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New Member Building Hugel beds  RSS feed

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I'm new to this group, though it has already helped me to build my first ever hugelkultur and start on my second one here in southern Japan. I had to dig through 50 cms of compacted 'shirasu', crushed volcanic rock from pyroclastic flows, and 40 cms of compacted soil before reaching the natural sandy loam below. I'm kind of new to gardening so please excuse if I get terminology wrong. I built the bed up to a height of almost one and a half meters, putting all the contents back along with recycled lumber (untreated), clippings from my hedges, composted manure, fallen leaves, bark, dried out bamboo, partially composted weeds, old logs and branches and straw.  I only need to go down 50 cms in my new bed before reaching sand and, though it still has a layer of shirasu, it is not as compacted as before. All that was growing here before was lichen, though other parts of the garting were covered in some sort of bindweed, goldenrod and many other nameless weeds. We've (my wife and I) had the property for just 4 months, so still much to do and much to learn.

I'm not sure if this is all going to work out, but I'm having a lot of fun trying. I can see that some seed have already germinated, probably mustard seed, and this gives me hope. We've already had a lot of rain since I finished the first bed a couple of weeks ago and I'm pleased to see that the bed has held together well.  

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master pollinator
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
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Looks great Dave! Welcome to Permies!
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Very nice. Is that a compost bin in the middle picture?
Dave Lisgo
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Thank you Steve for the kind welcome Steve.

Wayne. Yes, I was trying to build compost stalls using Rebar and recycled lumber but they are in the wrong location and of the wrong design. I had planned to compost all my weeds in them but they all went into my hugel beds. I reckoned that burying them under 50 cms and more of soil and organic matter is enough to keep them from being a major problem. I am not sure if I will have enough material to make compost in future but the stalls are useful for storage; I have cardboard in one at the moment and I keep straw in the other sometimes. I will relocate the stalls in future and consider redesigning the fronts so that I can easily turn the compost if I decide to try and make some.

BTW the plot is a 15-minute-drive from my home and in a 9B zone.

A farmer offered me a few bales of straw and I imagined that he would bring them in his pick-up, instead he brought 12 large bales on the back of a big truck.

I acquired some more lumber yesterday from people who were knocking down a wooden house to make way for a road. This lot now sits on a bed of fermenting straw and old weeds. Some of the lumber is helping me to build a garden shed.
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