Permaculture forum: 2nd Hugelkultur Created

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Name: Jewell
South Puget Sound (Zone 7a)
Ferns Region: Pacific Northwest Cottage Gardener Hellebores Dragonflies Ponds
Permaculture
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Jewell
Apr 13, 2015 12:19 AM CST
We had to have three filbert trees taken down that had become diseased the summer of 2013. What had been a woodland garden opened up for growing veggies. We were left with great fire wood and three large stumps that were buried under the logs. When I stumbled across Hugelkultur on the Internet it was a mess with a promise of acute change for our back yard..

My first attempt at creating a hugel was sloppy with too many unfilled areas around and under stumps and unsplittable pieces of filbert trees. I hauled dirt from other parts of the yard and it wasn't enough to fully cover the stumps. To top it off our part of town being close to the Puget Sound has a long history of troublesome rats. The dogs were on daily hunts and digs. Despite the troubles the hugel was covered in greens of chard, cabbage, kale and collards; lemon cucumbers, bush beans and gallons of tomatoes.

Last year's hugel
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Over the winter we decided to clear the hugel of vegetation for a rest and some restructuring. Used bricks are used to contain the sloping sides of the hugel on our gently sloping lot. Also move top soil from bed where I buried the last big old forked branches creating the second hugel. This time every branch was neatly buried in the old double dig fashion. No air spaces or rodent habitat, and very neat. (It really helped that this area had sat for over a year with multiple layers of cardboard weighed down with a good layer of bark...it was my winter squash bed last year.)Thumb of 2015-04-13/Jewell/0f7912

This year's start and yes that biggest old stump is right in the middle of the first hugel, but it is starting to rot Glare
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What is great is the early warmth of the ground. There are volunteer tomato starts up and the pathway at the base of second hugel acts as a water catchment for the bed with blueberries, broccoli and perennials.

Blueberry, broccoli and perennial bed
Thumb of 2015-04-13/Jewell/766ace

This weekend starter plants and some seeds went into the soil. Looks like the second year will be even more productive and better looking. Not having to pay to have stumps ground out or carted off a bonus. It's been a perfect solution. Hurray!

Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Apr 13, 2015 3:32 AM CST
I agree It's been a perfect solution here, too! In many ways, and in many different difficult to garden areas!

Good growing, Jewell! Hurray!
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 13, 2015 7:43 AM CST
Thanks for posting those pics. I've never done a hugel bed and it's great to see the different ways that they can be done. Living among oak trees, I always have branches and limbs coming down that get dragged to the back of the property. Because my backyard drops off to a wooded wetlands, I've been considering lining up all of the branches along the back property line and letting them accumulate fall leaves and other garden waste to slow erosion. Does anyone know if that idea would work? Not necessarily looking to plant it as it's in deep shade but guessing natives might populate it?
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Apr 13, 2015 9:58 AM CST
It would, yes. Two things to consider though, wetlands nearby + shade may equal more mosquitoes closer to your yard. You'd be creating an ever-moist environment; also, are there any undesirables in the area now? Poison Ivy first comes to my mind, since we unthinkingly "fed" it for years by tossing it yard debris.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 13, 2015 12:13 PM CST
I don't think we'd have more mosquitoes than we already have. We do put out mosquito traps with Bti and spray if it becomes truly unbearable. And yes - I have a poison ivy forest growing wild beyond my yard. I do patrol my yard for that nasty thing and pull any plants that I can. Always pulling seedlings as well. Learned to never go barefoot or wear open sandals in my yard and I always wear leather gloves. I can even spot seedlings in the lawn.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Apr 13, 2015 1:27 PM CST
I didn't even know there were mosquito traps available...thank you!! I tip my hat to you. Same here on the poison ivy seedlings; I can spot them from yards away!

...And back to hugel beds... *Blush*

Any bed that I'm redoing, now gets the hugel treatment. Thumbs up The difference in maintenance alone is almost unbelievable! I also have new lilies up 4" in one of my (earlier-to-warm-up) hugel beds, and no sign of anything yet from any of the ones in-ground.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 13, 2015 3:42 PM CST
chelle - when I say "mosquito traps", I'm talking about the homemade variety. I first heard about it on a podcast from Howard Garrett (the Dirt Doctor) who does mostly organic gardening in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. I think the idea may have also caught on with Mike McGrath (You Bet Your Garden).Basically, you start out with a bucket or container of water or anything holding water that can't be drained and put Bti mosquito dunks in it. The mosquitoes will be attracted to the water and lay their eggs but the larvae will die from the Bti. It does have to be renewed throughout the summer and you don't want your containers to go dry. I put a few throughout my back yard. You can also make a solution with Bti, strain it and put it in a sprayer. If areas of your yard stay wet or moist, you can spray just that area. Hosta leaves and other foliage can hold water sometimes.
I think I will work on creating a hugel berm across my back yard once spring gardening chores are done. Thanks for starting this thread! It got me thinking about my big pile of branches. Maybe the chipmunks will move into them and stop burrowing in my garden. :)
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Apr 13, 2015 5:47 PM CST
Oh, I'd absolutely love to be able to spray safely! Thanks again! I tip my hat to you.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 14, 2015 8:04 AM CST
While this has drifted off -topic, do check out the Dirt Doctor or You Bet Your Garden website for more info on mosquito control.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Apr 14, 2015 10:31 AM CST
Thanks!


This isn't my second hugel-style bed, it's more like my fifth or sixth, but spring bulbs do nicely in them as well. They push right up through everything...they'll even by-pass small logs if necessary. Smiling

My first tulips of the year.

Thumb of 2015-04-14/chelle/25f967

Sorry the picture is off-center, but I was dodging raindrops at the time! Whistling

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 14, 2015 11:26 AM CST
That's pretty cool! I would never have thought of bulbs in a hugel bed.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Apr 14, 2015 11:38 AM CST
I have to watch the winter wet with tulips here, so I'm trying this instead. So far, so good! Hurray!
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Jewell
South Puget Sound (Zone 7a)
Ferns Region: Pacific Northwest Cottage Gardener Hellebores Dragonflies Ponds
Permaculture
Image
Jewell
Apr 15, 2015 12:19 AM CST
Shadegardener said:Thanks for posting those pics. I've never done a hugel bed and it's great to see the different ways that they can be done. Living among oak trees, I always have branches and limbs coming down that get dragged to the back of the property. Because my backyard drops off to a wooded wetlands, I've been considering lining up all of the branches along the back property line and letting them accumulate fall leaves and other garden waste to slow erosion. Does anyone know if that idea would work? Not necessarily looking to plant it as it's in deep shade but guessing natives might populate it?


My woodland garden (created by neighbors planting fir trees that made dense shade on a great portion of our lot and decades of piling orchard and limb trimmings) was my first unofficial hugel. Hadn't named the process yet. Rolling on the floor laughing

The soil in this part of the yard slopes so I did some terracing the spring before last. I used layered cardboard to get rid of the weeds and naturally fallen fir needles covered up the cardboard. Additional cedar bark was used in the paths.

Because the piles of branches turned into rich loam our property is about 18- 24 inches taller than the neighbors (held in place with wire fencing that runs the perimeter) Rolling my eyes. These photos are the first year I turned the mossy weedy area into a small woodland garden with paths. The area is approximately 20 feet wide by 100 feet long. As you can see lots of hostas, ferns, hellebores, columbines, primroses, jack-in-pulpit, and natives like foxgloves, BC ginger, piggyback plants, trilliums and bear grass. It was amazing how small starts from sales, volunteers and transplants from other parts of the yard took off in a very short time. Good luck with your piling and planting. Thumbs up

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Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Apr 15, 2015 7:46 AM CST
Thanks for posting Jewell--your photos are really inspiring. My garden is on hold because of computer problems, but I am really inspired by your hugel beds!





Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 15, 2015 8:33 AM CST
Jewell - beautiful gardens! Thanks for sharing the pics!
I've always used the larger fallen branches on my slope (about a 45 degree angle), laid on the ground (sometimes held in place with short rebar) to slow down rainfall and erosion. I just never thought to do much with the smaller stuff which usually ends up in a pile somewhere. DH hates hauling out the big chipper/shredder to take care of them.

caitlinsgarden
Jul 13, 2015 6:32 AM CST
Where do I learn about Kugel beds, whatever they are?
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Jul 13, 2015 7:43 AM CST
Here's a list of discussions here at ATP.

http://garden.org/forums/search.php?forumid=81&q=hugel&butto...



For a Net search type in the word Hugelkultur.


I love them so much that all of my new beds will be made this way...or, at the very least, a similar adaptation will be applied. Big Grin
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 13, 2015 7:43 AM CST
Check out the "Permaculture Resources" sticky. There are a couple of links to making hugel beds.

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