I have an area in the garden to build my hugelkultur bed but one side is a 2 foot high cinder block wall. Would that affect the aeration or would it be okay up against the wall? Also, I will have to bring in logs to the property. Is there a certain kind of log that's best? There is plenty of oak trees in my area of California.
Don't think the cinder block wall should matter much, as well as the kind of trees, anything should work. Did only setup one of those last year, as I freed some space for a greenhouse tunnel and had some already cut trees close. It took not even one hours to get things going and everything grew quite well.
hau Chris, Don't worry about the wall, it will allow support for the cover soil.
Oak is great wood for a hugel, but you will want to make sure it is already starting to decay (you can do this with mushroom spawn or by coating with a mushroom slurry if you can't find rotting wood on the ground).
build large to small (biggest wood on the bottom) and stuff the cracks as you build up, use spent coffee grounds as part of your empty space filler to add nitrogen, also water as you go, all this will help the hugel get going faster.
Andrew Mayflower wrote:Seems a waste of awesome wood to use oak like that.
That was my first thought, but then we have very few oaks and would never touch one for this reason. But if this all you have, why not?
Yeah, if you have it in plentiful supply, and not much of other types, it's OK. Still, sounded like he's going to get a load of wood delivered, so there's going to be some degree of ability to choose. If it's not already somewhat rotten, as Bryant said, it may take too long to become effective in a hugle. However, other woods like alder, birch and cottonwood rot fast enough that even fairly newly fallen wood can work out well. However, with cottonwood at least, you should leave it down long enough that it stops sprouting suckers. Otherwise you're effectively just propagating it rather than using it for hugels.
Thank you for your guidance. I have an idea now that it will work. Oh, I did read somewhere that oak is alleopathic? Hmmm, I used the leaves in my compost before. I'll focus on alder, cottonwood or other types of logs just in case.
If the building with the blocks is a partially wooden building, I wonder if termites might be a problem? I haven’t tried hugelculture yet. I have had termites get into firewood by the foundation then get under the house.
Hi again. I'm a GGG - girl, gardener, grower: "Christine". Ken, you bring up a can-of-worms for me or should I say "can-of-terms"? The cinder block wall is at the edge of a patio so not against the house, however, the property I purchased three years ago had severe termite issues. Many nests. What is the question of hugelkultur and termites? I'm not read up on it.
We have both subterranean and wood-eating termites. I'm assuming they wouldn't travel the 20 feet under the patio to the house structure.(?) We did have to replace eaten wall frames and such to clear them out before. They do a great job for nature's decomposition. Perhaps I can dig in my hugelkultur every once in a while to see if there are any nests forming. I remember Bill Mollison's video where he was lying down in a potato patch he had installed and said, "Once there were thousands of ants here. Now only potatoes". LOL. The permaculture microbes displaced them, I assume..
Are you in Nevada? I had a permaculture garden near Henderson - Las Vegas for six years. I was amazed what could grow in the Great Basin Desert. Permaculture works there, for sure. We grew the Hawaiian tropic tomato. We planted a Native American demonstration garden in Boulder City. They made flour out of the mesquite tree bean pods and the camas root (Lewis and Clark) (not the toxic ones).