Monday, April 30, 2012

A little update on my fake hugelkultur projects.  The flowerbed/perennial garden is coming slowly.  It seems every time something new pops up the snow comes back to try to kill it.  It's a long wait between new arrivals that I recognize.  I am killing two birds with one stone though.  I started bringing buckets of wood chips up from the basement (they need to be cleaned out every year), and I'm using them as mulch/fertilizer/topsoil over the firewood and around the plants.  The path is slow going, and I've had to move it once already, as more plants came up.

The currants are now completely surrounded by old firewood, just waiting for some compost.

And, my latest project...  Something I hadn't even considered doing before, a raised bed/hugelkultur combo.  I've been watching these videos from survival podcast.  My parents have been cleaning up the deadfall through the trees around their house.  They offered us some free firewood.  Some of it has been sitting so long that it's very waterlogged and punky.  Perfect for hugelkultur.  And some of it is newer, long, and straight.  Perfect for building.

I've never done raised beds before, because space has never been an issue, and the cost of building frames seemed a little silly, even if it would help my aching back.  Then the soil it would take to fill them...  It just seemed like a lot of work for a little pay off.  However, since building the hay feeder out of logs last fall, I have the methodology down.  The only cost will be some spikes.

I'm only planning for one raised bed this year, and I'm aiming for three feet high.  Filled with rotting logs, it shouldn't require too many loads of compost on top.  One bed, because by the time I get it built and filled, it should be time to start planting.  I need to leave access to it for the tractor as well.  There's also the added bonus of creating a wind break for the currants through the winter.  and, of course, the no tilling in the future.  It's just a win-win-win.  Why didn't I start this 5 years ago?  Live and learn.

#4 helping with construction

I already have plans to put those back breaking beans in it!  It almost makes me look forward to picking them this year.

And here's a super mini hugelkultur project.  As I transplanted the tomatoes again, I put about two inches of bark in the bottom of each pot.  I'm hoping that will help when I inevitably forget to water them.

1 comment:

  1. Wendy - excellent job on the hugelkulture!!! we have an area on our land that was cleared about 20yrs ago - it is full of rotting logs and trees and they are piled quite high off the ground. we are going to just dump wheelbarrows of dirt, seaweed and manure on one of the piles - and presto - instant hugelkulture! wish we were there to help out but you seem to be off to a running start. keep us updated during the season and i will get around to doing a post about ours!

    your friend,