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My Hugelkultur castle......with pictures

 
Posts: 170
Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
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I have been intrigued with the concept of hugekultur for a while. But I kept thinking it was not practical here in the northwest. keeping the ground moist is not a problem here. I also did not want to truck in dirt and compost and logs etc. what a Hassle. I almost talked my self out of it!
This fall I realized that I did have a location on My property that is to dry to grow most plants and then it occured to me that I had every thing I needed just yards from that location. All of a sudden the idea of building a hugelkultur bed was easy!
I had all the ingredients; 3 year old rotting willow rounds, leaf mulch, 2 year old compost, and soil!

I named it a Hugelkultur Castle so My boys wouold help me build it :0)

I built it about 4 feet high in the back and about 2 feet high in the front to catch the sun better in this slopped area.
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here I have 12" - 8" of soil layers on top of the wood. I placed branches and sticks to reinforce the layers to keep from slipping if it were to rain too hard.
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I have started adding layers of leaf mulch , compost, and soil
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I stacked up the willow rounds here in a sort of key hole design. the willow came from a neighbors. we hauled to our house and realized that green wilow is impossible to split. so it sat for years in the weeds.
 
Thelma McGowan
Posts: 170
Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
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On cold days the bed is warmer to the touch than the ground. i am really excited to see what happens this spring. I should have a ton of herbs and comfrey sprouting! I am considering planting an italian prune tree on the side too.
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I seeded the bed with several plants that went to seed in My garden--onions, parsley, dill, lambs quarters, cilantro and radish. This image shows the radishes have sprouted and are hanging in there. this was taken the firdt week of december.
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I added cardboard around the edges and added more green material on hand....corn stalks , bracken fern, and twigs
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Here is the view from the back. I created a key hole and planted comfrey on the shaded side
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11031
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Looks great! I hope you'll post a picture of it in summer.
 
Posts: 149
Location: sw pa zone 5
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You did a Great job of showing and discribing the process. It looks like it should work out great for you. Will the boys be able to use it as a fort, or cabin, or a place to hide when they play? It looks like a nice secret place in the back of the keyhole. As the veggies grow the hiding place should get better and better. Enjoy them as they grow.
 
Thelma McGowan
Posts: 170
Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
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Yes I will post more pictures as spring comes along

I will be enjoying watching My boys enjoy the the castle.........wow talk about multiple uses! it is a water storing raised bed, another food source, and a play ground. all in a spot that was useless before . That is totally permaculture :0)
 
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What part of western washington are you in to have seeds germinating outside?
 
Thelma McGowan
Posts: 170
Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
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I live in snohomish county.

But only the radish seeds germinated.......I just have little sprouts out there. I probably won't get any radish bulbs but I got some tastey salad sprouts.

They are still alive even sfter a few heavier frosts. But the temp has not gotten much below 30F
 
Jesus Martinez
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Hmm, I do too =).

I live on the south side of the skykomish river about 700 ft elevation though and we are about 4-6 degrees cooler. I'll have to get some radish seeds to see if they will grow over the winter here.
 
Thelma McGowan
Posts: 170
Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
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So My Chickens discovered the nice loos top soil/compost on my hugelculture bed. I thought this might happen, so I covered it with some fir branches to discourage them from kicking off all the dirt. Th good news is this means if they are intersted in digging around there is a lot of good worms and such.

looking forward to spring!
 
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