Hugelkultur Raised Beds: Hugelkultur on a smaller scale...

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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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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.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

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[Last edited by pod - Jul 31, 2011 10:46 AM (+)]
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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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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)
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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.

Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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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)
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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 Hügelkultur 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...

Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Fuz Sanderson
Apex, NC (Zone 7b)
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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!!
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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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.
Name: Chris
Florida (Zone 9a)
klutzy
Dec 28, 2017 8:44 AM CST
DE works great on bugs, including chicken lice. Be sure to use ONLY food grade, NOT pool grade. I just moved to FL, hoping fire ants aren't here!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Dec 29, 2017 9:10 AM CST
Are you kidding me? Believe me, fire ants are here. Throughout the entire state.
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Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Dec 29, 2017 9:40 AM CST
@klutzy , Ann is right you will have them bad in FL
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Dec 29, 2017 9:43 AM CST
Cinnamon deters ants here, but does not kill them.
I don't know if it works on your fire ants.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Dec 29, 2017 10:00 AM CST
The only good fire ant is a dead fire 🐜.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



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