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First Hugekultur Attempt!

 
Ashley Handy
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There is a pretty soggy place behind our fence in the back yard and we have JUST recently heard about the hugulkulture via the podcasts. Went to richsoil.com and did some reading there and decided not to wait one minute longer!

We didn't dig any hole, we just started piling wood from around our yard along with leaves and other debris. Where we plan to do some gardening this spring we dug up the first two inches of sod and plopped those on top upside down on top.

We also dug a shallow trench around it and put the muck from there on top as well..

Obviously nothing is planted yet, but it felt so good to get out and spend a day in the yard gathering and digging

Before adding the sod and muck, Mark (my husband) jumped around on top of it a little bit, so some of the pictures show that as well
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Here we go!
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Gathering sticks. Off to the right are some branches from his gran's house where she pruned back one of her shrubs. We're using that too!
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Ashley Handy
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Couldn't get all the pictures in that post so here are some more
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And it's growing!
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Layers and layers!
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Keep growing!
 
Ashley Handy
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And jut a few more pictures

And I JUST realized I didn't take a final picture after we got the sod and dirt on it. But no fear, I'll take one later and get it uploaded.

Not like it's going anywhere right
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We made a second pile with the pruned shrub but have not covered it yet.
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Starting to look like the trash heap from Fraggle Rock :)
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Stomp stomp stomp!
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Cool! I hope yours does as well as my first one did - I'm a total convert now.
 
Cris Bessette
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Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
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I made my first hugleculture beds last year. They didn't really do all that well, I assume because the wood was not broken down yet and was sucking the nitrogen out of the soil.
I think this year they will probably do better, but I still think I will have to add manure and some green stuff to get it going.

 
Ashley Handy
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My tomatoes are doing so GREAT!! I wan't sure if they would since they are in partial shade, but they are!! I need to get out and take pictures of the ripe tomatoes, but here are some from when they first started fruiting. (Sorry, my camera takes poor quality pictures. Just know that the lump of greenery is the tomatoes-ha!)

Also, we have not had to water AT ALL!! Not even with it being over 100 degrees here lately!
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This is the hugul all frown with lush tomato plants
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And a close up since the camera does not take good far away pictures
 
Tami Clark
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Hurray for you! It is so satifying to grow something out of not much!
 
Julia Winter
steward
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Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
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How did it do in it's second year? Has there been a third growing season? How tall is it now?

The world seeks long term information about hugelkultur beds. . .
 
Raine Hogan
Posts: 28
Location: Salt Lake City
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Congrats on joining us Hugel-freaks.

Most of the beds on our urban farm are Hugeled from free wood and horse manure to help with the nitrogen robbing - lots of horse manure!
The parking strip is a raised hugel bed, we dug down, buried the wood in horse manure and the removed dirt, then muched it with straw from a neighbor who had given me a couple of bales 2 years earlier. I thought the bales had mulch down a bit over time, but in the 3 years since I get 2 crops of wheat from the original 1/2 bale that I mulched with. It's all good though because all of the animals love the wheat grass that I cut for them.

We also Hugeled the raised bed to the north of our pond in the front yard (free dead hot tub) that catches rainwater overflow from the rain tank, into the pond, into the bed (Blueberries), that then flows into a swale that irrigates trees, herbs and veggies that grow around the north and east end of thee yard.

Our back yard has 2 hugels that a 3' tall (framed in with old doors, 2 vertical hugels (standing pallets with wood, compost and bunny manure inside, and 4 raised beds done in an exxagerated key hole design for blackberries and vegetables. I'm also putting in a really long hugel on the wall for a fruit tree orchard.

All of this on .15 acre city lot, with a house, garage, green house, and chikee (combined rabbit/chicken shelter for 4-20 rabbits and 10 chickens). As you can tell, we love them. Mainly due to hot, harsh summers and cold wet winters. The snow and rain that we recieve is seldom during the growing season, so this is kinda like a "rechargable battery for growing". That's how I sold my hubby on putting in the effort to help me build them - well that and the local water bill from my very prductive garden the previous summer. Needless to say, once sticker shock wore off, he was ready to embrace my crazy idea. And youtube videos of the great sepp holzer.

If anyone is having an issue with productivity, compost and mulch seem to be key maintaining fertility in these beds. I'm thinking the next one I do, I'm going to add a worm feeding tube to include vermicomposting to increase nutrient availability.
 
Julia Winter
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Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
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That sounds great! I would love to see pictures. . .
 
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