Ask a Question forum: Hugelkultur question about bugs.

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Name: Wade
Selah, Wa (Zone 6b)
PNWWade
Dec 5, 2013 12:57 PM CST
First off, I just wanted to say thank you for such an interesting website. I was reading this article from Dave http://garden.org/ideas/view/dave/41/Building-a-Hugelkultur-... and am interested in changing my beds out this year. I live in Central Washington (the dry side of the state), and it states that this method doesn't need as much water. I think this would be great. There is just one thing I don't see mentioned on anything I've read, here or other sites. Bugs. I live on 3 acres of former orchard. We have earwigs like you wouldn't believe. We use non chemical methods to control them in the garden, bug they love wood. Wouldn't bugs like this thrive in such an environment? Do you think they would stay down on the lower level of wood and keep away from the vegetables at the top? Has anyone ran into anything like this?

Thank you for taking the time to check on this.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Dec 5, 2013 1:24 PM CST
Warm welcome from the rainy side of Washington, Wade. Here's a little trick to get the attention of someone in particular: Simply include @dave (the ATP screen name) somewhere within your post , and ATP will send a notification to that member that you are looking for further information or comment. Works like a charm.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
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
Dec 5, 2013 2:35 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Hi Wade,

It seems like everyone is thinking about hugelkultur right now and for good reason: this is a great time of year to setup a new hugel bed. By spring it'll already have started breaking down.

I can't speak to earwigs. While I think we have them here they are not present in sufficient quantities to give us problems. We deal with squash bugs and cucumber beetles, and I have often wondered if the latter came because of my use of hugelkultur.

As the wood breaks down all kinds of insects and other life forms come to participate in that process. Pillbugs (rolly pollies) especially love dining on the rotting wood.

Sorry I couldn't give you more info. If you do try hugelkultur, I'd love to know how the earwigs impacted it. It seems to me that it's worth a try.
Name: Wade
Selah, Wa (Zone 6b)
PNWWade
Dec 5, 2013 5:00 PM CST
Thank you Deb and Dave. I just stumbled across this technique this morning while browsing reddit. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I am going to give it a go after a little more research, and I'll let you know how it goes. If it works I think I can incorporate it on a much larger scale. I can set up some traps and maybe try incorporating some kind of barrier that will maybe stop them somehow. Its just going to take some experimenting.

Funny how small the world is. I used to frequent east Texas a lot, with family in Nacogdoches, Tyler, and right on Lake Palestine. That is a great area.

Thanks again.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Dec 5, 2013 5:54 PM CST
Hi Wade, Welcome! from me too!

You could sprinkle diamataceous earth around the hugel beds for an organic control of earwigs and other insects that might damage plants.

Here are a couple of links with more information for earwig control:
http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/how-to-contro...
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74102.html
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Wade
Selah, Wa (Zone 6b)
PNWWade
Dec 6, 2013 10:48 AM CST
@plantladylin Thank you for those. The best 50 cents I ever spent at a garage sale was a few years ago. I bought the Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control. It basically said the same thing.

I think I may have a plan. I can border the bed with ash and diamataceous earth, and then see if adding it to my layering is a viable option. Then when I'm planting I can put the tuna can traps and add barriers around the plantings. The worst that can happen is I have a some extra food for my chickens. Sticking tongue out I doubt they will mind that very much.
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
Dec 6, 2013 11:14 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I like the way you think! Thumbs up

We have a number of discussions going about hugelkultur in our permaculture forum:

http://garden.org/forums/view/permaculture/

I know a lot of us would be grateful to see pictures of your project as you work on it. Smiling
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Dec 7, 2013 6:43 PM CST
Even if you do end up with a temporary problem, if you are a basically organic gardener you'll usually find that nature has a way of evening things out, and taking care of the "problem" for you.

All it takes is a little patience.

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