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

Hugelkultur Bed Picture Thread

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Last fall I took down our rotten old "water tower" at the cottage. From a single stump over 4' across came three logs, each over 2 ft in diameter that 30 or so years ago had been cut off at about 15' tall and a platform built to hold a water tank . I think they were basswood and are so well rotted already that I was worried about the weight of the water tank bringing the whole thing down in to the cabin.

I dragged them down near the ponds my father built. Not an easy task alone but I made it. It's very hard digging in this glacial till - so many potatoes(small round rocks) and roots- so I didn't get too deep before running out of steam.
I got the left side of the bed covered with soil and enough trees cut out to get some sun in and still working on that but I'm far enough to at least get the soil warming up and get some seeds in.
I'm hauling soil in to finish covering the right half of the bed. The 2 logs there are to hold the soil back, leaving enough room for ATV passage.

I want to take all those cedars out (leaving some tall stumps in select locations) and use them to make a couple of terraces higher up on the slope and slow the water down, plus I can direct all the roof runoff into a 250 gal tote tank near the high side of all the future beds.
I'll get some trees higher up, some shrubs in the middle elevations. Just behind the bed is a low spot that naturally collects leaves and debris - ready made compost pile..

Converting the back yard to a food forest using hugels.  Here is a before (right) and after (left) shot of the area.  About ready to put down some buckwheat to stave off the weeds until the fall planting.  Trees on order.


--- Quote from: Nicodemus on May 30, 2012, 06:45:32 AM ---Here are my Raised-Not-So-Hugelkultur-Beds. I apologize to anyone who has been following the progress in my garden thread because I have previously posted the pictures there.

Below is a picture taken at completion of the first dig. It basically gave me 6 semi-level spots to place the raised beds in my back yard. The land slopes top to bottom from between 17º to 30º and from left to right at about 10º.

Here are the 4' x 8' boxes that I preassembled.

Here is one of the stacks that I drew wood from. It's from an ornamental pear tree in our yard that had begun to suffer from center rot. It sat there drying for a couple of months. More wood came from the wood pile in our courtyard and was consisted mainly of maple.

Here are the beds after the second dig and after being filled with wood, sod, leaves from last fall and fill dirt. The second dig went about 2' down and left a shelf for the raised bed boxes to sit upon.

This is a shot standing above the lower center bed. It's kind of hard to get an idea of what is going on due to the odd perspective.

The beds after the frames have been set in, leveled and dirt was placed over the wood in the holes.

The beds after being filled with compost and a cover of shredded mulch.

The mound of dirt you see at the top of the hill will be reduced in height and spread further along the boundary between the neighbor's yard and my own so that it can divert runoff from his garden which is upslope from mine.

--- End quote ---

I was just planning on doing my rear slope like this. Glad to see I'm not the only one. Only difference is my slope is 2-3 times steeper, hopefully I can make it work by making deeper planter boxes.

That's a rough incline to deal with. Keep us informed on how it goes.

Whoo-hoo!  Finally find a photo hosting service that would work with the podcast forum!

Here's the latest from my hugelkultur food forest project:

As you can see, I've got the lower hugel sheetmulched, and I'm working on finishing the upper one this weekend.  I'm planting buckwheat as a cover crop while I wait for the straw and cardboard to decompose a little, and then I'll be putting in my fall planting, definitely to include a variety of greens and so on.  I've got trees on order from Starks, but they won't ship until November.


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