need the least tending to of your homestead. This could even be left totally wild (depending on your amount of land, and set-up).

Permaculture Zones 2-4

These middle zones progress from the intensity of the projects right in your home base (zone one) to the least amount of upkeep required in zone 5.

What's the Point?

The main point of zones is efficiency. 

Zones are a practical and logical way of viewing your situation and setting up for a long-term homestead that will thrive. 

When you walk out your backdoor the immediate area around you is home base, your homestead starting point. The idea is that you work from your backdoor out to the farthest extents of your land.

Of course this is the "ideal" in reality everyone is going to have different priorities and projects that come first. There's nothing wrong with that, everyone will have their own systems that work for them (and a story to go with it). :-)

Homestead Permaculture Zone Examples

Here are some examples of what can be in your zones. Make sure to think of these in terms of what you need where, and remember these are just flexible suggestions. 

Homestead Permaculture Zone 1

Homestead Permaculture Zone 2

  • Milking stanchion 
  • Chickens
  • Milk goats
  • Rabbits
  • Small animals
  • Vegetable garden

Homestead Permaculture Zone 3

  • Cows
  • Sheep
  • Goats
  • Pigs
  • Chicken operations (that are too big for zones 1 or 2)
  • Crop gardens

Homestead Permaculture Zone 4

  • Orchard
  • Low maintenance cattle or sheep

Homestead Permaculture Zone 5

  • Most wild area

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Permaculture Zones Chart

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Are Zones Everything to Consider?

Backyard permaculture zones are key to a successful homestead layout. Understanding and using zones is critical for a sustainable lasting design.


Zones are certainly not everything you need to think of when setting up your homestead. However, they are a great starting point.

It's good to think in terms of zones. This way if you put a high maintenance aspect of your homestead way out in a far zone, you know it will not be the most efficient set-up. There are times it's okay to do this though. This will depend on other aspects of your homestead like some of the following:

  • Existing terrain
  • Rainwater harvesting systems (you have to go where the best places are)
  • Other natural resources 

Just remember that backyard permaculture zones are a important to think about when planning your homestead layout. (You'll be thankful later.)

Have fun figuring out backyard permaculture zones on your own homestead!  :-)

Soli Deo Gloria!  (Glory Be to God Alone!)

~ Julia

Hi! I'm Julia. I live in Arizona on 2.5 acres, with HOT summers, lots of cacti and amazing sunsets! A sinner saved by grace first and foremost, I'm also a homeschool graduate living with my family at home and serving the King, Jesus Christ, above all. Read more -->



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