Building a Hugelkultur Raised Bed: Hugelkultur on a smaller scale...

Views: 3911, Replies: 9 » Jump to the end
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.

[View the item] Give a thumbs up

Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
pod
Jul 31, 2011 10:45 AM CST
I've built two small Hugelkultur beds. One a pit and the other one on top of the ground. They were quite successful this dry summer so I am building another and plan more.

As you are in Texas, I would like to know how you keep the fireants out of the bed above ground? In this area, they are attracted to rotting wood, moisture, etc. I know there is no environmentally correct means of erradicating them so was curious.
[Last edited by pod - Jul 31, 2011 10:46 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #115322 (1)
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
Image
Horseshoe
Jul 31, 2011 12:41 PM CST
Psst! Howdy Pod! Nice to see you!
See you more around the site!
Shoe
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
pod
Jul 31, 2011 2:52 PM CST
Hiya Shoe... nice to be greeted so sweetly. I saw that you were considering this type of gardening and I will encourage you to try a bed.

My experience this summer in the worst drought I've ever seen has convinced me. Course I'm small taters compared to you and the 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!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Jul 31, 2011 3:39 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Hi Pod,

We definitely deal with fireants but they are not as big a problem in our part of Texas as they are in some other areas.

We've have a couple fireant nests in this bed we made, and we learned quickly where they are and we avoided those spots. The ants stayed in their area and we were just careful not to step in that vicinity. It seems that they didn't affect the plants so we left them alone.

I do wish we didn't have to deal with this imported curse.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
pod
Aug 4, 2011 8:40 PM CST
And I wish there were an easy, organic solution. But in my experience, I would recommend stopping them in their tracks if at all possible.

The H├╝gelkultur bed creates an inviting environment for fireants. They are drawn to rotting wood and moist conditions. I'd be surprised if they will remain contained in those areas for long.

Best of luck...

Name: Fuz Sanderson
Apex, NC (Zone 7b)
Image
Fuz
Jan 26, 2012 1:17 PM CST
One method I have used successfully is to pour boiling water on the fire ant nest. This has to be done a couple of times. Best if you can get a 2-3 gallon pot poured on at once. Of course, most living plants will be damaged, however this is a non toxic solution. I've also heard of people using dish soap. Good luck and let me know how it goes!!
With learning a skill comes self confidence, and with that self confidence we become a more fully alive human being.

http://www.primitiveskills.org/
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
Image
dave
Jan 26, 2012 1:24 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thanks for that tip, Fuz!

Oldhomestead
Jan 31, 2012 5:59 PM CST
We used to have a lot more issues with fire ants until the laying hens discovered the mounds have larve in them. Now out in the field we come across small depressions where they used to be. The hens just scatch the heck out of the mounds and eat the larve.

Of course chickens do a number on your mulch, but when the plants get some size on them we run chickens in the beds and they take care of most of the insect pests for us.

Alaskalady
Jun 1, 2016 4:13 AM CST
If the fire ant problem has not resolved itself yet, you might want to try diatomaceous earth (D.E.) to kill them. I like to put the D.E. in a long necked bottle and puff it into the ant entrances. Ants groom each other, so quickly spread the D.E. The D.E. has to be reapplied whenever it gets wet, but some diligence with it will wipe out the whole colony.

Alaskalady
Jun 4, 2016 11:22 PM CST
If the fire ant problem has not resolved itself yet, you might want to try diatomaceous earth (D.E.) to kill them. I like to put the D.E. in a long necked bottle and puff it into the ant entrances. Ants groom each other, so quickly spread the D.E. The D.E. has to be reapplied whenever it gets wet, but some diligence with it will wipe out the whole colony.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Building a Hugelkultur Raised Bed
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Dianthus 'Nyewood Cream'"