How To Build A Coconut Circle And Grow A Productive Permaculture Haven

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Are you dreaming of a self-sufficient oasis on your property where abundant, delicious crop yields and ecological balance go hand in hand? Look no further than the fascinating concept of a coconut circle! Coconut circles are a permaculture design harnessing the remarkable attributes of coconut trees to create a thriving and diverse ecosystem that feeds surrounding crops and wildlife.

This guide will reveal how to build a coconut circle from scratch. We also invite you to see the progress of our coconut circle along the way. We’ll show you everything, from selecting the perfect location to integrating companion plants and managing your permaculture creation.

So please grab a cup of coconut water and sit back. Let’s plan the ultimate coconut circle together!

What Is A Coconut Circle? What Are The Benefits?

Visual representation of a permaculture coconut circle with companion plants.

A coconut circle is a specific design element used in permaculture systems that involves planting coconut trees in a circular pattern. This technique mimics the natural growth patterns and interactions in real-world ecosystems, maximizing the benefits and productivity of the coconut trees and the surrounding area.

The concept behind a permaculture coconut circle is to create a self-sustaining and productive food forest system by utilizing the coconut tree’s many Earthly functions and characteristics.

Here are some key elements and benefits of a permaculture coconut circle.

1. Circular Design

Coconut tree with several thick and heavy coconuts growing.

The coconut trees are planted in a circular pattern, creating a centralized space for other plants and elements to integrate around them. This circular design maximizes space utilization and creates a focal point for the permaculture system.

2. Stacking And Layering

The coconut trees provide a vertical element in the coconut circle system, while other plants are strategically placed around them to take advantage of different levels and microclimates. This stacking and layering of vegetation optimize sunlight, water, and nutrient distribution.

Read More – How To Create The Perfect Fruit Tree Guild Layout For Permaculture

3. Microclimate Creation

The dense foliage of the coconut trees provides shade, reducing evaporation and creating a microclimate underneath. This microclimate can work perfectly to grow shade-tolerant plants, improving diversity and productivity within the system.

4. Nutrient Cycling

Sliced coconuts harvested on an organic permaculture farmyard.

Coconut trees are known for their deep taproots, which can access nutrients from deeper soil layers. Coconut trees also contribute a great deal. As the coconut tree leaves drop and decompose, they provide a continuous supply of organic matter and nutrients to the surrounding plants. This nutrient cycling enhances soil fertility and reduces the need for external inputs like fertilizers.

5. In-Ground Composting

The coconuts and trees rest around a circular hole, which provides a great place to put all your excess grass clippings, manure, leaves – even tree branches. I’m always surprised by how quickly everything disappears!

I love having a designated spot for garden prunings, so I’ve created seven permaculture circles. They’re not all coconut circles. I have a few banana circles and a few mixed circles.

Read More – The Herbaceous Layer And Edible Ground Covers In A Permaculture Food Forest

6. Mulching And Weed Suppression

Fallen coconut fronds and husks work perfectly as mulch to cover the soil, reducing weed growth, conserving moisture, and protecting the soil from erosion. This mulching technique helps maintain a healthy and fertile growing environment.

7. Windbreak And Microclimate Protection

Lovely palm tree silhouette over an overcast tropical sky.

Coconut trees act as a natural windbreak, shielding the surrounding area from strong winds and reducing moisture loss. This protection can benefit other plants and create a more favorable microclimate for their growth.

8. Food Production And Security

Coconut trees provide a valuable food source through their fruits (coconuts). In contrast, other plants integrated within the coconut circle can offer additional yields, such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, or medicinal plants. This combination of food sources can contribute to food security and potential income generation for farmers.

It’s important to note that the design and implementation of a permaculture coconut circle may vary depending on the specific climate, soil conditions, and local context. Your climate may not be suitable for a coconut circle, but it may be well-suited to a circle of apple trees, asparagus, or other edibles.

Successful permaculture designs consider the unique characteristics and requirements of the site, aiming for ecological balance and sustainable productivity.

Read More – 5 Simple Ways To Start Living A Permaculture Lifestyle

How To Build A Permaculture Coconut Circle

I built my coconut circle around a dwarf coconut tree that wasn’t growing well. I’ll share photos below of how well it’s doing now!

In any case, building a permaculture coconut circle involves several steps and considerations. Here’s a general outline of the process.

1. Choose The Right Site

building a permaculture coconut cirlce - digging a circular hole
I built my coconut circle around an existing dwarf coconut tree that wasn’t growing well. I’ll share photos below of how well it’s doing now!

Choose a suitable location for your permaculture coconut circle. Ensure it has adequate sunlight, well-drained soil, and sufficient space for the coconut trees and companion plants.

Coconuts grow well in full sun and part shade. However, if you grow them in part shade (like my trees in the image above), they will lean toward the sun. I don’t ignore this phenomenon. It provides excellent support for climbing edibles like sweet potatoes and passionfruit. If you prefer them to grow straight, choose full sun. Regardless, they will lean to a certain extent because you are growing them quite close together.

2. Design The Circle

Decide on the size and diameter of your coconut circle. A typical coconut circle diameter ranges from 16 to 30 feet, depending on available space and the desired density of trees. I prefer smaller circles, mainly because I like the convenience of having a composting hole nearby, wherever I go on the farm. Smaller circles make it easy and less labor-intensive to clean up prunings as you’re working in the garden.

Mark the circle with a bright spray or a shovel. You can also use string and wooden stakes to mark the circular outline on the ground. Or freehand it. Either method works.

3. Plant The Coconut Trees

Dig holes for each coconut tree within the marked circle, spacing them evenly. Plant the trees at a depth that matches their original nursery container or slightly deeper. Ensure the planting depth is appropriate to prevent the roots from being exposed or buried too deep.

Read More – How To Grow Cherries From Seed: Propagation And Care Guide

4. Mulch The Area

Spread a fresh organic mulch layer (such as coconut husks, straw, or wood chips) around the base of the coconut trees. Spreading a mulchy layer will help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and gradually release nutrients as it decomposes.

5. Integrate Companion Plants

Lovely marigold flowers growing alongside carrot and beet plants.

Select and plant companion crops around the coconut trees, taking advantage of the different levels and microclimates created by the trees. Consider shade-tolerant plants for the understory, nitrogen-fixing plants to enhance soil fertility, and a diverse mix of other beneficial plants for increased productivity and biodiversity.

Consider native shrubs that bear flowers, fruit, pollen, nuts, or nectar. The more native birds and bees in your coconut circle, the better!

6. Provide Support If Necessary

Depending on the age and growth stage of the coconut trees, you may need to provide temporary support using stakes or ties until the trees become established.

7. Maintain And Manage

Regularly monitor the coconut circle, ensuring the trees are healthy, companion plants are thriving, and weeds remain managed. Maintain a routine watering schedule. Pay even more attention during dry periods, and periodically replenish the mulch layer.

8. Harvest And Utilize

As the coconut trees mature, you can harvest coconuts for consumption or other uses. Utilize the yields from companion plants for food, medicine, or other purposes while observing and maintaining the overall balance and health of the permaculture coconut circle.

Remember that specific considerations, such as your local climate, soil conditions, and available resources, may influence the design and management of your permaculture coconut circle. Research which coconuts and native companion crops grow best in your growing zone and climate. And then go from there!

How to build a coconut circle and grow a productive permaculture haven.


Thanks for reading our guide about how to build a coconut circle from scratch!

Coconut circles are a superb way to grow more delicious fruit in your backyard. Coconut trees also contribute to a self-sustaining permaculture food forest perfectly.

What about you?

  • Have you ever seen a coconut circle in real life?
  • Would you consider growing coconuts?
  • Do you agree that fresh coconuts taste superior to store-bought ones?
  • Would you consider a dwarf coconut tree cultivar rather than a full-sized or hybrid coconut?
  • What companion plants are you considering growing alongside your coconut food forest? Let us know!

Thanks again for reading.

We hope our coconut permaculture guide encourages you to build your first (or next) coconut circle.

We also hope to hear about your experience growing them.

Thanks again for reading.

Have a great day!

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  1. Interesting, but I don’t think coconuts will grow everywhere. I’m in zone 8a. Just looked, and it seems that they only grow in zones 9-11. ;-(

    1. Hey Carol!

      Thank you for reaching out and sharing your thoughts on our coconut circle article!

      I know your pain.

      Gardening is a beautiful journey. But sometimes, our growing zone limitations can tug at our green thumbs. 🌿

      (I’m in Massachusetts, and coconuts wouldn’t stand a chance here. Hardly anything can survive the winter, lol.)

      Here’s hoping you soon discover an exciting native crop that grows perfectly in your garden. A productive, resilient plant that will bring your garden joy and beauty. 🌱🌼🌿

      Thanks again for reading!

      Happy harvesting, and may your gardening endeavors bloom brilliantly.


      Mike D

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