Building with Hugelkultur

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Quigley_Sharps, Oct 26, 2013.


  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Hugelkultur (“HOO-gull” (mound) culture) is a permaculture gardening method that utilizes buried logs to create an effective gardening and growing system with local resources and materials. A few of the key features of hugelkultur include:

    • Decomposing logs absorb and hold water like sponges
    • Yard waste and sod provide nutrients
    • Polyculture planting attracts good insects, birds, and bees, reducing pests naturally
    • Micro‐ecosystem of mound conserves and promotes healthy, biologically active soil for decades
    • No crop rotation, no tilling, organic gardening
    Steps for Putting in a Hugelkultur Garden
    Here are the basic steps involved in setting up hugelkultur garden. When moving forward with a project of this type, it can be really good ideas to seek out your local permaculture specialist to consult with and get recommendations on contour designs and planning help. This type of project is also great for having as the focus of a building party to teach others and get neighbors and community members involved and learning.

    Planning and design:
    hugelculture1.

    - Follow contours of land

    - Design berms (mounds) to capture and hold water flow from rain

    - Observe path of sunlight to plan for proper sun/shade for crops

    - Design wind breaks with fruit trees as needed

    - Allow at least a 30 inch path between mounds

    Dig trench:
    hugelculture2.
    - Deep enough to capture flowing water (e.g., 4 to 12 inches)

    - As wide as the mound will be high (e.g., 3 to 6 feet)

    Lay down logs:
    hugelculture3.
    - Old, decomposing logs are best

    - Avoid pressure-treated wood, redwood, and black walnut

    Add yard waste or organic matter:
    hugelculture4.
    - Wood chips, branches, leaves, twigs are good

    - Anything that can be used in compost will work here

    Make the mound:
    hugelculture5.

    - Use the soil from digging the trench

    - Turn sod upside down (grass side down) and lay on top

    - Add topsoil

    - Compost, humus are good additions

    - Inoculants as necessary (mycorrhizae, nematodes, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, etc.)

    Plant, grow, harvest:
    hugelculture6.

    - Plant vegetables, companion plants, and flowers to attract bees, birds, and bugs

    - Plant fruit trees next to mounds as desired

    - May need water during first year, until wood decomposes enough to hold water

    - Enjoy!

    Building the hugelkultur beds on our property was an incredible experience. I invite you to explore and use this wonderful method of gardening for your growing spaces. If you have any additional tips and suggestions, please post them in the comments section for all to learn from and share in your experiences.
     
    GOG, chelloveck, ditch witch and 5 others like this.
  2. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Found this and thought Id share.
     
  3. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Got me to thinking that this may work on the side of a hill to create terraces... I have a LOT of hill!!
     
    kellory and Quigley_Sharps like this.
  4. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Sounds like the ground im looking at near White bird.
     
  5. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Yup... Seems to be all up hill.. NO down hill..
     
    Quigley_Sharps and kellory like this.
  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    This is really cool. It helps get rid of stray wood and adds a berm. Thanks for sharing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
  7. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Got no trees, only rock.
     
  8. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Have lots of trees.. Have a lot more rocks.. Can not put in a straight fence line with "T" poles..
     
    Quigley_Sharps likes this.
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    I use a jack hammer and drill bits.
     
  10. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    I do not have it that bad.. However, Backhoes are handy..
     
  11. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Backhoes wont climb up and down cliffs.. Dozers are OK for making the fence line clear of the smaller rocks. Long hose from compressor solves placement of tractor and compressor. No brace post needed, just dump in some dry sacrete and spit in the hole.
     
    kellory likes this.
  12. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Yes... Am familur with that sort of digging issue.. Mine will go from exposed bed rock to having several feet to dig in.. Of course theres house sized rocks in that several feet.. Good to know people who can make those rocks smaller..
     
    Quigley_Sharps likes this.
  13. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    An application of explosives solves most problems.
     
    kellory likes this.
  14. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    LOL, In so many ways!!!
     
  15. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    few problems in life can not be improved with a ......suitable application of high explosives.:cool:
     
  16. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    That and exceptional marksmanship...
     
  17. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    with enough explosives, marksmanship is .....redundant.:cool:
     
  18. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja Jedi Bipolar WINNING M.L.F.

    If you chuck some bokashi into the wood it will turn to dirt in a year or less after being buried.
     
  19. permacamo

    permacamo Monkey

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2014
  20. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    @permacamo

    There are several podcasts about Hugelkultur on The Survival Podcast show...trawl through the show archive for shows dedicated to Hugelkulture, including an episode or two featuring Paul Wheaton being interviewed by Jack Sperko.
     
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