Farm, Garden and The Land > Permaculture, Land Management and Foraging

Zone 7 permaculture newbie looking for advice

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PorcupineKate:

--- Quote from: LvsChant on September 21, 2019, 02:55:13 PM ---So glad to see you back, Porcupine... Thanks for sharing your experiences... sounds like you've done a lot of good things. Good to know how the hugel beds worked out for you. After the 3 years, were you able to use the beds more effectively? And what made that possible?

--- End quote ---

Thanks it is good to be back.

I won't ever build anymore hugel beds.  They don't really fit with what we are doing these days. The are not practical for us.  We have glacier sand for soil so the garden rodent quickly moved in to the beds and at far too much of our produce.  I couldn't grow root crops for first 3 years.

Using them in raised beds meant the beds dried out too much in August.  I was hoping they would reduce my watering needs but they dried out faster than the other raised beds I had.  Part of this problem was due to a lack of top soil and not any compost when we built the hugel beds. We had no idea how fast glacier sand on a windy hill dries out. We have too much wind to mulch the garden with dried leaves or grass clippings.  They just don't stay put.  Straw and mulch hay work but they are expensive or hard to find early in the season if we have a wet spring here in NH.  We can sometimes get free wood chips delivered and we were gifted a wood chipper by friends that were moving. So the plan going forward is to use wood chips in part of the chicken run till to have the chickens start breaking them down and then move those chips to the garden beds as mulch/compost.  This works better for us than burying the wood.

Now that it has been 5 years all of the hugel beds are gone.  In the main annual garden we built the hugel beds too wide and they lost a lot of height after 3 years. My husband started taking them apart and making approximately 2 foot wide raised beds for me so I can sit on a set stool while I garden. 

The other 3 hugel beds we had have been dismantled due to the natural swimming  pond project.  My husband expanded the garden pond to fit the largest pond liner he could buy with out having to make any seams. Since the wood had broken down anyway the soil was moved to other garden beds including making my annual garden beds longer. 

 Here is a picture of the pond.  It is in the middle of my garden.  It is still a work in progress.  I needs more rocks, gravel, and plants. 

 

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