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Building a Hugelkultur Raised Bed

By dave
July 18, 2011

Sheet mulching is a technique of laying organic material in layers on the ground to build up a raised bed of rich soil for your plants. Hugelkultur is an extension of this technique, where a gardener builds quite tall raised beds using logs and dead branches as the first layer in this bed.

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Name: Tami Smith
Naylor, GA (Zone 8b)
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mollymistsmith
Jul 19, 2011 11:30 PM CST
What a great idea. Not something I could tackle, at least not on a large scale but possibly on a small scale. Thanks for a great article. Smiling
Tami
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jul 20, 2011 7:18 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I tip my hat to you.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jul 22, 2011 9:17 AM CST
So that is what a hugelkultur is. : )
Makes perfect sense. I can see as the years go by it would become the most wonderful place to grow your veggie garden.
I loved Ruth Stouts books, she gardened using methods somewhat like your hugelkultur. : )
Thank you for the very interesting article Dave.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jul 22, 2011 10:13 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I'm glad you liked the article! Smiling
Name: Thom Foote
Colbert, WA (Zone 6a)
Organic herb farmers
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thomfoote
Feb 29, 2012 9:57 PM CST
Dave since it looks like you use hugel I have a question. I am planning to build mine this spring using rotting ponderosa pine logs(3-5 yr old), forest duff from my building site and driveway, maple leaves, compost and some charcoal. I am also planning on adding blood meal, bone meal and a smaller amount of soft rock phosphate. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Mar 1, 2012 8:04 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

thomfoote, it looks like you've got this figured out perfectly! My only suggestion I would add would be to consider making your hugelbed on contour and dig a swale uphill from it, to capture and hold rain water.

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Have fun!!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Mar 1, 2012 4:51 PM CST
Dave, those beds are just beautiful. Can't wait to see them covered with veggies.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Mar 1, 2012 4:56 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

It's going to be a great garden, for sure!!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Mar 1, 2012 4:58 PM CST
I love the way you have them lined up. Do you mow the area in between the beds?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Mar 1, 2012 5:06 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

It looks like there's a lot of room between them, but it's actually about 18 inches of walking space between each bed. I will be covering them with thick layers of mulch. At least, that's the current plan.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Mar 1, 2012 5:49 PM CST
Makes perfect sense. That will also help to conserve moisture.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 1, 2012 6:14 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I agree And every few seasons I can rake the spent mulch to the top of the beds and re-apply fresh mulch into the walkways.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Mar 1, 2012 7:31 PM CST
What a wonderful method it is.

It just brought to my mind the mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa) that we used to have on our property when we lived in Puget Sound area. They made awesome hugelkultur raised beds using the old downed trees, forest debris and grass from the pastures. Turning it all into an amazing growing patch.

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