A Homemade Life
Welcome to Homemade Life.

To take full advantage of everything offered by our forum, please log in if you are already a member or join our community if not ....

Chilli-head
Who is online?
In total there are 3 users online :: 0 Registered, 0 Hidden and 3 Guests :: 1 Bot

None

Most users ever online was 62 on 10th April 2015, 8:24 am
Latest topics
» April - busiest month of the gardeners year ?
by freebird 22nd April 2017, 9:06 pm

» Amazing Hotels
by Dandelion 17th April 2017, 3:49 pm

» The art of enough
by Dandelion 13th April 2017, 11:04 am

» The Repair Shop
by FloBear 6th April 2017, 9:10 am

» Knitting in the round
by Ploshkin 2nd April 2017, 6:12 pm

» Marching into the spring garden
by Chilli-head 30th March 2017, 8:22 pm

» Birdbox cam
by Chilli-head 15th March 2017, 4:04 pm

» This year's challenge
by Ploshkin 15th March 2017, 3:23 pm

» The Secrets of Your Food - Chillies !
by Chilli-head 11th March 2017, 8:52 pm

» Big Dreams Small Spaces
by Ploshkin 7th March 2017, 9:57 am

» Chair #3: The smoker's bow
by freebird 7th March 2017, 8:44 am

» First February sowings
by Dandelion 28th February 2017, 9:56 pm

» Seed swap anyone?
by Dandelion 28th February 2017, 9:49 pm

» Sweet Chilli Jelly
by Ploshkin 2nd February 2017, 9:39 am

» January: welcome to a new Gardening year.
by Dandelion 28th January 2017, 9:53 pm

» The gardener's yearbook
by Chilli-head 5th January 2017, 4:40 pm

» Reusing the plastic bowl the Christmas pudding comes in.
by FloBear 29th December 2016, 5:11 pm

» Winter Squashes
by FloBear 23rd December 2016, 5:11 pm

» Sloe Gin
by Chilli-head 16th December 2016, 5:00 pm

» Hardy enough for the garden in December ?
by Chilli-head 12th December 2016, 5:13 pm

Statistics
We have 627 registered users
The newest registered user is skindivers

Our users have posted a total of 44169 messages in 2298 subjects
Similar topics
HML on FaceBook
RSS feeds



Donate to our Charity
The Homemade life supports Kiva - microloans for people in developing countries working to change their lives.  These loans are repaid to our KIVA account, so your donation is used many times to help different people - literally the gift that keeps on giving..

Hugelkultur

View previous topic View next topic Go down

default Hugelkultur

Post by Chilli-head on 5th September 2016, 4:18 pm

Has anyone heard of this ? tried it ? Recommend it ?

It is a German idea, as you might have guessed, and seems to be a sort of raised bed. But it is formed of a mound over rotting wood. Googling it produces mostly permacuture avocates, but adding a touch of credance is this article by Alys Fowler in the Guardian.

Why am I interested, when normally I don't favour raised beds ? At the bottom of my allotment, my last bed is underperforming. It gets very wet down there, and the soil isn' t great. The light could be better but for an overhanging silver birch. My thought is that this is an ideal spot for a raised bed of some sort; I have a fair amount of already partially rotted pear wood, the good stuff being destined for the stove, and a small collection of stumps etc. The overhanging birch tree might come into play too, or at least the bits not big enough for use on the pole lathe ! I can also skim off my paths, which were woodchip a couple of years ago but are now well composted and growing grass; the whole lot could go on in an inverted layer. I have about half a compost heap of pretty rough compost too.

My main cause for doubt is that decaying wood might be expected to deplete nitrogen. Adding the grass sods should help, but also I could grow leguminous crops/green manure, and/or water it with high nitrogen liquid ( No, not that one, I was thinking of nettles decomposed in the vertical plastic pipe over a bucket method I mentioned before).

Anyone have any thoughts ?
avatar
Chilli-head
Admin and Boss man

Posts : 2236
Join date : 2010-02-23
Location : Bedfordshire

Back to top Go down

default Re: Hugelkultur

Post by Dandelion on 5th September 2016, 10:32 pm

What do you reckon the time period for this sort of bed is? When the wood completely rots, do you maintain it as you would any other sort of raised bed? The reason I ask is that my first raised bed was at the bottom of the garden near to a conifer, which made the bed unworkable because it took up so much water from the soil. From this experience I would say that even if there's enough light, if it's near to a tree (as you mention, CH) it may be too dry.
I was interested in the fact that the tree trunk mentioned in the article was a leylandii - I would have thought that not much would grow around a leylandii because of the resin in it, but that's obviously not the case.

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
avatar
Dandelion
Admin

Posts : 4409
Join date : 2010-01-17
Age : 60
Location : Ledbury, Herefordshire

Back to top Go down

default Re: Hugelkultur

Post by Ploshkin on 6th September 2016, 1:11 am

I would have thought that you would get fungal things but perhaps not as the rotting wood is buried.
It reminds me of a conversation I was having very recently about having a dead animal in the hole before you plant a tree.
avatar
Ploshkin

Posts : 950
Join date : 2013-07-18
Location : Mid Wales

Back to top Go down

default Re: Hugelkultur

Post by Dandelion on 6th September 2016, 12:32 pm

I've always made sure that all the hamsters, guinea pigs and chickens have been buried around fruit trees after they have lived a happy life - it seemed a waste to not!

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
avatar
Dandelion
Admin

Posts : 4409
Join date : 2010-01-17
Age : 60
Location : Ledbury, Herefordshire

Back to top Go down

default Re: Hugelkultur

Post by Ploshkin on 8th September 2016, 3:51 pm

hamsters, guinea pigs and chickens

I was thinking of something a little more nutritious like a sheep! Smile
avatar
Ploshkin

Posts : 950
Join date : 2013-07-18
Location : Mid Wales

Back to top Go down

default Re: Hugelkultur

Post by Chilli-head on 8th September 2016, 4:36 pm

Bob Flowerdew did mention cats as a composting material, I think. Mind you, he also listed children amongst garden pests !
avatar
Chilli-head
Admin and Boss man

Posts : 2236
Join date : 2010-02-23
Location : Bedfordshire

Back to top Go down

default Re: Hugelkultur

Post by Dandelion on 8th September 2016, 5:25 pm

Ploshkin wrote:
hamsters, guinea pigs and chickens

I was thinking of something a little more nutritious like a sheep! Smile

crylaugh

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
avatar
Dandelion
Admin

Posts : 4409
Join date : 2010-01-17
Age : 60
Location : Ledbury, Herefordshire

Back to top Go down

default Re: Hugelkultur

Post by Chilli-head on 17th October 2016, 9:48 am

Well, I am done in this morning.

Since I couldn't find anyone who's tried it, I had a go at making a Hugelkultur bed this weekend. On Saturday morning I cleared the remaining decent bits of my woodpile which was already sitting on where I wanted the bed to go. Brought home a barrow load of sawn and split pear wood for the stove and garden oven.

Yesterday was unexpectedly fine in the afternoon, so I got back to it, dug out 1 spade depth of soil, put in the partly rotten chunks of pear tree, an ash trunk section and some stumps I had been saving for the purpose. The remaining slug eaten brassicas went on top, roughly chopped by spade, then the remains of the climbing beans, and the grass from the paths. Heaped the soil I'd dug out back over - now I have a Hugel (hill) which looks very like a shallow grave for a 12' giant. I'll leave it to settle a bit, then put on some garden compost and sow broad beans on top next month. Perhaps in spring I'll sow green manure or dwarf beans on the sides - I'm thinking to go with nitrogen fixing plants to counter the inevitable nitrogen lock-up by the rotting wood.

So. I'll keep you posted. I half expect problems with nitrogen deficiency, but it is worth a go - it's not a big area of my plot to turn over to an experiment. I have this thought that in nature all sorts of stuff manages to grow in soil containing rotting fallen branches and trees covered by composting leaves, so maybe it should work.

The problem of the bed being near a silver birch tree will probably go away by spring. I'll need new pea sticks and a top up for the log pile Wink
avatar
Chilli-head
Admin and Boss man

Posts : 2236
Join date : 2010-02-23
Location : Bedfordshire

Back to top Go down

default Re: Hugelkultur

Post by Chilli-head on 7th November 2016, 12:47 pm

I levelled the compost I piled on top of my Hugel a bit this weekend, and sowed broad beans in a double row on top. Let's see how they get on. I'll perhaps plant some other stuff on the sides in spring.
avatar
Chilli-head
Admin and Boss man

Posts : 2236
Join date : 2010-02-23
Location : Bedfordshire

Back to top Go down

default Re: Hugelkultur

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum