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View Full Version : raised beds over wood - no irrigation needed



SGray
May. 21, 2012, 02:12 PM
http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

cool

Trevelyan96
May. 21, 2012, 02:54 PM
Hmmm... imagining the possibilities of combining the deadfall in my back 40 with my composted horse manure!

Alagirl
May. 21, 2012, 03:01 PM
ah, no. you still need to water. :)

However it is a fantastic way to grow a lot of crops in a space saving way, while enriching the soil, taking care of brushy yard waste.

http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/80/17


oh boy, I hate stirring up trouble, but it is so hard to resist. The kultur part is the practice of growing food on a 'Huegelbeet'. That is the name of the finished plant site. Beet simply means a garden bed and is best pronounced the same way. . It is an old concept. As you know Germans tend to be very pernickety and from what I gather from your pictures, though it will work great, the average Huegelbeet builder in Germany will have conniptions. First you strip off the sod and carefully put it aside. then you dig out the area that is to be your future Huegelbeet. Put the biggest wood on the bottom, smaller stuff on the top, cover it all with chips if you have them, then some old straw or hay or leaves,, put back the sod, but upside down, then cover with soil and it is ready. It settles and from year to year looses height. I am working on a big round one right now. also on a long one. Our very hilly place had/has a lot of badly eroded spots, we have kind of built a dam at the lowest part utilizing old tires, filling them with dirt. The area behind this was backfilled with Huegel ingredients. The first one has been in use for two years, the second one was in use the first time last season, all have done great. The biggest one is about 15 by 40. I have layed out old boards for me to walk on. I am still gathering materials for the new one,of which there are lots, especially after the ice storm last year. It will be kind of roundish, about 15 feet in diameter, due to location and my physical ability.
Btw, I did not follow the above procedure. for one, my huegelbeeet sites had nothing growing, exept some scraggle weeds and cedar and were the sorriest site you ever saw. there is a big, wide washout that I am in the process of filling with branches. what I need is a big, strong man for this kind of stuff. I am but a simple grandma.


the bolded part cracked me up! :lol:

SGray
May. 21, 2012, 03:04 PM
ah, no. you still need to water. :)

However it is a fantastic way to grow a lot of crops in a space saving way, while enriching the soil, taking care of brushy yard waste.


well, that was the claim from the site

"If you build your hugelkultur raised garden beds tall enough, you won't have to irrigate. At all (after the second year). No hoses. No drip system. Anything shorter won't require as much irrigation - so there is still some benefit."

SGray
May. 21, 2012, 03:06 PM
really tall

"
To go all summer long without a drop of rain, you need to build your hugelkultur raised bed gardens .... six feet tall. But they'll shrink! Mostly in the first month. Which is why I suggest you actually build them seven feet tall.
Hugelkultur raised garden beds can be built just two feet tall and will hold moisture for about three weeks. Not quite as good, but more within the comfort zone of many people - including urban neighbors."

Alagirl
May. 21, 2012, 03:07 PM
well, that was the claim from the site

"If you build your hugelkultur raised garden beds tall enough, you won't have to irrigate. At all (after the second year). No hoses. No drip system. Anything shorter won't require as much irrigation - so there is still some benefit."

well, the soil amending holds more water, but the larger surface promotes evaporation. It's a tossup, but certainly worth looking into.
Especially, if you do it right, you will have nothing but minor weeding to do after the initial workload. And for 6 years (with the timber they wasted n the base probably much longer.)

wendy
May. 21, 2012, 03:38 PM
if you make them the right size and shape you can fool your neighbors into thinking you're a mass murderer + it's your disposal site! bet they won't bother you after that...they'll cave on any and all requests to be quieter, keep their dog kept up, etc.

Alagirl
May. 21, 2012, 04:09 PM
if you make them the right size and shape you can fool your neighbors into thinking you're a mass murderer + it's your disposal site! bet they won't bother you after that...they'll cave on any and all requests to be quieter, keep their dog kept up, etc.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, yep, 'huegelgrab' is also a nick name for these things (hill grave)

My uncle had one in years past. It worked well for him.

One huge plus is that the decaying matter in the core the soil warms up quicker and you can expect earlier crops.

buck22
May. 21, 2012, 04:25 PM
I actually made a hoogle garden this morning :lol::lol::lol: simply because I was lazy and wanted to put a raised bed in a place that had horrid soil I didn't want to even bother trying to dig or turnover, :lol: and I had a bunch of crap I wanted to get rid of.

I came home a few days ago with more new rose bushes than I could shoe-horn in around my home (all the full sun spots are taken up, must keep repeating to myself). So 3 bushes had to find new homes, but they are soooo purdy I couldn't part with them, so decided to find some place where I board my horses to plant them.

There is one desolate spot that gets full sun and is out of the way of horse and human traffic, but the ground is just nasty hard packed, covered in weeds and this horrid vine thing. I chopped up the weeds with a weed whacker, attempted to take a shovel to it and said 'nuh uh, ain't happening'.

Then, while mucking the paddocks and moving some forest debris that had collected and rotted, I had a poopiphany! :lol:

I really did accumulate a whole bunch of half rotten crap, make a big pile, and start covering it with composted manure. Just made it this morning and am waiting for it to settle a bit, and find some straightish logs to set around it to keep the contents in, before I add a few feet depth worth of compost and pop the rose bushes in. :lol:

Main reason I did it was to try to kill the horrid vine things. I know nothing can survive under a deep pile of rotting wood, leaves and manure so I figured it was my best shot.

I did not expect to never have to water it, in fact I have discovered that I need to keep moving and/or watering my compost piles in the paddocks as the neighboring trees send their roots over and drink every drop out of the piles.

My hoogle garden is up against big bushy tree and an oak, so likely it will try to steal from roses.

Fortunately, roses seem to love composted horse manure, and I've got a never ending supply! :lol: